May 10, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 49

Sometimes my mind wanders and I get bored easily. It has been a problem my whole life. Unless I focus on something like a screw going through prison pussy, I tend to lose my train of thought. I know this. So I kinder figure everyone else around me knows the same thing, too. Having an idea is always a far cry for actually completing a project. So with that, I give you my five tips to finishing a project in the yard.

hitler.jpg1. Dream big.

Gotta do that. You want a brick patio? No. No I do not. Patio. Patio. Say it with me. Patio. Kinda creepy sounding, right? The hell would I want one of those in my yard? I can barely stand the word "panties" so why would I want those on a girl? See where I am going with this? This goes with my theme that anything that just sounds wrong should be eliminated of the face of the earth. Anything that kinda makes you cringe to say should be illegal or eliminated like those little blind kids on Little House on the Prairie. Anyone who says "delicious" should be rounded up and shot just like those little cripples on Little House on the Prairie. That why I always admired Da House. Anything they didn't like in that town, then ran straight the fuck out. No coming back on the Prairie. This is how our world should be. No patios.

I want a brick BBQ that sweats speed and pisses turpentine.

Hail the new dawn.

2. Lower your expectations.

Well this one is too god damn easy to be even be repeated. I want a castle sized BBQ. I realize that the moat surrounding it might be a little excessive. Just maybe. So in the end, if the BBQ kinda burns meat? That's fantastic! As long as it somewhat does something it was kinda designed to do, God will look down on it and proclaim that it is good. Or it is right. Something like that. Those god guys get all wordy and shit when it comes to eating meat. I think. Last time I read the bible I was amazed at how much the paper burns exactly like ZigZags so don't be looking for me when you wonder who farted in church. It ain't me. I am home watchin' Bull Durham wondering why it is OK for Kevin Costner to wear a garter belt in public and why my neighbors just call me a fag when I do it.

Rose goes in front, indeed.

3. Burn everything you can.

Trees, shrubs, rocks, grass, and even dirt. Anything that can soak up gasoline needs to be, neigh, begs to be, burnt.

So burn it.

m_hampink.jpgThis comes in handy when your neighbors ask you why you are cursing so much. Either the fire is too hot or the "god damn government won't let you burn your stuff on your shit!" The more anti-government rants in neighborhoods tend to bring a more cohesive unit of love and tenderness between the households. People love fires. People love rants. Bring out a copy of the Turner Diaries and you got the makings of pure rock fury.

Plus, people like to burn things.

4. Blood means you did something right.

Isn't this true with just about anything?

5. Cement is life's greatest Band-Aid.

And when I say Band-Aid, I don't mean that damn thing that went on the 80's. Bob Geldof. Man, that name seems too god damn creepy to be real. It kinda sounds like some sort of weird STD. "I gots me a case of the Geldof's." I guess that's when your cock gets drunk a lot and builds car bombs for the IRA. Or I guess it could be a football team. "The Galloping Geldof's!!" I wonder if you would be more scared than sad if you heard you had to play "The Geldof's"

Hell, I'd be scared.

They might get my dick drunk.

Stay tuned for more handy tips and helpful ideas to get your yard looking as good as it can be with Turtle

We Have A Date With The Underground Archives

April 26, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 48

I hate things that don't work out. I really hate when things just fall apart. Well, let me clarify that. I hate working on something for so long to get it to almost work out, almost perfect, then some stupid little thing ruins it all and crushes down what I were trying to accomplish. Like everything I have been trying to do all night was shot to shit cause some stupid insignificant detail! A god damn detail!!!!capt.ncash10103312014.castration_dungeon_ncash101-740836.jpg

Small details should not, NOT be held up to "The Big Picture". So what if I broke something? So what if I kicked his ass? The end was accomplished, right? Right? So what the high holy fuck are you doing pointing out some small mistake that happened along the way? Should that really be brought back into the picture after all was said and done? What kind of human being would do this? What kind of human being would I be if I took this??

This was not how America became the great country it is today. No sir god damn re-Bob. No one sweated the details. We just got the job done and asked the questions later.

If I can take something from nothing and get it almost perfect, shouldn't I get some little reward? Or should some small god damn detail bring my entire accomplishment down like a castle made of cards straight out god damn Hangtown?

I think America, and the world, for that matter, would be a better off place if we took a good look at our lives and what is going on around us before we actually fucked with anyone else about their little mistakes!!

My god!

I am never playing videogames again............

Turtle knows who designed this game and is kicking his ass next time he sees him.

We Have A Date With The Underground Archives

April 6, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 47

Part 4 of a series.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

So this was the way it was. This is where you end up. Or so I thought at the time. These were the people who couldn't quite commit to killing themselves quickly or slowly. They were the inbetweens. The ones who would have rather just lived lived their life in the great gray rather then going black.

cigarette11.jpgNo one was in there cause they cared. They were all put there by family or friends. Maybe it was their last way out and they took it.

It wasn't that way for me. It was just a break. A drinking timeout. That's what I thought of it. I knew there was no way in my life I could live sober. It just wasn't in my cards to deal with things on the straight and narrow. My whole life up to this point was just one reason after another to drink or use drugs. There was always something wrong in my life. Some reason I wanted to feel numb. If it wasn't wanting to feel numb cause my life sucked so bad, it was wanting to feel numb because I always felt numb. That's an interesting concept. I got high and drunk because I was depressed I was always high and drunk. Self respect was a thing of the past.

This hospital was strange. It wasn't loud. People looked happy. It didn't smell. Clean beds were new to me. Nice people were new to me.

This was new to me.

This place scared me.

I never let my cigarettes leave my side. No one would see the pack and no one would get them. What's mine is mine and you better be blood to have any. A left eye on you and a right eye on what's mine. That's a hard concept to understand for some people. You wake up and the only thing that you have to get you through the day alive is who you can lie to and what you have in your pockets. That is the way I lived. Smokes never left my side. Slept with a lighter. Always a couple bucks for that first forty. Always a smile and forked tongue for that first line and a mind that will never forget your name if you do me wrong.

That way of thinking wouldn't leave me in 28 days. It is still with me today.

So going into this place and being expected to trust people was a lost concept. Sure, I'll talk with these people. I'll get what I can, even if I didn't really want anything, then I'll leave. I'll get high again.

One of the stupidest reasons I never quit using before was because I could not talk while sober. Words would not leave my mouth. When I was drinking, I could. I could talk anything out of anyone. Be your best friend and take your last dollar. But when I was sober, things were different. Words escaped me. Sitting in a blank without an answer. It wasn't right. I wasn't right. My mind would focus on the past and I would ask myself questions. Was I ever able to talk? Was it always the drugs fueling my humor? Was that the only reason why people liked me? Was there ever a point in my life where I could carry on a conversation without a beer in me?

I could not think of a sober fun time I had. I could not remember anytime sober.

The drugs and alcohol were putting in one last fight. One last pull on my mind and body to try and tell me that without them, I would not be me. If they were going to go, they sure as shit weren't going out easy. In those first days, my mind was telling me that I needed a drink to forget that my drinking put me here in the first place. Wouldn't a few drinks and some cocaine be great right now? A few shots of well vodka and pint of Pabst to get started. A few lines in the bathroom and I'm off to play Golden Tee. Maybe some speed if I was too slow and maybe some dope when I wanted to sleep.

5013759286274548340.jpgA week long binge and I would be back here to get with the rest of the program.


There was something in my mind. Some voice. Something telling me to stay. Just a little whisper in the back of my head begging me to stay. Pleading with me. Telling me it would get better. I would come out of this shell. I would be able to talk again. I wouldn't be in a corner about to cry all day long. I wouldn't be hiding from people. Just give it a little more time. Please. One more day and things will get better. I would bargain with my brain and give it a few more hours. If it didn't get better by tomorrow, I was leaving. If I had to beg pills to get through another sleep, I was leaving. I didn't come in here to get hooked on another drug. If I hang my head down one god damn more time when a girl talks to me, I am leaving.

I'd heard stories about how you stop maturing when you start using drugs. That all those years where normal people did their growing up were lost on people like me. That we had to do it again. Maybe it was true. Maybe I was one of those people. Maybe I was just like a 14 year old. Maybe worse. All of the evidence was there. I wasn't responsible. I moved around constantly. I was totally immature. Maybe I was just a kid. Maybe I was afraid of girls.

This kind of thinking scared me.

It terrified me.

That wasn't me. That was the drugs again. Telling me this. Telling me that. Over and over. But the evidence was there. I had lived in some strange places and been friends with all kinds of seedy people but I had always been on something. Maybe I was only able to handle the things I did because I was using.

Maybe the drug was me.

And without it, I was nothing.

We Have a Date with the Underground Archives

March 29, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 46

Part 3 of a series.

Part 1
Part 2

I guess the first few hours weren't that bad. Well, yes they were. I was detoxing off the alcohol. That was bad. I guess what makes it worse is that I knew if I was sober for more than a few hours, I would probably seize up and be in the hospital. So my paranoia was slipping in to my head. Any kind of excuse to get a drink in me. When my body starts to sober up, a really weird feeling takes over me. As each minute passes by, my front teeth start to feel as if they are pushing out of my skull. It used to get really painful. Usually, I would seize up before the pain got too unbearable, but it was always a nice alarm clock in my head. When the pain gets too bad, I knew I would seize.

librium111.gifThat was one of the big reasons I had decided I wanted out of my life. When it seemed that I wasn't living my life on the edge anymore. Now I was over it. I guess I could compare my life right then to the last scene of Escape From New York. You remember that movie. Where Kurt Russell has a clock on his hand and if he doesn't get his fix before the timer hits zero a small explosion would happen inside of his brain killing him. That timer started about three hours after my last drink. Every time. Every day. That explosion was waiting in my brain.

That was the feeling right then. The pain was getting bad. I knew I had a few more hours in me before I hit the danger zone but from the look of the place I was in, I knew there was no vodka to be had. White walls and smiling faces. Fuck this. I was about to die and these assholes were asking me my name. Asking me if I was comfortable. If I needed to sit down. What would they say if I died right then? "You would never believe what happened to me today at work..."

Fuck that. They had seen it before. They had seen people like me before. Another face who tried to escape with the world's greatest eraser. Now they had to pick up the pieces. Albeit making a good profit, but I was nothing they hadn't seen before.

Then the questions came from them. What did I do. How much did I do. When was the last time I did. How long had I been doing it. All the while I was staring at the prohibition ads on the walls. From the 30's. I stared around the room. There had to be something around there to see other then to show the nurses my trembling hands. It was kind of like me showing off where I was at in withdrawing to them. A little proud, I guess. I needed to do something. Look around the walls some more. A picture of a beautiful girl with the words "Lips that taste wine will never touch mine" proudly displayed underneath her face. Geez. I needed out of there. I just needed a fucking gas station and a half hour alone. Then we can talk again. Just point me in the direction of the nearest town and we can talk later. I'll be back.

But, I wasn't there to leave. I wanted to stay.

I ran through my drug history to the doctors which is no big deal. Everyone lived like I did. I am still convinced of it. Well, not really. I know I went out of my way to do the things I did, but all of my friends did them too, so it never really felt strange. Didn't everyone start out their weeks like this? Getting high and staying high?

None of this admission crap would have been so bad if my mom wasn't there. That whole "we need you to be honest about your drug use" thing never really held much to me. Sure, I knew was an alcoholic and a drug addict. I really didn't care who knew it. Well, I did care about my mom knowing. Big ass bad motherfucker hanging his head down as I recited all of the drugs I used through out my life. What I still used and when I started this whole drug run.

I found out I really did care what others thought about me right at that moment. A single tear down my mom's face as I blurted out that I couldn't even take a shower earlier that morning without a bottle of vodka next to the sink.

That was low. Of all the words of hate that have been directed at me though out my years, nothing hurt as bad as the silence of a single tear.

180px-Klonopin1mg.jpgA red wristband was affixed to my arm as I was searched. Not like jail searched or anything like that, but they did find the pack of smokes I had on me. Didn't matter. I had another carton in my bag. About twelve different samples of my blood were taken. My teeth were ready to jump out of my skull. I had to say something. Fuck whoever was around to hear it. I just had to say it.

"Do you guys have any Librium or Klonos?"



It's pretty bad when you know detox drugs and have no shame in asking, or rather begging for them to give you what your body needs to stay around. Even in front of your mom.

"Yes we do."

"Could I get some?"

After that my teeth came back into my head and my breathing slowed down. Sure, I wasn't clean yet. Not by a long shot. But at least this was a start. Something at least.

And I had just gotten there.

We Have A Date With The Underground Archives

March 22, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 45

My story isn't unique....

Cigarettes weigh you down after awhile. You know you don't want to smoke but you just keep smoking because it is something to do with your fingers. I used to wake up in the morning hating this feeling. That feeling where your lungs felt as if someone kicked them because of a pack too many the night before. Now I enjoyed the pain. I was still foot deep in self destruction and self pity and maybe a good cancer scare was what I needed. Something other than feeling sorry myself. Anything other than that.

Camel2.jpgHere I was in a car hundreds of miles from home. My face pressed on the glass, savoring the coldness of it. There is no other way to describe the brutal reality of being driven away somewhere because you couldn't control yourself. Failure, maybe? You couldn't stop doing drugs and you couldn't stop drinking. You couldn't even live right and you had went so far as to believe that your life had actually ended about 10 years before. The rest of this was just some sort of cruel punishment. Someone's idea of a joke to watch you count change for a bottle of wine or a few lines of dope. Self respect was the first thing to go when you started shaking and you didn't want to be a victim of sobriety.

Now it had seemed like the joke stopped being so funny. It had stopped for me years ago, anyways. Now I felt like a shell of who I once was. I guess it is just an occupational hazard. Some die. Some disappear. Some get locked up. Some burn out. That was me. Burned out. Not yet enough of life to actually die but enough of it to just want to quit and fade away.

I was in a car. Listening to the highway pass under the wheels trying to get a few more hours of sleep. No sounds other than the street. Silence. The sad part about the whole thing was that I not only had to admit that I lost to myself, which was easy, but I had to do it to my mom and dad. Two people I had wrote off when I was still in my teens. They had no idea what I had become. I talked with them about twice a year. For all they knew I was successful and making money doing what I did. Unfortunately, they were just finding out that what I did was drugs and alcohol and they had to pick up the pieces.

"Hi mom. Remember me? I need to detox in your back room."

Doesn't really matter how I said it to her. I just remember saying it. When you have to look for your mother for the only hand of help, you know that you have lost all other routes of escape. Doesn't matter. She picked me up. Told me I stunk and let me try to detox at her house. By the second day, I think she realized that she couldn't handle it. She had friends. They took me in but they never left me alone to deal with myself. One thing my family or friends never understood about me was that when I want to get away and be alone, I really mean be alone. My dog is a rare exception of who can come along with me when I left for where ever the hell I used to go was. But now all the big houses I had hidden away at in the past were gone. All my hiding places had slipped away and I was left with one option. Mom's. Now she couldn't even handle me.

Detoxing is a pretty scary thing. The nights are your enemy. When normal people sleep. I lived in California where the liquor laws run til 2 AM so every night at 1:50, my body would violently fight my mind to get to the liquor store for that last fifth of vodka to get through the darkness. If it was past two, I would have to drive to Nevada. I didn't want to do that anymore. Sometimes those were parties unto themselves but not when you are detoxing. Or trying to anyways. Mumbles in your head move to voices then to screams ordering you to get that last drink before the last hour ends. But not tonight. Tonight is a sleep night. Not a drive to another state night.

long_long_road.jpgBut now it was over. Well, I thought it was over. I had made it through the night. By the time the sun was rising, I was heading to a rehab that is on late night TV ads. St. Helena. Seemed good and I had an in at the place that got me a bed. In all reality it was my mom who convinced me to go in. There were some other reasons, too. Maybe it was a girl who would give me once last chance if I just stopped this or that or maybe a friend who wouldn't stop thinking of me as an embarrassment and start talking to me again or maybe it would be my brain who let me forgive myself of all the things I had done in the past and all the people I hurt just living my life on my terms.

There had to be something. Obviously my body didn't want to die yet. If I really wanted to die, I am convinced I would have used a gun. I had enough of them stacked around my room. So it became clear to me later that I didn't really want out. Maybe just one more "poor me" bullshit to get everyone to forget what I did on a daily basis and to let them get some solace in the fact that "he had issues. That's why he drinks."

Doesn't matter why I was there. All that mattered is that there I was. Plastic bag in my hands with a couple cartons of smokes and some old clothes. Rehab. Great. Just great.

I was pretty happy about the fact that I had finally detoxed off most of the drugs I was on a day or so ago. Still had the alcohol running around in me but the worst was over for the harder drugs.

Now I just had to spend away 28 days.

28 sober days.

Like that would ever happen.

We Have A Date With The Underground Archives

March 15, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 44


How did it get like this?

I mean, I know how it got like this, but not really. Somewhere in there I missed a chapter in the book but that didn't surprise me. For the last ten years I had lived my life in a fog, so why would this be any different? Nothing I did surprised me anymore. Nothing anyone told me was a shock. What I did and what I saw seemed normal to me. Living like I did was what I did. Hell, for all I knew, it was what everyone did. All my friends did it. The ones that weren't upstate or all dead did anyways. This was the way it is and it was the way it always was.

Why was this different then?
The water poured down my back as I hung my head low. The steam fogged up the windows as I pissed down the drain of the shower. I tried to shake out the fog in my head but it wasn't leaving. The fog had found a home there. A friendly place that would try to get out of it. Embracing my brain so much that my last defense of talking my way out of things was left with mumbles and weak "ummmmsss....". Even the hot water couldn't stop me from shaking now. I knew I wasn't cold. I knew what was going on. Now I just had to hold on and hope for the best. I could manage to stand up straight in the water but anything after that, it was up in the air.

I gazed at all the sharp things in the bathroom. The razors, the edges of tables, broken mirrors and sharp glass. Everything in that bathroom could stop my pain. Anything if used the right way could end this. Why the hell should I go on anyways? I really had nothing in front of me. My life had pretty much run it course. For all I cared, that was it. My life had ended a few days ago. For some reason, doctors had pulled me back. I couldn't even kill myself right.

What had happened a few days ago? I was in a Buick trying to OD underneath an overpass. When I thought that wasn't good enough, I slashed open my wrists and pounded some more sleeping pills chased by a bottle of gin. Christ. Gin. I hated Gin, but I made myself buy it to punish myself in my last few hours. I needed to be alone for this. Too many cars. I wanted to be forgotten. I hid behind a dumpster in a seedy part of town and watched the blood turn my Levi jacket red. Not red. More like brown. Dripping down my arm making my arms wet like water. Drips. Sleep. Then cops. Then peace. This was it. They were too late. I had got out.

I thought I did.

Now I was just watching the steam from the shower. My left leg was the only sturdy one I had, so it had to do the walking. I picked my left leg up to move it out of the water. I remember it was my left leg. I thanked my leg for helping me while cursing at the other one for failing me. It was always my left leg that kept strong during the shit. The pins holding it together told me it had seen a lot and wanted more. My gaze peered over the tattoos on my leg as my mind remembered when and why I got them. What was the reason I have these on me. Nothing really made much sense to me. Just running my finger over my skin brought back thoughts of the last years of my life. Funny how tattoos can do that to you. A lifetime memory of one drunk night. Another memory of waking up in the street. That one was done somewhere in LA. Just more stories. Memories of which I wanted to go away.

I was sick of the self pity my brain was feeding me and alcohol did nothing but make it worse. It had been doing that for the last few years so why should it stop now? It didn't stop me from reaching for the bottle of vodka sitting near the sink. Nothing could stop me from that.

Even knowing where it would put me in my head didn't seem to phase me at all. The toothbrush on my tongue made me gag each time it ran up and down of it. Christ. How long had it been since I had eaten? It must have been up to four days now. If I looked straight up into the air while drinking, my mind would wander to another place and I could calm the gag reflex. Sometimes it would work. Sometimes it wouldn't. I just remembered that if I did throw up, my body would stop heaving enough to get two or three big gulps of vodka down. I could sneak the vodka in without my body knowing it. My stomach would stop hurting and I could go back into my room.

shower-tile2.JPGBut this wasn't my room I was looking at. It was somewhere else. Back in the somewhat normal life, I guess. Things were clean and bright. I guess I got away somewhere. But where? I was used to getting away when things got this bad, but this was different. Where was my dog? Where was my wallet? This wasn't my get away spot. This was mom's house. Totally naked, covered in blood and stitches, a wave of shame hit me. I don't feel shame, usually. Never really have, but this time it had hit me bad. I was sitting at my mother's house reeking like booze and chemicals. Detoxing with stitches hanging out of my wrists, I remembered being picked up behind a dumpster by the police. Something about me being a danger to myself. Librium and shaking off heads and hands. Then mom's house. Having a few pills left and a half bottle of vodka stuffed in my bag before I left my own home for the very last time.

"Just need to get away..."

Something happened in those last days. I still can only put together a few pieces and maybe it is really better that I forget what happened.

"How did this happen..."

My only thought.


No one was around me anymore. None of my friends. I picked though all the people I lost in my life and tried to put a blame on someone. Something had to do this to me. It couldn't be me. Not me. I was just having fun. I always had fun. Cause I always did.

Another heave hit me as I lost another gulp of vodka. It splashed on my leg as I stared at it drip into the carpet.

The bottle was almost empty.

This was it.

It was all over now.

The last of the vodka dripped down my throat. The last of the pills followed them down. I pulled up a bandage to cover my wrists. Put on my Levi jacket. Lighter shaking in my hand as I fired up another butt and walked out the door to never look back.

"Fucking crazy life...."

Part of me had died the other day in the alleyway. Behind that dumpster, some part of me did die.

I just had to figure out what part it was.


March 7, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 43

Building building building building.

I am in building mode now. I go through different phases in my life and right now, I seem to be in a building mode. Give me a few hours and a TV and pretty soon I will get bored and find something new to do. I mean, I guess it was inevitable that this time would come. I work night shifts doing network shit so during the day, I am pretty blah. Reminds me some of my old days when I would sit around all day trying to stay as sober as possible before the show. Cept now I don't really try to stay sober. It is just there. The sobriety thing, that is.

splash123.jpgSo since I don't spend away my days drunk and high, what to do to kill the hours before work starts? The History Channel is great and all, but if I see one god damn more Alaskan King Crabbing show I am going to fucking kill the Gorton's Fisherman and go after his kids next. So I need something to do. Easy. I build. It's what I do. Give me five minutes and I will think of a way to build anything that looks cool and works. See, that's the difference between me and a tweaker. I can put things together. They just pull things apart. But what to build? And how many things have I built in the past?

Michele is good at remembering things like this for me. She listens to me talk in my sleep and quizzes me on shit I did ten years ago every morning. Sometimes I think she knows more about me than I do. So since I am coming to the end of my latest project, more on that later, I thought it would be a good time to go through some of the cool things I have built for bands. Cause let's face it. Bands are broke by nature and anything you can get for free is So what the fuck. Some of these are legal and some not so legal and I will shorten this list to things that worked after I built them. To make this list even shorter, Michele will remind me of things I have built. Cause lord knows, I can't even remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday.

So let's start this out.

Rule of thumb. You need a band house. A band house needs a big backyard free of any kind of pool like stuff in it. Maybe a broken grill. Some of those red 16 ounce cups floating around in the stomped down grass. Kiddie pools are only to be used inside the house to cool beer, so no kiddie pools outside. Get the picture?

So you need to build a stage there. Lumber is cheap as free is you go into any construction site. And it is also a fun family outing for the kids. Steal some wood and put that together in the backyard. Now your band house is almost complete. I always wondered what the neighbors thought when we started a project like this. Banging away at like three in the morning. At least we weren't selling drugs. I am getting off topic. Band houses also need a name. Something along the lines of what the house would be called if it was alive. One of my houses was an old whore house from the 60's so hence the name. The Whore House. Build a stage in that sucker and you got it rolling like JJ on Good Times.

Now I am way off track.

After you play on the stage for a little bit, some people in the band, read drummers, might notice that their stuff begins to slide when they hit the bass drum too hard. Slip slip slip. You need something that holds that back. Carpet is for pussies so you have to move up to something mean and made of concrete. Steal a local parking curb you say? No. Too long. But what if you cut one in half? And how do you do that, you ask?

As with all major remodeling and reconstruction sites, you need about two eight balls of dope and some tweaks. Much like Bob Vila needs Norm Abram, I need my tweakers and speed. Better than nails. Give them some dope and a hammer and soon enough, you have a small piece of curb that hold back the drums nicely while not busting your balls to lift. You need to give this curb a name also. Mine was called the Eradicator! a la KITH, but that is a different story.

So now all you need is medical tape and you have yourself a cool backyard with some cheap as free new things to break!

I've also built a lot of pieces for silk screening shirts and fliers, but I have to wait till Michele reminds me of how I did that to explain it more to you.

lost my headAs for my new projects, which are almost done, I decided my room was too boring and needed some Go-Go dancers in cages hanging above my bed. So I went out and got a bunch of chicken wire and $0.99 Mexican made Barbies. These girls light up my life. Dancing away the nights while scaring anyone who looks at them.

Also, I needed some room for my CDs so I built a new CD rack. The first idea was a CD rack that was made up of entirly of Carlos Rossi wine jugs which would have been fucking cool. But, after much deliberation with Michele about how to get the empty wine jugs (yes there was a thought of asking FTTW to drink wine for Turtle and send the jugs to me.) I decided to go with naked dolls with their heads cut off.

Sure, it is a different look than what I was going for but what the hell. - T

(you can see the rest of the photos of the new projects as soon as michele's computer is fixed)


March 1, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 42

I am starting to get in a rut. I can feel it. I don't like routines. I think that is why I like taking off once in awhile and just checking out new places. Maybe just to break the routine and get away. I would say it is because I have a short attention span and I get bored easily but I think America as a whole likes to say anyone who is a little different has a short attention span and is all too quick to give them some sort of psychotropic and brand them with a "cured" label. So I won't do that. I just get bored.

DSCN0605L.JPGMaybe that is why when I used to go on the road a lot, I needed to get away at the end. Well, maybe there were some other reasons for getting away but I think one of the main reasons was because I was bored. Maybe tired and bored. I will be the first to say that there is nothing like the feeling of seeing home after you have been away for a few months. I mean really, seeing that crest of your hometown after hours upon hours of just driving on unknown roads to get to godforsaken clubs takes a toll on you after awhile. I had a friend who used to say that the road was 23 hours of hell. I never thought of it as hell. It was more like 23 hours of blah. But what else can you do? You have to do those other hours in the day just for the one hour of heaven. Sounds cheesy. Really it does. Sit and waste away a day in a van playing gin rummy and seeing how many rest stops you can pass before someone needs to piss or you run out of beer. It gets old really fast. You can be on the road with your best friend but at the end, no matter who they are, you need to get away from them.

Well, I did.

Kind of like I am feeling right now. Not getting away from Michele but getting away from this routine for a few weeks with her and just going on vacation. Maybe Tahoe. In the old days, it was never any issue. I would get back home and toss my gear in a studio and I was off for a vacation. Stop at the liquor store to load up on driving beer, stop at my house and grab my dog and pay my rent. After that, I was off.

It was always the same place. I would always drive to one of my friends houses in Tahoe and just be alone. Well, not alone. I would have a dog. And my beer. But after that I was pretty much alone. Oh. I would have my golf clubs too. Usually. But I would never get around to playing. I had good intentions but playing golf would involve me talking to people and since I was barely above the level of making grunting noises to my dog, human interaction was a definite no no. Besides, this was off time. Golf is not an off time game. Watching "Cops" on TV is an off time game. Not golf.

One of my best memories of getting away was about 10 years ago. I had just driven across a lot of the country. Nothing incredible really happened on that trip but I was sick of everything. Sick of the bullshit that goes along with seeing the same people everyday. It is kind of strange. You see many different people everyday but after awhile, the only ones who register in your mind are the same ones you see everyday. Everyone else is just a blur or some detail that was either helping you or hindering you in whatever you were trying to get done. That is a really hard concept to explain. All I know is that when you get to that point, you need to get out and put yourself in some sort of isolation chamber just to slow down the fucking world and get everything right again. Be it a few cases of beer and an alcoholic coma for a few weeks or standing naked outside BBQing some fish, you just need to get away.

ranch-bck-trail2-384fx.jpgI was lucky when I ran away. Coming from where I did, going back to my real home was kind of out of the question. I was lucky enough to have a few friends with places hidden up in Tahoe so going there to escape was really a blessing. No one around for a mile or so my nudity and love of BBQ came out as I taught those fish a lesson on what it means to be cooked. Maybe it was the solitude or being surrounded by nothing but trees for miles around that did something to me. The trees weren't asking me for gas money or my last drink tickets so they were cool. The dog just wanted whatever kind of fish I was eating that night so she was cool and my beer just wanted to be in my tummy so they were cool. Everything was pretty mellow and the only time I had to talk was when the TV was talking shit to me or I ran out of cigarettes or beer. Everything else was just a detail. I know it was weird but it was what I did. After a few weeks of the house phone ringing and people trying to find me, I would get bored of the silence and come back home. Back to the routine of what I did before I made the great escape. The dog would go back to sleep on my bed and I would resume socializing again. Get my pool game back up to speed and settle back into another routine.

So in this rambling post I just want to get the point across that humans need a little break every once in awhile but too much of a break starts too suck cause there are only so many times you can watch your friends get arrested on "Cops" before it stops being funny.


February 21, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 41

Car week, eh?

What can I say about car week. Cars are cool. I've worked on them a lot in my life. Not like "Joe Mechanic" type of working. More like "let's get drunk and see if this works" type of car repair. See, if you have about four people who kinda know what they are doing it almost equals one person who really knows what they are doing. This is of course just my theory but it seems to have been true in all of the situations I have been in.anarchy.gif

Take last week. I was getting some transmission fluid with Michele for her car. I had been told that brake fluid works just as well as actual transmission fluid and it is a lot cheaper. This is where my "what the hell" attitude comes in. I grabbed a can of it. If it were my car, I would have bought it cause I swear I have done it before. I have used it. I know I have. I mean I really, really remember putting brake fluid in before as transmission fluid. I can still see myself doing it all those years before. But, since it wasn't my car, I did the responsible (read "pussy") thing and made a few text messages to try and get the real answer.

As usual, no one answered my texts so we went ahead and bought the transmission fluid. Turns out you can't use brake fluid as transmission fluid. Hell if I knew. I thought I saw that in some movie, too. A lot of things I do on my car I get from movies. I still remember using urine as a radiator coolant cause Mr. Patrick Swayze did it in Red Dawn. I think I even know how to hot wire a car cause Ice T said something about it in "6 In The Morning". Something like black wire touches red, the car is mine. So I am pretty sure I could boost a car if I have too.

Same thing goes with stilling grain alcohol. While not directly related to cars, I still think it is a pretty good thing to know how to do. I've seen Mr. Edwards do it so many damn times on Little House on thePrairie you could call me Mr Fucking Turtle Daniels. I could be that big. All with the help of my TV friends.

What most people miss is that TV and movies have so much to teach those average everyday destructo bots called humanity that it is just shocking. Fuck the Anarchists Cookbook and give me a couple episodes of the A-Team. Me and B.A. will make a tank out of a couple rusty cans and still find a way to get high off of earwigs by the end of the night. All within one hour. And we would have a cool soundtrack, too.

Maybe there should be an auto class called something like "MacGyver 101." That's when the teacher gives you a broken down car and some chewing gum and tells you to get it working by the end of the semester. See, I would be good at that. I would take the car battery out, a couple of wires and a headlight. Make a connection and I would have a light working! The teacher didn't tell us what we had to get working. Just "it". See. Right there. Thinking outside the box. Easy "A" in that class. Plus I would still have the stick of gum for later.chong9.jpg

Siphoning gas tanks is also, in my opinion, just a way to laugh at people who have never done it. In the days of yore, I was in an oldCadillac one night in the backwoods of some California road. Late night with more than a few chemicals running through me. Just a few friends and no gas No gas station in site. But we did see an old farm house in the distance. Like a Charles Manson type of farmhouse. I walked up to the door and banged on it demanding "fuel so I too could experience the American Dream". God knows what I said but it was something like that. An old guy answered the door and looked us over real slow and gave that kind of high pitched slow "I am going to kill you" giggle. Pointing at his lawn mower, he told us that was all he had.

We had a hose and an idea. I was going to get that gas out of the tank of mower. Cause I saw Cheech and Chong do it. So I know how to. I proceeded to put the tube in the tank and give that lawn mover the mightiest blow job it had ever had. Suck. Spit. Suck. Spit. I mean really, it looks funny when you are actually sucking off an engine. All it needs is some little metal balls to massage while I deep throat the Lil' Snapper and we have the workings for some kind of engine fetish video. Doesn't help to have three drunks behind you making jokes relating to money shots.

Well we got the gas out and I got sick. Gas has an awful taste. Spitting bits of saliva out of my mouth the rest of the night while hearing dick jokes is nothing Mr. T or Mr. Patrick Swayze would have tolerated.


I just drank another beer.

So anyways.

I like cars.


February 12, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 40

Local music newspapers are so naive. Or maybe they are so much fun. Or maybe they don't care. Whatever the cause may be, I love me some local newspapers. They can be your biggest friends.Just get a few people on the staff who love you and watch what happens.

The only reason I bring this up is cause of all the voting on FTTW lately reminded me of a thing that happened a few years ago in a different town that had to do with voting. And me. And a local paper. Funny how FTTW reminds me of a lot of things I once thought forgotten.

Anyways, in was a rebuilding time in the town. Bands were rediscovering fans and in most cases drugs as well. Hm. Let me explain this a little better. After some bands got big, they decided to change the rules and bands broke up. It happens. So there were a lot of unstable bands around just filling time with gigs before they found something new they liked. So "super groups" formed.. Fans knew who these people in these side projects were and some of those side projects became big. Well sometimes.

newsVotingBaker112.jpgHere is where the newspapers come in. The town I was in knew about a few of the bands and decided that they would hold a yearly contest. The best bands of allgenres type of thing. Just really a popularity contest. Best rock, best punk, best metal, etc. You guys can get the rest. So the guys at the paper decided to put some of these bands on the ballot. The thing was that this paper modeled the awards after a real big California award show for local bands. They tried to use this other award shows format and by this I mean a free newspaper with a ballot inside of them. You fill the ballot out and that was it.

Problem was, when it came to alternative bands on the list, there were one or two on there that pretty much were signed and rich and really not living in the same state anymore. I mean these guys were still cool and still hung around but they pretty much had made it big and only came to hang around every so often. They kinda made big.

Soooo this is where the paper story comes in. We knew that the best punk category was going to be a wash. Best alternative band was gone, too. Two bands that are still huge today had those slots and no one was going to take them away. But the thing is that this award show was a joke. Most people knew that almost everyone on the ballots didn't even live around locally anymore so what the fuck? The bands didn't need the press. They didn't care.

So some of the bands that was just a small side project made it on the vote. No one knew who they were except for people who knew them from the music scene. So we formed a plan.

Now when I say no one cared, you have to remember that yes, some people cared about who won this thing. So maybe I should change that. Some people cared about who won, but it sure as fuck wasn't us. We just wanted to fuck things up. So with the help of our newspaper friends, we got about 2,500 pre-filled ballots and handed them out in stacks to some of our weirdest friends. See, we had them all filled out for one of these bands. The ones no one had heard of.

So off everyone went. To bars, coffee shops, restaurants, bingo halls, churches, anywhere and everywhere people gathered. Just to get these things signed. It was a shitload of fun. The 2,500 were signed in under a week.

We needed more. Cause this was just too much fun. Drunk people wandering into malls harassing people for their names on a piece of paper to "support your local music scene, god dammit." We had them filled out for the write in bands. The spot were you could write in your own bands were filled in. Christian bands were written in for the Death Metal category. Best vocalis tnominees were written in for best Industrial band.

And off another stack went to be signed.

Basically we just fucked the whole thing up.

A common theme for us.

Cad73.jpgSo award night came around and off course everyone who had done this ended up in a bar rather than go to the ceremony. I mean fuck it. Most people just were happy with reading about what was going to happen in tomorrows paper. But not me. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to go pick up the award. Well, whichever one we had one. Who knew at this point. So shitfaced drunk in a Cadillac with three strippers, I cruised down to the theater to get the awards. Some of the other bands nominated were on tour and therefore not around, so I designated myself and the girls as their official awardreceiver . So we had it made. The paper had made the ballots. The fans had got the ballots signed and really, no one cared. I just wanted to see what would happen.

I stumbled out of the theater after we lost each and every one we had cheated for.

What the hell happened? We had so many votes. We cheated for two weeks straight to get this award, any award "no one cared about" and we fucking lost. It just blew my mind.

I walked back out to the Cadillac car and hoped in the back with the last of my vodka. We all headed back to the bar to give everyone the bad news.

A few days later, I ran into one of the bands that did win an award. I really don't know what category they won for and really I don't remember caring about it that much anymore. I did want to know one thing though. How the hell did they win? We had fucking everyone signing our ballots. I know I signed at least 200 hundred myself so how did they do it?

"We sent the drummer to Kinko's with about 50 signed ballots and he photocopied about 10,000."


That must of cost a shitload of money.

"Well, we wanted to win, dude."


Some people did care.

Fucking weirdos.


February 5, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 39

The 80's.

This was the decade I grew up in. The West Coast was the place to be for punk rock. Second generation punk rock? I guess if you have to give it a name, that would be the closest you could get. All the bands like X, Black Flag, and FEAR were fading out. Darby Crash was dead. That scene had kinda been in the sun to long and it was just waiting for someone new to take it back. And we did.

Well that is my take on how it happened. But fuck, as it has been said before, I do have a strong bias to California punk rock. What's funny is that my favorite band at the time came out of Texas and transplanted to San Francisco but I forgave them for that.bathroom1.jpg

So here they came. Band after band every night of the week. There were so many bands, LA was broken up into cities. Which was weird cause I was just used to "from LA" or "from OC" on fliers but now I had to get used to all of the subdivisions of LA. Fuck that. And don't even ask me how Nardcore fit into all that cause that was just confusing.

Well anyways. That's another story.

This was an innocent time of LSD and speed. Back when we were just seen as a waste of time and we were rebelling against anything you had. Skateboarding was a crime and Tony Hawk was a homo for wearing pads as he skated. Mile High ramp was the place to be in Tahoe and small clubs were picking up on every other block only to be closed down two weeks later. A new warehouse was opened to the public called the Gilman and MRR wasn't packed with a bunch of dickhead writers yet. It was kind of cool.

So being in a band at that time was like owning a skateboard. You had to do it.

The reason I started playing bass was simple. It was there. In a garage. No, I didn't play it cause I like the sound or cause it was the backbone of the band and no, I didn't play it cause all the chicks dug bass players. It was just there. I started out singing but I got tired of that when I figured out I would actually have to memorize lyrics. Screw that. I mean, I love the way my voice sounds miced out over the neighborhood but I hated that "write something fast" thing singers have to deal with. So I grabbed the bass. Ran it through one of the guitar amps sitting around and I was good.

Well, we ran everything through guitar amps back then.

It was a white Squire. I think they still make those. And really, it was crappy. But, it worked back then. A perfect cheap bass with plenty of places for stickers. So I took it home. After a few hours of playing it, the blisters came a knockin'. My brother told me to just keep playing cause "it was a punk rock thing to do." So I did. The clear plasma dripped off of my fingers for a few days but it slowly stopped and came back as hard as nails fingertips.

I was a bass player. Not a very good one but one none the less.

As those days went on, more people in bands joined the audience side of the stage and the players thinned out. Rooms with equipment became garages full of equipment and weekday jams turned into late night shows.

So I like the 80's.

They taught me how to make choices when there was no good decision.


January 29, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 35 again

I've been trying to pick up an old instrument lately but it seems there is some weird force that keeps stopping me from learning how to play clarinet. Something missing or broken or whatever. Who knew these things needed reeds? And ligatures? Fuck me, looks like I am heading back to the music store. Hey, I found an instrument in the garage and decided it was time to learn a new thing. So this year will be my learning to play the woodwinds year. What the hell. I think it would be a cool thing. Electric Clarinet. electric clarinet.jpg

Think about it.

While I was looking for parts and cords to get this thing amped, I thought back on something. Anyone who plays anything, especially miked, knows what a pain in the ass it is to have all this equipment lying around your house. So today, I thought I will rate the main instruments in a band and how well they stack up against my rating scale. Meaning, if I can watch TV while they are in the same house. More specifically, on my sofa.

It is a 1 to 5 scale.

1 being that I can sit on a sofa with them and still hear the TV.

5 being that I can't sit in the same house and hear the TV.

Feel free to add any or tell me I am wrong.


Drummers don't have much of a problem with leaving shit around. When a stand or cymbal is broken it is usually in the garbage in a few days. Or being creatively used for some kind of TV stand. Every once in awhile you will step on a screw with your bare feet, but as a whole, they aren't that bad. Just kiss off a small corner of your house and everything else is cool. Plus, when drummers practice in front of your TV, all you can hear is them hitting pillows. Much better for my TV watching purposes. And what else can you buy for a drum set? You aren't going in to the music store every other day to get some picks or strings. Maybe you will get a UPS package every once in awhile with a cymbal in it. So no big deal. The hardest thing I have ever had to snag for a drummer was a parking curb to stop his drum from sliding. The only reason I helped him with this is cause we got to skate on it in the house when he wasn't using it. Usually drummers are on the same note as you, too. When a good show comes on, they can figure it out and shut up.

I give them a 3.

no mic.jpgSingers

I don't think singers practice and really, if a singer started bellowing out something in the middle of my living room, it would look a little weird. Singers only have egos that they toss around and I'm not going to trip over that as I walk to fridge in the middle of the night. So while they don't scream during shows, they tend to have big mouths and because of said mouth, they sometimes interrupt important dialogue of "Little House." And that’s a bad thing cause someone may go blind and you might fucking miss it. Pretty simple. No microphone, no sound.

I give them a 2.

If "Little House" is on, I change my rating to a 4.


Bass players are perfect. No one else can get your shit running tight and fast, keep a cool head and hold the band together. Except drummers. Most of the drummers I have known can build almost anything you want with anything they have. Bass players are the exact same. Give me a few 2x4's and I'll build you a castle as long as you shut up and keep out of my way. Besides, bass players won't sit in front of your couch and play for hours while watching "24". This is a big plus in their corner. Most of the times, bass players are focused on what we need to do right fucking now to get through this situation so if they happen to be trying to get through an episode of "Andy Griffith" you know damn well they will be focused on that TV till Otis passes out or Barney is dead. They will get through the next half hour. What breaks next, meh, deal with it when it happens.

I give them a 1. My best rating. guitarsofa.jpg


I've saved the best for last.

The worst offenders of this are guitarists. Christ, they have junk everywhere. Maybe I was blessed with the things I play, but Jesus, can you guys at least throw away broken strings? And you might want to figure if you know how to replace a pickup before you rip your guitar apart because I am sure as shit not going to help you replace that. Guitarists buy shit and leave it around. They don't get rid of old shit. Rather, you get new beer coasters on your table every time they go to a music store. And, as god as my witness, I can't stand someone unplugged, sitting on my couch, playing some never ending solo while I am watching TV. Listen asshole, the headphones don't work. I still hear it. And yes. Yes I did hear you nail that. No. No you don't have to play it again for me. I heard it the first 15 or so times. Besides, "24" is coming on. Shut up.

I give them a 5. My worst rating.

So in the end, I think it is pretty obvious to all that guitarists are a pain in the ass when it comes to watching TV and fixing things they broke.

Stay tuned for my woodwind rating scale that will be posted when I learn how to play my new clarinet. - T


January 22, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 38

I got a new job. Yay me. Unfortunately it is a 3rd shift type of job. That basically means I'll be working 4 PM til 1 AM. Not that big of a deal, but it will take some getting used to. For the last few years, I have pulled the normal daytime shift at jobs, but because of the new move and new job opportunities, I have to do what I do at a different time. No big deal. But, this time flip did remind me of a few things. The way I used to be. This change won't be that hard because I have done it most of my life. But the big question remains. That question that I used to live with everyday for year long stretches.

What the hell do I do during the day?

It is the same question that plagued me when I was playing every night. What do you do? You have to realize that most people do work normal jobs, so they won't want to sit around all day and get fucked up or watch "The Price Is Right" with you, so what do you do?

Back when I played in a band, it was easy. Wake up and drink a few beers then go back to bed. Just sleep until about three then start drinking again. Find some drugs then get ready for the show. Kind of a formula. It was pretty easy as long as you didn't mind being in a perpetual haze from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall down. Which I really didn't really mind at the time. Play the show and then get to where you had to be for the next show. Crash out then wake up and drink a few beers then do it again. One plus one equals type of shit. Really easy. .pool132.gif

Obviously, in that kind of job, your sobriety isn't really a big issue. I could stumble onto the stage and everything would be OK. Maybe I would get a little shit from the rest of the band but most of the time they were as fucked up as myself. As long as I showed up, I would get paid. Maybe not paid well, but enough to get me through the next day

Now, I am sober. Been that way for a long time. So the "sleep all day in a perpetual alcohol coma" thing is over. I really don't think my new boss would take too kindly for me showing up to an IT position barely coherent. It just doesn't seem like that type of a job. I am pretty sure I won't get laid at the end of the shift, either. There will probably be no after work parties. So I guess it is good I don't drink anymore. Well, it is really good I don't drink or do drugs anymore or I wouldn't be sitting here with you guys but the time question remains.

What to do during the day?

I don't really feel like doing the daytime AA thing. Those usually turn into all day coffee shop things and really, I don't like people enough to sit and play chess with them all day with my hand shaking from too much caffeine. And I can only masturbate so many times before I start to get kinda sore and I can only work on FTTW a few hours before I start to fall apart. One good thing, well the thing that will save me during this transitional period is the that the new place I am moving into has a pool and a pool table and a bunch of musical instruments. That will kill a few hours. Not sure if my new roommate knows about my tattoos but what the hell, he looks cool. Looks like I'll have to tell him about my nudist thing, too....

So what does this all mean?

Well it just hit me last night.

Right now it seems like everything is the same as it was 15 years ago minus the drugs and alcohol. I fuck around all day on a pool table waiting to go to work.

It really is weird because I am supposed to be stable now. No late nights and sleepless days killing time trying to make the big hand go faster. If this is the way all of the IT guys work around here, maybe the way I used to live wasn't so different after all.

Who knows.


January 15, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 37

Moving sucks. There is no other way to put it. You have to do it sometimes if you want to get where you want to go. And even then it is really where you think you want to go. Moving is pretty easy for me. The first few times of moving to a different city are a little scary. Things are not going to work out in the way you want them to but they will work out anyways. That is a hard concept to get but once you do get it, it makes everything easier

A few things came up this weekend about where I have lived and why I moved and all that kind of stuff so I thought I would break down the types of individuals I have found in the world that are in bands.

To put it simply, there are people who are full time musicians and people who have day jobs. Everyone knows that. The hard part about being either one is that day. That one day where you have to decide which one you are. It's easy to make the decision if you have no strings or anything like that, but let's face it, a lot of the time you have to give up a whole lot to get where you want to be. And if that "where you want to be" is just another possibility, it makes it that much harder. What if you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend and you are going to have to move 700 miles away to keep going in this band? What if you have an OK job and by moving, you have to start working in a warehouse again? To start over? What if you have nowhere to go? What if you really start hating each other?moving.gif

I guess it really comes down to if you believe in something or not. It would be great if everyone lived in a town that already had a music scene that was big and was your type of music. But in reality, it doesn't happen that much. You have to go to that scene. Some scenes got lucky and for some reason or another got noticed on a large scale, but really, you have to go where it is happening. All I know is that where I came from, moving wasn't really an option. It was a reality that we would have to face someday.

This is where it sucks to be the "safe man." The man who needs his security and needs to know what is going to happen the next day. Having a place to stay is nice, but hell, we all have lived on sofas before. So what if you do move? What if nothing works out? What if in six months you come back as a failure with nothing to show but a few more addictions and some huge debt that your ex girlfriend ran up cause you forgot to cancel the credit cards that you had been living off of for the last two months?

That reality faces everyone when they move. There is no way around it. Getting a job before hand usually helps but really, by moving you are putting yourself at survival level for the love of your music before the comforts of, well, things like eating. Tell me how many bands haven't done the soup kitchen celebrity or happy hour bar hopping just to eat for the day.

It is really lame when you get something like a good guitarist who won't move with the band because he or she is making a decent living at their day job. Or has a girlfriend. Or whatever. Really splits the band up when you want to take it to the next level. It's hard to practice everyday when you live five hours away from each other. Or even two. So you have to decide.

It is in that moment when you can define who wants to just be in a band after work and who wants to be the band everyday.


January 1, 2007

we have a date with the underground, chapter 36

This is the last New Years story and since everyone, well most everyone, is hungover and not reading this today, I might as well go out with a bang. First of all, there have been some great New Years stories over the past few weeks on FTTW. Some funny, some amazing and some sad but they have all been great. If you haven't read them, I would take a few a few minutes and go back over them. There are some amazing people here with a lot of great stories.

But enough about that. Let's get back to getting fucked up at shows and almost getting killed! The fun stuff. This one goes back to those crazy dot com years in San Francisco. Paper millionaires and stupidity. Where everyone knew it wouldn't last but really didn't care.

You remember those days.

For weeks I'd been seeing my friends get jobs. Not just jobs, good jobs. I really didn't understand it. Well, I understood it enough to know that something was going on. No one would ever want these people to work for them unless something was going on, right? They were alcoholics and drug addicts but for some reason they were all being hired at tech places for reasonable money. When I say reasonable, I mean above minimum wage. Sure, we were all still broke, but these jobs put them in contact with the top people in the industry. Top people in the industry means more opportunities for us. And we all know that computer dorks always wanted to be cool and hang out with the band guys.*

* That theory might not be true, but it's my story and I have to rationalize it somehow.sfapart.jpg

We used to go into these "new" buildings where they worked late at night and see all this stuff. Stuff. It was weird. What was once an abandoned warehouse was now a huge office complex filled with those computer like things and little offices. What was once rats and homeless people was now servers and workstations. The stench of urine was now masked by the exhaust of brand new SUV's.

Very strange times.

But, as usual, we had to get in on it.

Private parties, and not so private parties, pretty much were an every night thing. If some company went IPO, booze was passed around and a party was started. And these things happened weekly.

One night we had played some show and were invited to three or four after parties to keep going. More music. Different people in the band. Really stopped mattering at that time. This was a weekend party that ended on New Years Day or sometime that week. Don't ask me cause back then, the party really never stopped. Just slowed down to mind numbing speeds until we hit the pass out stage. Then the party kinda died for us.

But back to the party I was talking about. We walked in to this huge house. Champagne everywhere with piles of cocaine in the back room. Bottles hard alcohol were set up everywhere. Pills being passed around. Don't ask me if I imbibed. I did.

Someone noticed that my friend was stealing things from the bar and we were thrown out. Packed full of stolen booze and loaded with drugs, we hit a MUNI and just drove around until we found another party. It was somewhere downtown. Some renovated area. That's all I remember about the location. Somewhere I had never been. I knew that at least. I walked up the stairs to where we supposed to be going when a raindrop hit me. But we were inside. More rain. Someone must be spitting on me. We were inside. I looked up. The entire roof had a huge hole in it. It's hard to describe the way it looked. The actual apartments circled the building with a garden in the middle and a hole so the sun could get in cut out of the roof. Fuck if I know. I had never seen anything like that before.

Well, we got into the building and it was huge and all that. More drugs and more booze. We were thrown out within a few minutes. Duh.apt03.jpg

I do know we took the party in a big samba line up to the top of the roof to throw bottles at all of the people way down on the streets below. Yes, we were kinda of dicks back then. Shit was going crazy on the streets and the roofs were getting filled with people. So many people that cop helicopters were circling a row of buildings we were all on. So we did the rational thing and started jumping rooftop to rooftop to check out the other parties. It was about five or so stories up and we just went cruising along. All I really remember was the "whoosh" of air as I cleared alleyways. Then the "thud" when I hit the next roof and landed in the tiny pebbles that covered each of them. By the time I was running out of breath, my face looked like a pin cousin from all the rock scrapes on my face.

I turned around and went the other way. Back to the original party. See, I had really had enough. This was fun, but I could tell my body was giving out and I needed to be on the street before I went down. Back down there. To relative safety.

I cleared about three buildings. Not all at one time, but you know what I mean. The original party was still going strong. My friend was chasing me. Almost racing. I hit the last wall and looked back at him. He was running harder. Laughing at him, I accelerated and cleared the final wall. One look back at him with a laugh. Suddenly. my neck tightened. My legs pulled out from underneath me.

I was tackled.

I looked up to see what happened. He tackled me from a full sprint. My body dragged about three feet in the tiny pebbles before I came to a standstill on the ground. Behind me was him, holding my legs and yelling at me. In front of me was the open roof. Five floors down to the garden. I was running right for it and he tackled me. Didn't even see it.

So that pretty much ended the night.

Of course, a few months later the stock market crashed and everyone became unemployed again, but hey hell, it was fun while it lasted.

Happy New Year everyone.


December 25, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 35

It's the end of the year. I am sure everyone else in here has already said merry whatever to you guys. And if they haven't yet, they will tomorrow and probably all this week so I better get in on it.

Merry Christmas or whatever else you celebrate.

But, let's move on.

The end of the year has always made me kinda think of things like, well, the end of things. Even though it really isn't the end it seems like it. Just another day on the calendar.

I've been trying to pick up an old instrument lately but it seems there is some weird force that keeps stopping me from learning how to play clarinet. Something missing or broken or whatever. Who knew these things needed reeds? And ligatures? Fuck me, looks like I am heading back to the music store. Hey, I found an instrument in the garage and decided it was time to learn a new thing. So this year will be my learning to play the woodwinds year. What the hell. I think it would be a cool thing. Electric Clarinet. electric clarinet.jpg

Think about it.

While I was looking for parts and cords to get this thing amped, I thought back on something. Anyone who plays anything, especially miked, knows what a pain in the ass it is to have all this equipment lying around your house. So today, I thought I will rate the main instruments in a band and how well they stack up against my rating scale. Meaning, if I can watch TV while they are in the same house. More specifically, on my sofa.

It is a 1 to 5 scale.

1 being that I can sit on a sofa with them and still hear the TV.

5 being that I can't sit in the same house and hear the TV.

Feel free to add any or tell me I am wrong.


Drummers don't have much of a problem with leaving shit around. When a stand or cymbal is broken it is usually in the garbage in a few days. Or being creatively used for some kind of TV stand. Every once in awhile you will step on a screw with your bare feet, but as a whole, they aren't that bad. Just kiss off a small corner of your house and everything else is cool. Plus, when drummers practice in front of your TV, all you can hear is them hitting pillows. Much better for my TV watching purposes. And what else can you buy for a drum set? You aren't going in to the music store every other day to get some picks or strings. Maybe you will get a UPS package every once in awhile with a cymbal in it. So no big deal. The hardest thing I have ever had to snag for a drummer was a parking curb to stop his drum from sliding. The only reason I helped him with this is cause we got to skate on it in the house when he wasn't using it. Usually drummers are on the same note as you, too. When a good show comes on, they can figure it out and shut up.

I give them a 3.

no mic.jpgSingers

I don't think singers practice and really, if a singer started bellowing out something in the middle of my living room, it would look a little weird. Singers only have egos that they toss around and I'm not going to trip over that as I walk to fridge in the middle of the night. So while they don't scream during shows, they tend to have big mouths and because of said mouth, they sometimes interrupt important dialogue of "Little House." And that’s a bad thing cause someone may go blind and you might fucking miss it. Pretty simple. No microphone, no sound.

I give them a 2.

If "Little House" is on, I change my rating to a 4.


Bass players are perfect. No one else can get your shit running tight and fast, keep a cool head and hold the band together. Except drummers. Most of the drummers I have known can build almost anything you want with anything they have. Bass players are the exact same. Give me a few 2x4's and I'll build you a castle as long as you shut up and keep out of my way. Besides, bass players won't sit in front of your couch and play for hours while watching "24". This is a big plus in their corner. Most of the times, bass players are focused on what we need to do right fucking now to get through this situation so if they happen to be trying to get through an episode of "Andy Griffith" you know damn well they will be focused on that TV till Otis passes out or Barney is dead. They will get through the next half hour. What breaks next, meh, deal with it when it happens.

I give them a 1. My best rating. guitarsofa.jpg


I've saved the best for last.

The worst offenders of this are guitarists. Christ, they have junk everywhere. Maybe I was blessed with the things I play, but Jesus, can you guys at least throw away broken strings? And you might want to figure if you know how to replace a pickup before you rip your guitar apart because I am sure as shit not going to help you replace that. Guitarists buy shit and leave it around. They don't get rid of old shit. Rather, you get new beer coasters on your table every time they go to a music store. And, as god as my witness, I can't stand someone unplugged, sitting on my couch, playing some never ending solo while I am watching TV. Listen asshole, the headphones don't work. I still hear it. And yes. Yes I did hear you nail that. No. No you don't have to play it again for me. I heard it the first 15 or so times. Besides, "24" is coming on. Shut up.

I give them a 5. My worst rating.

So in the end, I think it is pretty obvious to all that guitarists are a pain in the ass when it comes to watching TV and fixing things they broke.

Stay tuned for my woodwind rating scale that will be posted when I learn how to play my new clarinet. - T


December 18, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 34

I'm from California. That's pretty much there is to say about how I feel about the weather. Anytime anyone around here asks me if I am cold, the only answer I usually give is "I'm from California."

That means "Why yes, I think this place is cold."

The reason I bring this up is because I don't live in California anymore. And I have come up with a theory. Everywhere else in the world is too fucking cold. That's all I have to say about this one. The shitty part is that bands have to tour in any kind of weather. Like fucking mailman, we must go through. I remember looking at these press pics from bands on the East Coast. They all were wearing Levi's and short sleeved shirts. Well, I am here to say that is bullshit. This place is cold. I think all those shots were to fool people like me into touring the East Coast. It is just a theory thou.city_rain.jpg

I was talking to a friend last night about New York. He told me that now I know the difference between touring through a state and living there. How I have lost all of my ability to put on a jacket and move to a warmer town the next night. I am stuck. In the old days, I would be cold for four or five months but at the end of the road, it is wife beater and shorts time. But, that is over now.

That was my personal bitch about the cold. I don't know if I was extremely lucky passing through all your states and countries in the past to have just not hit any real cold times or if I was just too high to care, but man, now that I am here, all I can say is this sucks. Even my Converse are cold. And that is not cool.

I mean really, what do you guys do before a show when it is snowing or raining? I know I am inside half asleep or drunk, but you guys are outside. Right? At least that is the way it goes in warmer places. People sit out in the cars or in the line drinking beer to get in. I've sat in a line to get into a movie around here and it only took like ten minutes before I wanted to go home.

Am I a pussy? Maybe.

Am I a Californian? Yes.

I used to be so bad that if I rolled into your town and it was raining, I automatically thought the show was going to suck. Automatic response. Standing outside in the back when a raindrop hits me? No one will be there. The show will suck. No one will come out in the cold to see us. But when the place packs out, you really have to think to yourself that these people are in this weather everyday. They always come to shows stinking like wet dogs and when you complain about the very thing that they live in everyday, you kind of sound like a pussy. Well, you do sound like a pussy. Don't go in Oregon or Washington and complain about the rain. They have seen it for the past few weeks straight.

I have always wondered about those bands who are used to playing leaky clubs and snowy places. What happens when they play San Diego or god forbid, Tijuana? Do they like swell up and explode? Too much warmth? When I got too cold on tour, I just went into hibernation mode. Pulled up a blanket and hid out in some corner of the club.

But what would they do when it is too hot?

I've played shows with wet gear and I've heard all the stories about people getting electrocuted and really, it has never bothered me to hear about so and so dying back in '72 because someone tossed a bottle of water on him when he was playing his guitar solo.

Tell me that and the first thing I think is "That's pretty cool, man." But then again, it would probably suck. But it would be kinda funny. Well, just a little.snowflake123.gif

Snow really makes you not want to come back to a town. Nothing good ever comes from snow. If you ever think snow is pretty, try unloading a shitload of equipment at 4;30 in the night with a fading whisky buzz on. You will remember that night and it won't be because the snow was god damn pretty.

Snow is evil and hateful. Snow hates all of us.

For some strange reason, people from sunny climates turn into some kind of stunt drivers when the snow hits. I don't know why. Words spring forth from their mouths. Words like "let's spin this fucker!" or "I'm going to pull the e-brake!" come out of their mouths.

It is truly a sight to behold.

One thing I have learned from snowy towns is that people who see snow everyday don't think it is that funny to get hit with a snow ball.

Myself, on the other hand, think it is hilarious.

But I still hate snow. - T


December 11, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 33

Ok. This will be an easy one that came from a conversation I had awhile back. Something that has always divided people when it comes to playing shows. Keep in mind, I really don't have an opinion on either of these, but some people have to fight tooth and nail to get it their way. I have a slight preference, but that slightness changes every night. So see, I don't even know which one is better.

What is it?

Underage clubs vs, overage clubs.

Remember before we start this, I really have no opinion. Only my experiences and really, if you nail me down, I am going to tell you I don't, never have, and never will give a fuck. I am pretty decisive sometimes. 70s_retros_zanti.jpg
But, there are valid pros and cons for each of them. Once again refer to the "I don't give a fuck" above. I'll play anywhere, but really, it doesn't matter to me who is there. Never really was that big of a deal, but some people I know will not play 18 and up shows and the "god forbid" 21 and up shows. Don't ask me. I guess they have their reasons. Most of the time these people are not focused on the main goal. We will talk about that later.

The thing with underage clubs is that if you hit the right night and the right town, you can pack a lot of rooms with almost no promotion. Play a show on a Wednesday night in Nothingville USA you are probably going to get the place filled with minimal promotion. Almost nothing but a few hand bills and some quality time in whatever downtown area they have and you are pretty much golden. Just find a town with nothing for the kids to do but sit around and talk about how much life sucks at a local coffee shop with 150 friends and you got a show. So, sometimes it works. Other times it just sucks. I guess you really have to look at it from different angles. Something I don't like to do. Life gets too complicated when you have to look into things like "tommorow". Kids will bring in more money, but what if you don't have the door? What do you do? Wait till next time you come around and hope they have told their friends and they come back? I mean typically, that is what you want, but unless you are on tour for 12 months a year, it probably won't happen. I am a pessimist like that. Plus, it's harder to find a place to crash at those shows. Not many 16 year olds are going to take a bunch of stinky, drunken punk rockers back to their house to drink beer all night and eat their food. But, as I said, sometimes it works. I mean it's not about the booze. I could really give a fuck less if they have an open bar or not. If I wanted to be wasted I would be. Hell, I don't think I've ever been to Disneyland sober in my life. And being wasted there is like trying to get into Fort Knox. Well, maybe not that hard. drunkmickey.jpgAfter all they do let you come back in and out and the Land of the Mouse. Besides, I only have to be in the club for a few hours. There has got to be a bar somewhere around your town. That's where I'll be till around 10 o'clock. Send someone to fetch me when we are up cause until then, I'll be here trying to peel my face off of the table. Thank god for ins and outs or a lot of bands would have quit along time ago.

So as you can see, underage shows really don't effect the greater goal of being so wasted that I can talk to jesus about the next weeks Lotto numbers. Cause hey, if the big J-man don't know the next winning numbers, then who does? Might as well sell my soul to jesus for the next Big 7 cause I already sold my liver to the devil.

One of the things I do like about underage shows is the energy of all the kids. I am no fool. I'm old. Well, not that old but not 23 anymore. So that climbing on stage shit was left back in the 90's. Cause my back hurts. Plus this nice smoking addiction has got me down to oxygen tanks when I stare too hard at the TV so climbing on a stage is kinda out of it for me. This is where they come in. They drive the show insane if they want too. Plus, they can get more kids in the door. More kids equals more chaos, which in reality is what I am here for anyways. Well, that and the greater goal.

So once again, I am in the middle of the great debate.

But, let's talk about the other side. Bar shows. Bar shows can be good or bad. I have found that if you are a known band, it works. And really, you only have to be known to a few people and 21 over shows turn out ok. Small towns are kinda sad. I mean, if it is a regular hang out bar with music seven nights a week, you have your built in audience. Those shows work. I guess. The regulars don't buy shit from you as far as merch cause they see four bands every night. So unless you shoot flames out of your ass or blow one of your fingers off, they aren't going to buy anything. They have seen everything before you and after you and lighting yourself on fire just ends up warming their beer. Never make an alcoholic drink warm Pabst unless you plan on blowing some body part off to entertain him. You also lose the kids who do have that energy thing going for them. Most people who sit around at bars watching shows every night are the same way I used to be.12121545vodka.jpg

"Say..that band is ok. Wanna watch them?"

"Nah. Let's get another beer."


I mean it sucks, but it is the way it goes. Maybe they might bob their head every once in awhile, but for the most part the only movement you can see is when they are reaching for their last dollar to get in on the dollar Hamm's Dark pints. Which for the record, are pretty damn good if you are broke. Also, at the end of a set, it is kinda cool to hang out and drink while the other bands play instead of running off to the closest bar til you have to leave town. Forced socialization, I guess. Networking was never my game.

As I said, I really don't care. At 21 shows you get drink tickets, which is kinda cool. I have no idea who thought up only serving well vodka for tickets was really going to stop us from drinking it. Chances are whatever they had behind the bar, the shit we had in the van was ten times worse. So bring it on and make it a double. The only kind of vodka we all swore off was Safeway brand vodka. Shitting blood isn't the way you want to wake up in the morning. There is just something wrong about that. But that is another story for another day.

So in the end, I really still haven't figure out which one I like better. I mean the kids have the energy, so I am going to have to lean towards them.Of all the shows that went to out of control, it was always underage. And those were always the coolest. I had the most fun at those. And, unfortunately, since I am over 21 now, telling me about how I felt in the past about getting locked out of shows really doesn't do me any good. I can't remember what I had for breakfast a few hours ago much less how I felt 15 years ago. So no sympathy from me there.

So I don't know. I guess if I wasn't playing that night, I would go with overage shows.

But, you have to realize, I only went to get fucked up.

Cause someone has to win that Lotto jackpot.

Turtle still doesn't know which one he likes better and probably never will.


December 4, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 32

Stealing. Theft. Absconding. Ripping off.

Or just taking.

Whatever it's called. We did it.

Hey, I am not going to lie and say it doesn't happen. Sometimes things disappear. I have been fortunate enough to have been on bothsides of the equation. Truth is, a lot of people out there only want themselves to keep going and they will do anything to keep moving. So, sometimes it gets pretty shady. Well, not that shady, just a little, ummm, ugly.IMG_0399_Sami@backstage.JPG

Sure, I am a different person now, but there was a time in my life that if you had something or were in our way, we would take it and knock you down just so we would keep going to the next town. Fuck you and get out of my way. See, when you just start out, the thought of burning your own bridges is kinda a gray area. Well, not gray, you just don't think about it and do it. You need a new cab, you are never going to see these people again, so take theirs. Just get it as the last thing before we turn the key and let's hit the road. By the time they figure out what happened, we will be in another state.

Like I said, we didn't do the brightest things. But, as you keep doing these things, it dawns on you that, yeah dumbass, you will run into these people again. Maybe not today or maybe not even next year. Hell, it could even be in another band, but if you run into them, they will remember you. Takes awhile to get that into your head.

I know it seems like a real easy concept to get. Don't steal from clubs and don't steal from other bands, but it really is hard not to do when you need something and it just sitting right there.

*once again, I don't do this anymore.

So, when we were just starting, we did learn fast that clubs won't book you and other bands will hate you if you trash their shit or steal their gear.. Go figure. Well, by the time we got that basic rule in our heads, we had roadies who were less than model citizens. Well, they were sped outthieves who just wanted to party with us. We didn't steal anymore cause, well read the no-book-this-band-anymore thing up above.

It's the ugly part of being in a band.

But the roadies still did. And no matter who stole what, they were with you so it's kinda on you if they do something.

So one night we blew a bunch of shit out. Don't ask me how we did it, but we were done. Physically and mentally. End of a tour. Well, one more night. Technically. Let's just go home and skip the last date. Cause hell, by the end, you really just want to end the show anyways. Why bother with one more club? Let's go home and lick our wounds. Deal with all our broken shit next week when I can stand to listen to you guys bitch again.

A week. Just give me a week before anyone calls me and we can deal with this.

Honestly, I never noticed the van was a little more full when I woke up in front of the last date of the tour. All I knew is that we agreed to skip this date. We lost a bass cab and as far as I was concerned, it was over. So what the fuck? Why did we stop?

"Cause we promised."DSC01676.jpg

I really hate that fucking word. It's the only one, even back then, that people used against me cause I promised to do something.


I didn't ask too many questions. I just wandered over to the bar and sat down. Someone had found something for us too use. Cool. Whatever. Let's just get this done.

When the show was over, someone was yelling. The drummer was freaking out. I guess what happened was one of the roadies had stolen a "widow maker" bass cab and adolly from the last club. Pushed it into the van when no one was looking. I knew I was sleeping on some sort of dolly last night. See, I am smart like that.

"We won't ever get to play in that town again!"

"Do you realize what those guys did?!?"

Oh christ.

"Someone has to take this back!"

Oh double christ.

Well, the tour was over and I was packed down in speed so to shut this guy up, I volunteered to take the equipment back. What the fuck. I wasn't sleeping for a few days and the tour was over. Three hours back to the last club in another car. Then three hours back to where I was standing. Then four hours back to my house.


I loaded up the car and hit the road. Barely awake but no way sleeping.

By the time I got to the club that we had snagged all this stuff from, it was empty. Just the early morning drinkers in the bar. Some old lady covered in tattoos standing behind some smoke filled room. The place reeked. I mean, usually you will get to a club and smell the beer infused walls a block away but the smell wasusually gone in the morning. This place was different. It seems like the party never stopped.

"You want a beer or something stronger?"

Well the last thing on my mind was a beer. Alcohol and methamphetamine really don't work out to well so I set out to find someone in charge and give them my "look how honest we are"spiel and get back on the road. Maybe try to smooth things over and try to get another date with them. I mean hell, I was honest, right? That's the way it works, right?

Creaky doors open and I was backstage again. More drugs. These guys didn't let the party stop. And by party I mean three guys sitting around doing dope just talking about nothing. Which was good for me. I mean I really wasn't on the normal level either so I was doing just fine with them.graf.jpg

"Remember me?"

"Oh. Ok. Yeah. What do you want?"

"Well, it seems that one of our roadies accidentally..."

Blah. Blah. Blah.

He really didn't care about it. He really didn't remember it. He really didn't know us. So I dragged the widow maker back inside. Pushing it on the stage, I caught the name of the club it belonged to spray-painted on the back.

Aww shit.

It was the name of the club we played last night.


We grabbed the wrong cab.

Oh well.

They looked the same.

I guess....

Turtle thinks that some days you should just sleep in.


November 27, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 31

Secret shows are always fun. Although, how secret they are is really any ones guess. From what I have seen of them, the only real secret to them is how you are going to get in and get drunk. Most of these things took care of themselves, but every once in awhile you get kinda screwed on one thing or another.

Don't ask me how or why, but a pretty big East Coast hardcore band was headlining a tour and we were friends with them so we were in the doors. No big deal. Besides, this was the West Coast. These guys were New York bred, so they weren't as big over here then they were on the East Coast. I think that makes sense. hmm.... East Coast dislikes West Coast and vice versa. Man, all hardcore needs is a Biggie Smalls and a Tupac Shakur and we be rollin'.churchsign.jpg

Anyways, back to the story. Tons of people were calling me to get into this show. I don't run the door. People don't call me for this shit. What the fuck? Sold out in three minutes?? What the fuck?

So the next day at the studio, more people were asking me for free tickets. Once again. I am not the door, but, something is going on and I needed to know. After all, the East Coast band wasn't that big. Then it hit me. Who are the other bands. Ok. I knew two of them, but the second slot was an unknown. Well, there's your answer. Obviously, they are someone. Fuck if I knew who. Well, I found out pretty quick. I guess I was the last one in town to find out about it, but still dude. Secret shows can kinda bite you in the ass. I mean the place was packed with hardcore fans and rap fans. Really weird, but whatever. At least they had a lot of free beer backstage. So that one worked out for who ever promoted it. The place, which wasn't meant to hold shows, was trashed. Meh, that's what insurance is for. I think.

But, sometimes secret shows don't work out. In fact, they can destroy a promoter.

Those are the fun ones.

Take a record store owner who is willing to do anything to keep his business alive and have him book a has been band in his record store for free. This band was everything to a lot of people, but the scene got too weird for them, so they left. Have them record a new album after five years and give them a small intimate crowd to practice on before they hit the road. In those five years that the band has been gone, suppose that this band has reached legendary status among the next generation of kids, only the record store owner doesn't know it.

You can see where the fun in this one is coming fast. hard.gifSmall record store with about 3000 people clogging the streets destroying everything as we just stood on the roof with 40's of King Kobra watching the next generation of kids start a mini riot in all the chain stores up and down the street as the roof starts to vibrate. Kids shredding on parked cars as the stench of sweat comes up from the ground. See, those are fun secret shows. The ones where they just didn't know how big it was going to be until the kids packed the place and the parking lots and every store around and the cops came 'round. That's when it gets fun.

I mean, I always felt sorry for the owner. I mean, the other band did too, but no one knew how big it would get. But you take some of these names and toss them around and all it takes is one person to know who they are and you have a mini riot going on. It's just that kinda feeling you get when you see things getting out of control. That "well, this can't be good" feeling as more people flood the streets. I do like that adrenaline rush I get when things get out of control. It really is fun watching all these people go crazy because they found the "pot of gold". They were there that night. "So let's break something!" See, that type of attitude only becomes a mass feeling when you have these people who think they need to leave their mark to show they were there that night. They were there when that all happened.

I am for secret shows, but the moral of the story is, they aren't secret. You just have to read between the lines on bills and you will see where they are at.

Turtle thinks that riots are a great way to introduce your children to shoplifting.


November 20, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 30

Seems after looking back at my past few posts, I have been really down on the music industry and all the bullshit that goes along with it. All the road stories are a fucking dime a dozen. Most are pretty funny, some are kinda of inspiring, some are kinda sad.

But, it seems lately I have forgotten to tell you why I started all of this in the first place. The thing that made me pick up the bass and grab a mic the first time. Why would I sacrifice a "normal" life for one, that from reading my past stories, sometimes sounds like complete shit?

FREE STUFF!health-risks-getting.jpg

No, not really, that came later and it was never really free. Well, drugs were usually free, but yadda yadda, insert turtle's AA rant here about nothing for being for free. Hey, I guess some people walked away from that scene and weren't whacked out on drugs and alcohol. I guess. If there were any, I sure as fuck didn't know them. Well, once again, that's not entirely true, either. But those guys were always the lame guys. Not lame cause they didn't do drugs or drink til they could see jesus like we could, but, well, just lame guys. I dunno. Too preachy and all that bullshit. Not that being straight edge is all that bad, but fuck man, all those fucking "X"s on their hands. I mean do you have to parade it in front of us that you are so much better then us cause you don't like to get high?

Anyways, got off track again. That usually always happens in these posts. I kinda just start then see where I end up at the end. If you are new here, get used to it. I think I was talking about free stuff.

Free stuff is cool. People like to give things to people in bands. I mean really, if you think about it, you get stuff for free from the audience that associates with your music. That was a deep thought for a Sunday morning. It's pretty simple, really. If you play in a band with a lot of tattooed fans, you will probably end up with a bunch of free tattoos. If you play hippy music, you will probably end up with a lot of free dope. If you play RockaBilly, you will probably end up with a lot of free tattoos AND free Tres Flores.

God, I hate Tres Flores.

But you get the picture.

I was lucky enough to be playing in the drug/alcohol/tattoo type bands, so as you can see, I was pretty set up. Fuck yeah, I'll put your name on the list if you drill on me for two hours. I don't know you or this town, but what the fuck, it's for free! Plus, you get initiated into all these cool little gangs across America. See dude, this is why I started playing music. To be in some street gang in rural Ohio with methamphetamine dragging down the back of my throat with generic neosporin dripping off my chest.

This is the real reason most people start playing music. Don't let them lie to you. They really just want free stuff. I am kinda kidding there. Maybe.

It is really kind of a trip. You can watch the people who are happy just playing along with their friends and having a party, no one really making any cash. Watch them have what seems like the times of their lives just fucking around and you have to ask yourself where did that go with you? 3flo.jpgWhen did this become such a "take all" type of thing for me? There had to have been some point in my life when "just having fun" stopped and "getting as much as I could while I could" started.

I would sit in bars and watch these bands play. All of their friends on stage, having fun.

I guess I am trying to say I really liked having those nights when I could just go home and sleep on my own bed and then get up and go to work the next morning and not have to worry about the fucking band til the next gig a month later. Til then, I'd just have fun.

And try to get free stuff.

But, that's just what I do.

Cause it's free.

Turtle still has ten jars of Tres Flores in his bathroom. He is looking for alternate uses.


November 14, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 29

I'm back.

Kinda some scary shit that happened there the last few nights. I escaped lockup this morning against doctor's orders cause they wanted to get me on some drug regiment, which I took, and they somehow thought I was addicted to it after one day and a couple IV drips. When I asked them why they didn't just drip me and let me go, like in California, their response was because "California is all HMO." Well, next time I have a seizure, Chocolate milk.jpgI'll make sure to do it in a state where I can have Clarence the crazy alcoholic screaming for his meds and how Reagan did this to him til the nurses shoot him up three hours later.

And make sure you put him in my room.

Like I wanted a full fucking political speech to go with my chocolate milk. And my smokes...where are my smokes?

I love how nurses always want to lock up your valuables. "You see what I got in my pocket? Lighter, car keys, and my wallet. And that's staying with me. So I haaaaaaaaavvvvvvveeeeeee no valuables. Get it?

And yes, I will walk outside to smoke. Even though they tell me I can't smoke outside a hospital, I will. There is just no other way around it. I'm addictive. The wind will be blowing up my ass as I nail back a Camel Light as fast as can before my balls hit the ice age and my boys start wearing parkas, but I am going to god damn do it.

But, that's just me.

So there is a little more history of what has been happening behind the scenes of FTTW lately from the New York office.

But, back to what you want to read about out or don't want to read about, I am a still a little out of it so here goes.

I promised this story a while ago and I think it might be about time to share it.

People leave bands for several reasons. Who cares what they were or why they happen, but they did and do. When you can see that everyone is infected with the "What Happened" disease, it might mean you were the flavor of the month and the rest of the world moved on while you stayed the same. Cause hey, it worked once, right? It's gotta work again. Shit, it only took us five years to get here, we can do this again, right? Let's smash it all down and start again with a new format.

This is the same theory we have at FTTW. Something will only work for a little while before the formula needs to be revamped. The good thing about that is that it seems, and it only seems, that each time you do a major overhaul, you have better connections. As long as you can role with the bumps and cracks in the road, it's kinda hard to stop. It's all about how much you want to put into a project and what comes from your effort.

Divisions are obvious in bands. They were there from the day the scene started. That's why there are more than four or five or three in a band. Sure, those are the names you hear the most, but they aren't the band. The band is everyone who puts this shit together every day and keeps it going. If one goes down, others pick up. Sudden changes happen and someone has to make decisions. And, sometimes, the front players aren't around to make to those decisions. When a night can go off perfect (as can be) when band people don't show or unavailable and the crowd thinks they still saw the greatest thing they saw all day, that's a band.

And yet at one single moment divisions can be broken up between band members almost immediately making things seem unbearable. Even to me. Even thou they had been there for months. Just no one talking about them. When the pitch off a man's voice makes the hair on your neck stand when he says "Hi" to you, either you hate him or are in love with him. Well, I chose the former. These Divisions were drawn in the sand. Who wants to go on. Who wants to quit. We used to sell these places out. We need new fans. We need new noise.

I sat in the office with the lead singer while the other band members sat backstage.

I will say that in this one band, 99 percent of the divisions were brought up by alcohol and drug abuse. The singer and I would wack back shitloads of methamphetamine and steal all the drink tickets. Later in the bands' life, the drugs got harder, but the other members were straight edge. Coupled with the way I liked to break things, this band was a fucking trainwreck waiting to happen. It got so bad, we were fighting if we were ten people short at the door. Most bands would kill to pack places like that. Not us. We were breaking fire codes 6 months ago. This must be over. No one likes us anymore.

Let's quit tonight. On stage.divided_road_ahead.jpg

I racked up some speed and slammed a few shots and covered myself in black stamp ink. The singer did the same but with red ink. This was over tonight. And the rest of the band hadn't even seen us yet.

The lights dimmed and we all came on. Nothing shocking except the singer sang one song and walked out the door thru the crowd. I followed. Wondering where this was going. He was done. This band was done. The promoter grabbed me and was screaming about how all these people were here to see us! They came for us! We can't do this to him!

Then, lo and behold, back on stage, the keyboardist picked up the bass from the ground, kicked over his keyboard and started a new set. New songs. Shit, I had never heard off any of these. Totally different style. With the same other guys. They had it all set up to screw us when we thought we were going to screw them. Looking like Al Jolson, I just shook my head. They had us set up. They knew this was coming and when it happened? They were ready. They took over.

Same band. New singer and bass player. Five piece down to a four piece by the time I was out the door.

And they got pretty big, too.

Just goes to show you, sometimes you're the fucker and sometimes you're the fuckee.

Took me a long time to learn that.- T

Turtle no longer decorates himself with stamp ink.


November 6, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 28

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.68470743_50f5010fb4_m.jpg

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.old_ballroom_pic.highlight.jpg

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


October 29, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 27

So I'm going to start off by saying I was never innocent in any of this. There is no way I can look at the past and have some grand realization that I did was right or wrong. I don't make judgments anymore. I stopped a long time ago. If you want to be a thief, liar, cheat, hooker, whore, alcoholic or a drug addict, it's really not my business. Have your fun. I don't really care unless you have something to offer me. Then I care.

It is sad but true that you can have a man who can look in your eyes and and read how much you can sacrifice for him in less than a minute. I think it is a mean way to live but you do it. Cause you have to. Well, I did. And I still do it today. I hate it. But it is still there. I can look you up and down and ask myself how I can use you before your next breath. And you know what? I will figure out a way. I will use you to get to someone else who I really want. Pretty shitty way of thinking and really, kind of shallow. But, it is what I do and I am honest about how I am.

A good looking girl wanted us to play some wedding. Some favor. Some town. Some damn beach. I never really knew where I was at just if it was near the ocean or not. That is really my only map skills. That's the way it works. Salty water? I'm on some coast. Well, that's not really the way it works, but it's always nice to feel the ocean breeze. But, I was somewhere close to the ocean.

See, drugs will rot your memories.

I was set up for this wedding. Ready to go. Personal favor for the bride. 160120846_0eed952561_m.jpgWhat the hell. Wait. No power strips. We had no power. What the fuck now? I stopped the whole set up. I was on a beach and had nothing to go on. We didn't know it was a beach. We just didn't know. We were billed on the wedding and we couldn't fuck it off. We just fucked up. This show stopped. Walking up to groom to tell him we couldn't play because, well because he was on a fucking beach. Some girl came up with a guitar behind me and listened to me talk. She pulled me back. She said she could do this. I looked her up and down. I asked her if she was sure she could do this. I mean fuck, this was getting bigger by the second. This was getting out of control.

She said "yes."

So I used her.

And she took over.

I'm not the type of person to not ask for help when I need it, but this was strange. She was taking on a pretty big crowd here. But she did it. And this beach was getting bigger by the minute. It's just one of those feelings you have.

That "hold together" look and feeling. Get thru this night. Hold together.

Ok. You have to picture this. 200 punks singing along to some acoustic versions of songs. These were like road weary punk rock kids and hardcore kids who just sang along as the beer flowed. The best man started the pit as I just watched her to make sure she was doing ok.

She was.

I just packed up my case and watched them all dance to this girl who was belting her ass out to everything they requested. The crowd was wild. I locked up the van and got a beer and walked over to her. Told her how good she did. She took control of a crowd of drunken punk rockers with just a simple acoustic guitar and a voice and had them all captivated.

She looked at me and said "someone had to do it."

She did it.

One girl with one voice with one guitar.

And one crowd.

That just goes to show you.

Never doubt yourself.

Because you can do anything. - T

October 23, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 26...kinda

Drug addictions will destroy any band faster than anything else can come close to touching. Trust me on this one. Drugs will kill a band real fast. Well, not real fast, but slowly. This is something I have to say and write about. I'm not expecting a lot of comments on this one and really, I don't care. Casualties are a way of life when you are in a band. You lose people and sometimes it's drugs that kill them. See, it's kinda sad to find out that one of your friends didn't get out. But you cry your tears and move to the next day. There is not a whole lot I can say on this one.

I had a good friend die on my ass. Michele knows where he has been with us and what he has done for us and what he has done for me. All I can say is Today Sucks Bad. But, since this won't go up til tomorrow, I really don't care. It's just something I had to say for his memory.

Last night I found out a friend of mine had died.

He never got out.

I know this isn't the typical Underground, but it is something I have to do for him. Sure, I haven't seen him for 10 years, but it still hurt me.mb7c.jpg

This is what I wrote last night when I heard the news, and this is still the way I feel.

This is a new one and this one just hit me.

It's a little off for tonight but I just thought of it. RIP to someone who had helped me and will always be remembered in my heart. He did a lot for us and he died. He was a good man. I respected him and he was only doing what was best for us. He died earlier this weekend. Rest in peace my friend. Tears dripped from my eyes when I heard this tonight. He did alot. And he was cool. He pushed us forward and he used his influence because he saw something in us. He took us farther than we ever thought we could go.

Let's move on.

People who help you.

Well hell. You have to learn fast that you need this. Getting anywhere is not gonna get any closer unless you take a good look around. You need them. This might be the most emotional Underground ever. Lucky you guys get to read it. Sure, you treat them like shit and they are looked down on by some but sometimes they are your fucking life.


Not sometimes.

They are your fucking life.


I'm not going to candy coat this bullshit. If they leave, you are fucked. That's all there is to it. It's fucking brutal but that's the way it is. Without them, it ends right now. Well, not ends, but it is really hurt. And hell, they are all your friends.

So tonight's is dedicated to the roadies, the people who plug you, the people who do things they don't have to do for you. They do it cause they see something in you. They don't like the long nights in a van. They don't like hooking shit up in the dark. Fuck, I've done it and it is a shit job. Putting shit together in the backstage. Holding together a drum riser and making it sit flat. Stealing cement curbs to put in front of drums so they don't move. Watching for the asshole in the crowd who wants to destroy things.

This post is dedicated to them

I'm far from perfect. I know I bag on guitarists. I know I bag on singers and I make fun of the bands, but really none would make it thru it one more day without someone who put this set together. See this is what makes it so cool. You hook it up, I play, we split the money and get food. See, that's cool. We just keep going. You have ideas and I do too. I have no idea sometimes where I'm going with this, but i need to say I have seen your sweat and I have seen your tears and I know what you have done to get us here.

When you see someone stiching up his hand cause he was cut stopping someone from crashing into the drums looking up at you with string pulling out of his finger asking where do we go next, you kind of have to think about things.

When you have someone who is willing to take your shit while you are having some kinda tantrum about not being in your bed and smile to tell you "the floor ain't that hard", that's something.

You have to think. Some of these motherfuckers can take a lot more than me.

So you have all my respect.

I remember nights when someone would sit and just stare at the drummer. That was his job. Just look at him from the crowd. Just so the drummer could snag a familair face and stare in it. Let his mind and skills go. Just to look. No words. Just a look. Stare. Keep going.Turn off the world and stare. Just hold together. Just turn off the world and play. I don't care who he looked at, but it had to be a face in the crowd. Someone who they knew. Some concrete.

And you know what?Roadie10.jpg

That shit worked.

When you can walk away before a show and really know that things will be alright when you get back that night, that's a roadie. See, that's trust. When you don't have to worry about anything but getting extra hot sauce. That is when you have given full trust to one of the greatest people on the earth.

The roadie.

Without you we have nothing. Get it?

Thank you to anyone who has ever has put a drum kit together with no stage lights on.

Thank you to anyone tuning a bass in the dark of a stage.

Thank you to anyone being my friend and tuning my bass when I have been a total asshole.

Thank you to anyone who spent time with me in a van when I was bitching about this or that.

In short.

Thank you my friend.

You got us where we needed to go.

And I'll see you in in the next world.

You aren't getting away from me that easily you dumb son of a bitch.

I got strings to tune, you know. - T

RIP Dizzy Dee

next week the Underground won't be so damn depressing

October 16, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 25

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.


October 9, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 24

und50.jpgAs I said before and I will say again: It happens. You never know what will happen but you can always shrug your shoulders and say, "It happens." Pretty much the ultimate fuck off when I hear bands complaining about this or that. Shows sucking, people getting hurt, and their shit gets stolen. It happens. I've had so much equipment stolen off me I feel there is a pawnshop owner following me. Just watching me and where I stay that night. Call it careless? Yeah sure. I don't really care. It happens.

So when you have a big show in a ghetto playing with another band, you kinda have to think that. Something is going to happen. Something always does. If you let it get to you too much, you will be swinging off some bridge in New York screaming for your bed. Or your girlfriend. This happens. Kinda ruins a tour, but tour breakdowns happen. You don't really know shit till you have been in a van for six months. tat.jpgThat boredom mixed with the pressure of being there mixed with the feelings of out right hatred mixed with sleepiness mixed with drugs will fuck you up unless you can get it down. A simple formula to keep your head together.

"It happens."

We rolled into town late (you will find this a usual a theme in these stories) and dragged our equipment into the club. I knew what band we were playing with, but I only knew one member in the band. So, I wasn't too knowledgeable about who or what they were about. I knew they were a fun band who all dressed as cholos. Ok. This could be fun. We thru our equipment in the corner and grabbed our drink tickets. These are what we needed. Drink tickets. A few beers were put back as we looked over the crowd that was piling in.

Vatos. Tons of them. Coming in. In this barrio. At a punk rock show. Well, this could be interesting.

Now see this is when the normal person would probably be asking himself why didn't I leave?

Well, I will give you the easy answer.

I had five more drink tickets! So imma stayin'!

We played the show. No big deal. No real response to us. More response among the people fighting in the crowd. You ever have that totally dismayed feeling when you look to a crowd and see that no one really cares about you? The only thing they care about is who gets in the next fight? Yeah, it was one of those shows. It happens. The smoke was clearing as the set ended. The house was packed so don't get me wrong, it was fun. But not really. Weird feeling. You just know this would have been perfect but it wasn't. Something just wasn't right. Something was missing. It happens every once in awhile. When you look out as you are walking away and wonder what the hell went wrong tonight? What happened?

tire-irons.jpgYou can make the call cause I really don't care. Something went wrong tonight. I didn't think we sucked. I think we played pretty well. I don't know. And that's the bottom line. Something happened and I don't know. Taking a drink off a beer I just watched the headliner destroy the set. Maybe we did suck. Maybe we were off. Fuck if I know. I lit up another cigarette and walked out back to just watch the night. Crappy dirt alleyway like my hometown. Dust as cars drove by. I rose my head up. Great. Not only did we suck, I am sitting in a fucking dirt alley like I did when I was a kid.

When I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I looked around.

Why is our fucking equipment out here????

Our gear had been left out in the alley next to the club. Just sitting there. Under a street lamp. Just sitting there.

Aww fuck. This is no good. I did a quick check up and down and noticed that two pieces were gone. Ok. Calm down. Walking back inside I asked where the rest of the stuff was. Why was someone touching it? Why was it outside? The bouncer said he was just helping us move stuff out. Yeah. Bullshit. I know this line. I just happened to be walking outside when they were jacking us.

This is when it gets hard. Accusing someone of having a set up is tough. Cause really, I had no idea what happened. It just looked like we were marks and we were hit. I walked back out and got the rest of the band to watch what was left. Who ever stole it moved the cab. The cab was gone. That was mine. God dammit. There were drag marks on the ground. Those were my drag marks. A look back to the bouncers and I was gone. I grabbed an iron out of the van and woke up the band psychologist. He was easy to get on board to come with me. He knows if we can't can't play, he needs to find a real job, so he grabbed a bat and was by my side. We were going to find these motherfuckers. They took the bass head and the cab and they fucking weren't gonna get away with it if I can see the drag marks in the dirt.

We followed the wheel marks to a garage. It was open and dark. Only one other house on the block. I don't wanna get shot, but this is my fucking living they stole. I had to do this. I pulled out the iron and put it in my left hand and kept the Mag Lite in my right and walked in. The cab was there. Sitting in the back. But the head was gone. Half the battle won. I needed the rest thou. This was a long tour and I wasn't borrowing heads off of people for the rest of this thing. The cab was dragged out in the middle of the alley as our friends reclaimed it. Let's move on.

It's always kinda nice when you can look into someone's eyes and they know this is not over. There was more to do. No explanation was ever needed. Never asked. Never given. The equipment is life.

By this time a bouncer had run up to us. He had a baseball bat and was following us thru the alley. There was only one place they could have went with the head. This house. I climbed up on the fence and looked down. Some old ass house that I could go thru. My plan. The thieves ditched us by jumping this fence so, in theory, we have to do the same if we want to catch them. I looked back at the bouncer and asked him to come along.basscab.jpg

His response was "people get shot for shit like this."

Oh well. Fuck him. Hit the ground running. I ran thru the yard over the next gate running and searching around for anyone. Someone. I found someone if you want to call "someone" a cop. I had a Mag Lite in my hand and a tire iron thru my belt. Sweating. He looked me up and down and asked the standard questions.

Why was I there? Why did I have a tire iron? Why was I covered in sweat?

After I explained the situation, he calmly told me that the head was probably already sold for drug money and I might as well forget it cause it's gone.

I raised my head up and realized where I was at. This is the ghetto. It was gone.

A cigarette fired in my mouth. Looking at him I just said "well that's fucked."

He told me in a very calm manner.

"It happens."

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


October 2, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 23

Some days everyone loves you and some days everyone hates you. I know that. I've played empty halls a lot and I know the feeling of the bartender spitting in your drink as you give him your last drink ticket. No money at the door. No alcohol sales. Who can blame him for bring pissed.

I also know the taste of blood in my mouth when a place is so packed you can't even move on the stage. I know that feeling and I also want it. For the rest of my life, I want that feeling.

Well, to get there you have to start here. It's not that big of a deal. You get used to empty places but really it was starting to suck. When you play a small town, there were things I noticed. Little When I talked to people face to face, they would come to the show that night. Talk to someone for ten minutes in a coffee house and tell them you were in town, they would show up. They might be the only people there, but the next time around they would bring their friends. This was something you had to see. It's really like some bad growth on your arm. It started, now it would grow. Who would be the first to say, "I saw them first." Sure the first people all got free CD's and shirts, but their friends had to buy them. It really didn't matter to me as long as we weren't playing to empty halls anymore. I would do anything for you to look at me.

PR whore.

This was underground promotion.

I knew how to work it. Any town we hit, I would jump out. Talk to people at the local bars or coffee shops and get them to like us. Tell them they are cool and they would really like us. They would come to the show. See, you have to think that way. Someone is going to tell someone else about you and if they have that thought to come to your show, you kinda really won.

You did all you could do and a few of them came.

It's all you can do.

The reason I tell this little bit of background on promotion is to make an excuse to why certain things happened one night.

By the time we got to the hotel, I really needed a break. We didn't really need much promotion. Big city. I really didn't have to do anything, but everyone was driving me crazy. I mean no one would stop talking. Always more drama. You did this or you did that. Fuck man. If you would shut the fuck up for a few minutes and let me watch "Jeopardy" we can discuss this like normal people, but until we get to Final Jeopardy, I'm not saying shit about anything. It was a good episode that night. One of our friends dug out about an 8 ball of cocaine and broke out about ten lines on the top of the toilet. Like that's gonna make this situation any better. More yelling. But, I nailed back a couple and did that foot on your chest breathing while I opened the door and looked outside. The band needed to talk about some serious things going on with us, but I needed to promote. Don't ask me. I can only take being called an asshole for about 17 hours a day before I need a break. And, no, I didn't need to promote that night. I just needed out.

By the end of a tour, this is the way it gets.stripper.jpg

I walked outside the hotel as people I didn't know walked into our room. Wait. Didn't we have some rule? No parties in the band room? Well, that rule was shot. Wasn't my rule in the first place. I think I was the reason for the rule, but fuck it, I'm not splitting hairs. The club we were playing across the street already had a line so I really didn't need to do anything. Just wander around for 15 minutes till the cocaine tug came in me. I had nothing to do and hey, I am a people person. So I wandered around and found two strippers outside a strip club calling people in. The "Callers" out front. This is where it gets tricky. For some reason, saying "I'm playing in that club over there later tonight and we had a bunch of coke back in the hotel" will get strippers to walk off the job and follow you back to the room.

It's like physics or something.

I don't know.

Well I had two strippers in tow with me walking faster than me to get to the drugs. Hey dude, I don't run. Besides, I had to think of an excuse why I'm bringing almost naked girls back to the place. Oh wait. We dumped the no party rule, right? So fuck the band. I don't need an excuse. I kicked the door open and the party was going full on. The equipment had been moved across the street and somehow the drugs had been increased. I walked to the bathroom and just nailed about three lines back. The girls followed me. They packed back a bunch and then wandered out. I surveyed at what I had done. Well, this is ok but I know I can do better. Let me crack a beer and think.

Two minutes later, I had the strippers calling their friends to come to the show. The people there had already called their friends to come to the show. More people came into the hotel. I mean really, it was a huge drug induced party. Clothes on the floor as more stripers and people came in. This place was spilled out on to the patio, into the pool and on to the street. The original strippers were naked now, which is not that big of a deal, but I thought, as I always do, we could make this bigger.

More phone calls were made and more people lined up to get into the pre show. We took that hotel over. So here I was. The star of the show. I was the reason everyone at the party was high, packed out the show and got strippers walking around and dancing for everyone. I loved it. Something that you get to look at and move on. But, this was over for me. I had to fucking go like ten minutes ago. My bass was somewhere. I had to find it and I couldn't even recognize a wall. See, big rule with me. Never fucking touch my bass. I don't care if you are friend or not. Don't touch it. If you have ever felt that feeling of "where the hell is it?" you can kinda feel me. That terror of losing something. But, I found it packed under the bed and looked at it.

What was that? Bed knocked up against the wall. Oh christ. I just grabbed my bass and walked out. Some fucking samba line behind as I got inside. A line of half naked people stumbling across the street. Fuck anyone spitting in my drink tonight, I sold this motherfucker out. And I am just the bass player. The band loved me and the crowd loved us. I remember sitting down my bass to take a breath and three people handing me beers from the crowd. That doesn't happen much. This is great.

When the show ended I packed up my bass thinking I did a pretty good job. Everyone was patting me on the back and everything was cool. We had a good night. Trust me, try being on the road for a long time. You will find out good nights are few and far between. So you need to savor that moment. That good moment. Clear you mind and just savor what you are seeing. Look over the carnage slowly and see what you did that night. Beer cups and cigarette butts covering the floor. Actually getting paid. Finally being able to hear again. You just need to sit down and listen to the drummer tell you how all the work paid off tonight. The singer asking me if I want a beer. The guitarist? Meh, guitarists are always pricks so I could really give a fuck about what he said to me. But to the club and the band, I was a god. They knew what happened behind the scenes. The crowd didn't know what happened that night. But the band did. And that's all that mattered.

smashed.jpgSavor the moment.

I walked across the street to the hotel. A roadie was inside ripping up the place looking for our stuff. Our room had been broken into. Everything was gone. The strippers had came back after we had left. Smashed the window and cleaned us out. All the cocaine and merch was gone. All pieces of unused equipment was gone. Everything that could be sold was gone. Everything was gone.

All eyes turned on me. After all, I brought the strippers back here.

I was the one who did this. A hard drag on my cigarette. A silent thought.

This was my fault.

Sometimes you are the king and sometimes you are the jester.

And it can all change within seconds.

September 25, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 22

Ok. So I know lately that I have been talking about a lot of the bad parts of touring and recording and probably giving you guys a feeling that I was just a drug influenced kid looking for an excuse to get high. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't. One day I'll try and figure out a timeline on my life, but for right now let's have some fun.

Continue reading "we have a date with the underground, chapter 22" »

September 17, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 21

This one might be a bit bumpy. So hang on. I generally don't like to talk about the end of any band, but this story must be told.

Read the disclaimer before diving into this one.


The end of an era. Kind of a feeling in your stomach. You know it's over. The band knows it's over. Alliances had been formed. New bands were being formed behind the others' backs. Everyone knew about what was happening but no one talked about it. I knew some people were moving to different states to join other bands. I knew I was joining a bigger band. We all knew that we hated each other.

You will also see another band ending story later in this series that was more like a soap opera then this one. But that's later.

This is a different one.

Continue reading "we have a date with the underground, chapter 21" »

September 10, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 20

Welcome to the first day of the new FTTW online magazine! This will all hit you about four or five times a day with new stories from our writers coming out all day long. And prolly more as we get more writers on. I think we were at about 20 so far and trust us, for the editors of FTTW, we are glad it is Monday.

So let's start this fucking thing and not look back.

All of the past Underground stories and many other archieved stories are in the sidebar.

Get a late pass and get up to speed cause here we go!

This one had to come out because of personal reasons. To promote yourself, your website, your band, your "World's Best Chili", sometimes it means you have to bust people who tell you they can do them when they say they can help but really haven't done these things in 20 years. But fuck, some things just have to keep going. If you can't do it, I can. I'll get this done. Just tell me. Fetch me a soda and a cigar and we can get this started. Sleep stops meaning much to you anymore. You know things need to be done. All you can do is say "Thanks. But I can do it." I don't really care if you can do something or not. Like a band, if you can't do it, just fucking tell me and I can do it. We can work around this.

I was pretty much being taught at that early age that if something needed to be done, it was always going to be up to me to do it. Sure, I'll take help, but if I don't even know how to do this, don't ask me to teach you how to. Sure, now I know how to do this stuff. I can put in new pickups, boil strings, burn screens and cook methamphetamine, but back then, I couldn't do shit.

I had to learn. We all did.

Continue reading "we have a date with the underground, chapter 20" »

August 8, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 19

The end of the road. Sometimes things aren't pretty. Sometimes things need to get done. There is no way you would quit. You just kept moving. You just couldn't stop. You never can. All you can do is take more hits to the gut and cover up your nuts and move to the next town. Grab and beer and get back in the van cause we have more dates to get to. This wasn't gonna end til you seeunderground19.jpg your home town again.

The flu. What the hell can you do with it. Well, first of all you can yell at someone in the band for sandbagging and just not wanting to play and getting sick of the tour, but that wasn't our style. We didn't do that. He looked bad and was just getting worse. He was sick and this tour was almost over. Shit. We held together as his germs hit us. Talk about your worst nightmare for moms. We would play every night and watch him fade away while someone else faded into the sickness. I was fading. I could feel it. Maybe because of all the beer I drank, I had some sort of immunity. But, my kryptonite had hit me. The King Cobra was fading. One of the last shows on the tour, I got out of the van and threw up. My head was cold and I wondered what was going on. Walked out to the street corner and went to the balcony and just crashed out. Just waited for a few hours while everyone else slept in different places. The PA came on and the stupid song check guy started. Great. Gotta move.

Continue reading "we have a date with the underground, chapter 19" »

July 24, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 18

This is chapter 18 of the Underground series but part 4 of 4 of this particular story.


In the last episode we were left with....

Lit a smoke and dreamed of the sleep of the dead. Looked at my watch again.

It was only Tuesday.

I had a date with Captain Sabertooth.

I woke up on the last day. Hotel room covered in amps and strings. The place was trashed. Broken amps, wire, strings, more broken amps and bodies on the floor. What the hell happened this week? I had a stolen pair of sunglasses on and a few kroners in my pocket. No idea what time it was. No idea what I was on. No idea how much more I could take.

I won't bore you with the earlier parts of the story. The three days were a haze of raves, backstages and some weird Norwegian drinks. Don't ask me. By this time I had made good friends with a lot of the stage crew. I was helping repair stuff when they couldn't for free beer. If they kept me fed and got me drunk, I would show them how to get this thing working again. But, right now I was still in the hotel. I was sick of vodka. Sick of my own brain. I took the walk of cowards and went out to get beer. Hell, I had no money. Something has to work for me today. Or is it night? For some strange reason I was trying to clean a string the night before with hot water. Hey! It was almost boiling! I open the door and lit one of my last cigarettes. Stared at the smoke that whiffed off it as I noticed something coming at me in the corner of my eye.

Continue reading "we have a date with the underground, chapter 18" »

July 17, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 17

This is chapter 17 of the Underground series, but part 3 of 4 of this particular story.

In the last episode, we were left with....

And a motorcycle was coming straight at me....

Part 3

WOW! That hurt. Sitting on a piece of shit bridge with my beer spilling out of the cup. A motorcycle had run dead into me and knocked me about five feet away. My cup was spilled and my knee was hurting. Which isn't that big of a deal. It hurts daily. But this one wasn't my fault. Or was it? In the last few years of my drinking, I have been told, that I purposely walked into motorcycles. I don't know if that is true or not. All I know is that there was a guy in a leather jacket yelling at me about how I scratched his motorcycle. Ok, hero. I'm the one spitting up blood here. Or was that beer? Where are my smokes? Shut up you Norwegian asshole and leave me alone.

I pulled myself up and walked closer to the gates, or maybe it was the beer garden. Wander to the base of the show. Not even going in yet. Yes. It was the beer garden. Or video game plaza. Or mannequin sex area. Yes, there were tons of mannequins. All over. Naked, plastic girls. All around. I have no idea why. But we took that oppurtunity to take some cool sex shots!!! I wish I still had them, but meh, you know how it goes.

Continue reading "we have a date with the underground, chapter 17" »

July 11, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 16

This Underground story is a four-parter. Part one is here. this is part two.

Well that’s a pretty disgusting smell. Eyes cracked open just to let a little light into my brain. Something smells weird. What the hell? Eyes open enough to reach for a cigarette. That’s the smell. That’s what I want to smell. Where the fuck were we? I mean I knew we were in Norway, but where? I’m no good when it comes to places I’ve never been. I mean, of course I can deal with it, but I always want to know the layout. What was that smell? Open the window and open my eyes more. Mix a drink. Turn on the TV. Getting bitched out at by the people still under the covers for smoking while they were asleep. Open the window more. Eyes totally open. Staring outside I saw something that I hadn’t seen in along time. Grass, green hills, clear sky, and fresh air. Well, I couldn’t see the fresh air but …wait! That’s what I was smelling! Fresh air! This place didn’t stink like nicotine or smog! Open all the windows! Shouts from behind me that it was getting cold and to shut the windows. It was the middle of the night. Well, technically for us it was only around three in the afternoon so I ignored their calls and made another drink. Watched Norwegian TV and lit another smoke. This was good.

But what the hell did happen yesterday? What was with the pirates? And the zoo? Alright. Take a shower and try to sort things out. Throw on my jacket and black pants and get ready to get more mixer for the rest of the vodka. The other bodies were still asleep, but I was still too jacked to actually stay still. I grabbed a key and lit another smoke. I think there is a bar downstairs. I can’t remember. I walked out of this large door and wandered down a bigger hallway wondering how in the hell we made it here last night. Kids running by me. Bumping into me. Speaking some weird language. No wait. Those two were speaking German. Wait, they were speaking English. What the hell was with this place?

I hit the elevator and put another cigarette in my mouth. Looked around for my lighter in my pockets. I found my kroners from the night before and just waited for the door to open. My shoelace was untied. I need to tie that. I need to get my head together. I just need another drink and I can straighten this all out.

I leaned down to tie my shoes as the elevator doors opened up. Suddenly, I found myself staring at the shoes of Norway’s biggest child star, who would become my biggest enemy over the next week.

Captain Sabertooth!


Jesus fuck! Who the fuck was this guy!?!?!

Took a big pull of vodka as he followed me out in to the lobby. Another pull. Oh yeah. Bite me. Like you guys wouldn't do the same. He was mocking me. I think. I reeked like detox vodka and nicotine. Walking up to the front desk and politely asked them, "Hey, do you speak English?" "Yes." A weird look in her eyes as a pirate and his crew ran around behind me with a gaggle of kids going crazy. I looked at her dead in the eyes and asked two questions. The only two questions that mattered to me.

"What the fuck is going on around here?" and "Where is the bar?"

She laughed at me like I was a fool. Asked me what band I was playing in and said this happens every year. There are always late people who have to stay here. But, where is here? Exactly? How far are we away? What is with the kids? And the pirate? With the damn face paint? Sticking a flintlock gun in my face? What the hell is going on? You know people get shot for doing shit like that in America. Crazy Norwegians.

If any of you don't know, and I don't blame you if you don't, this is who Captain Sabertooth is.

The story of Captain Sabertooth is nothing less than a modern day fairytale. So far 750,000 children and adults have seen the Summer night performances in Norway, which recreates the adventures of this cruel and ruthless pirate. Captain Sabertooth has become a Norwegian children`s classic and a summer tradition. While winter storms still sweep across the land , advance tickets are snapped up in warm anticipation of the enjoyment that summer and Captain Sabertooth will bring.

Oh great. A Norwegian Barney. Fuck my luck.

Oh, like you wouldn't hit the bar after seeing something like that. Gimmie a break. I'm stuck for a week with kids and pirates. Which might be kinda cool if I was into child pornography. And pirates. But since I'm not, it was just kinda annoying. That hotel made so much money off me in bar tabs they could start a new nation. The "Turtle Sure Drinks A Shitload" nation. I could see the flag now. A turtle on his back with a spilled bottle on the side. That would be a cool flag. But, anyways. A few shots back. It was still early. Man, the sun never went down. I can't really remember if they had a opening or closing of the bar. It seemed like it was always open, but I really can't remember.

Someone came from downstairs and sat with me for a while asking why I was there. I drunkenly told him to see the pirates. Pirates were cool. He laughed. Looked at me and told me to come with him. He threw on his jacket. Those words on the back were what I longed to see.

"QUARTFEST" or something like that in Norwegian.

But what it meant to me was a backstage pass.

And it was only Monday. Or maybe Tuesday morning. Time zone thing.

We both hit the bus and passed the Zoo. The road was clean and beers were passed around. We had an "in" now. Well, we already had five day passes, but now we had a friend inside so if, well, let's just say if the chips fall down, we had a friend on the inside. It just works that way.

He walked in as we went to get our bracelets to get in. And beer.

The show hadn't even started yet.

And a motorcycle was coming straight at me. be to continued

July 6, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 15

Smokey and dirty. We were at one of the last places in California that would let you smoke while you drank in a bar. Inside of the bar. Blanketed in smoke and the stench of beer. The smell. It's something that you will never forget. Dive bars and clubs were my life back then. I got used to the noise and the smell. Sure, it was illegal to smoke in bars, but the owner was making a stand. Standing up for her rights to let her patrons smoke in his bar and to a smaller extent, sell cocaine in the bathroom. I think that's in the California Constitution somewhere. The right to smoke in bars and do cocaine in the bathroom. I don't question these type of things. I just light a smoke, do a line, gasp back from my throat clenching and take a shot. Then move on. California rules.

Before I start this story, I do want to let any of you gentler readers know that this was near the end of my drug using and drinking days. So this might get a little graphic. But, I think pretty much all of you guys know what I do now with recovering addicts. This story in no way represents anything I would endorse any of you to do. Just realize that this was the end of my using career. It's just a story from my past.

Sorry. Had to say that. Some AA disclaimer or something like that. I don't know.

Back to the story.

Sitting in a bar with a few people in California. Doing shots of vodka and lines of cocaine. Well, I can't really say I was doing lines of coke. I got tired of snorting that shit. That was too much trouble. I didn't want to break this out on the table. I just started swallowing the little twenty bags of plastic. Shooting them back with a shot of Jagermeister and just waiting for it all to kick in at once. It took a few minutes for it to soak into my system. Wow. It hit. Alcohol and cocaine besides whatever else was running around in my system from the night before. Wow. That hit. Why did I swallow it? If I had to go out to someones car everytime I wanted to get high, I would've looked like some whore. "Do you wanna go out to your car? No? What about you? No? What about you? Yes? Let's go!" So you can see I needed another method to get high. So I just ate the packets. Shot them back like aspirin. I had just finished a few shots of vodka and a few twenties of coke when my friend came up and asked me something crazy. Something that was, well, pretty unbelievable. Something that would haunt my mind for the next three months.

Hey Turtle. Turbonegero is getting back for one show. One show only. They are getting back together. Quart Festival. You wanna go?" You have to remember Turbonegro broke up years before. This was a band that was gone for awhile and influenced most bands around after they had left. They suddenly disappeared. They got big when they were gone. We had missed something big. We had to go. We had to see them. Make up for us just finding the album two years after they had broken off and traveled to their regions of Norway to never talk to each other again. But something changed. They were back! One night. Let's go.

Well fuck yeah. Let's get in the car!

"No. Turtle. This is in Norway. Three months from now. Still wanna go?"

Well of course I said "yes" at the time. I was wasted. I think everyone at the bar said "yes" at the time. A few days later I rememebered hearing what my friend said and looking up what Quart was. Where it was at. The plane fare. Hotel fare. Just staring at the computer. Fuck. This is going to kill me. But, I did it. I saved up three months to get there. Just to see Turbonegro.

We are going to Norway!

The Quart Festival is a yearly rock/pop/rap festival that takes place in Kristiansand, Norway in the beginning of July. It's a pretty cool place. The town that is. I had never been there, so I didn't know what I was getting into.I don't think I was ever there. I was still trying to get out of America. Find the passport. The fuck I leave that thing. Damn. Found it. Let's go. SFO. 23 Hour flight. Well fuck that. I hate flying to Europe. If you have ever done it, you will grow to hate that damn little plane that shows you where you are on the monitors. It's so disheartening to look at that screen after you wake up to see you haven't even gotten over New York. Well crap. I've done this before.I'm gonna be nice and numb for this whole trip. I don't want to be awake.

We were in the international area of the airport. Yes, there are two areas and many different bars in this airport. Domestic bars and international bars. We drank in the international area. Cause we kinda had too. Couldn't get out without being seached again and I already felt lucky one time for getting in with a lighter in my pocket, so I didn't want to take a chance getting it pulled a second time. So we are staying here. This is the bar we stay at. We drink here. These are our friends now. I like them. Tequila was passed around. Norwegians were drinking with us because they loved the fact we were going to see the Fnords. Well, technically yeah, we were going to see the Fnords. That's if you call the Fnords mass amounts of carnage and beer. Then yeah. We are going to see the Fnords.

Pills were passed around. Valium. Take as many as you want. Get numb. Try to pass out. Lets just sleep thru this whole flight. Get really drunk and get really numb. I can take a few more. Keep passing them out. I can still think. I need one more. One more shot. Ok. I can't think. I'm ready. We stopped by the duty free shop, stumbling and laughing. I bought two handles of Aboslute vodka and two cartons of cigarettes. Hey man, I don't know what the fuck it's going to be like over there. Got to be prepared. Well, maybe I had been there. I think I might have been to Norway before. Maybe. I don't know. Was I? I knew what Kroners were so maybe I had been. Maybe?

Drugs. Kids, don't do drugs. Just say "no".

They stored the booze in the luggage area, which I hate, but they did it. Hid in the back. Well, I guess in theory, I could've shoved a rag in the bottles and blew the plane up. Light it on fire and made some kind of weird statement about not enough good lesbian porn on the web. Or, I could of just drank it. Hell, I don't know. All I knew is we had 23 hours to hit the ground somewhere in Germany before flipping to a smaller plane to get to Norway. The pills were kicking in bad and I needed to crash. Also, I needed a cigarette bad. Really bad. You can't take a chain smoker and put a nicotine patch on his arm and expect him not to still feel pain. Fuck! 22 hours and 23 minutes left! Fuck. Pass out time. Try to sleep. Just sleep. Close your eyes, tell the stewardess not to touch you and just sleep.

I woke up an hour later. Jacked out on detox booze. You all know what I am talking about. When you drink all night, you can't sleep. You sleep for 45 minutes then your skin crawls and you have now walked into the Land of the Living. Not being able to close my eyes. Valium wearing off. Well shit. This is not going to work. Looking around for something to settle my nerves. Nothing. Crap. Ok. I just have to take this. Let my body go thru it. Out of drugs and booze. Nicotine detox. Jesus, I hated flying to Europe. There's not a whole lot left in this part of the story except for me detoxing off of valium, alcohol and nicotine at the same time. Just having to sit and take it. I wasn't a happy camper. So we can move on with the story.

We landed in Germany. All of us just dying for cigarettes and booze. Running for the first bar we could find in the airport. Slamming back drinks. Pushing poor Germans out of the way. They hadn't seen the likes of these types of Americans since we blew the fuck out of Berlin in WWII. Don't tell me you like me. Don't lie to me Gunter. I know damn well you hate me for beind an American. Just give me a drink and get the rest of the crew drunk and I won't make fun of you for losing World Wars.

Now is another part of the story where I have to tell you that I don't hate anyone. But someone yelling at me that I'm a stupid Englishman while I yelled back that I wasn't fucking an Englishman, you dumb son of a bitch, I'm a fucking American and them still yelling it at me?

That kinda bugged me.

But, the German part is later in the story

We jumped on a plane. A little pond skipper that got us to Norway. For some reason we were on the band plane. All of these bands and members and crew. They all looked like us. All beat up. Wondering why we were there. Why did I pay so much for this? My brain can't think and I'm halfway around the world. Why? I'm not going to lie and say we played this festival. We didn't. We just flew there to see Turbonegero. That was it. If you were playing, good for you. I was just waiting for the last day. When Turbo plays. Quart is a five day festival that starts at about four in the afternoon and goes till about one in the morning. After that, the park closes and the bars open. All of the DJ's drag people in and the party keeps going. Something you all should see.

We landed in Norway. That was a long flight. Where is the bar. No bar. Well fuck. Dig out the vodka and lets pass it around. Half a handle was finished before we walked outside. Walking outside of a small airport in Norway we were confronted by a ton of limos. Well hell. We still need to get where we need to go. Why don't we just get a taxi? These were the taxis for this airport. Kinda like Hawaiian taxis except without the screwed down ashtrays and Don Ho blasting thru the speakers. Grab one. Grab a limo. Lets go. Show the driver the name of the hotel. This is where we are going. This is our hotel. You need to get us there.

The driver looked at us in shock, read the name of the hotel again and then slowed the car down. Looked us over and asked us why we were going there. "Um, cause we are?" He kinda shurgged and kept driving. Really, I was so wasted at the time, I was in no condition to ask or answer questions. Everytime you go to Europe from the West Coast, it is a drag. I mean it hurts. Like really. You guys from the East Coast have it easy. That extra eight hours flight time really takes a toll. Plus the East Cost layover. You feel like you want to sleep till the end of time. But you have to keep going.

We got to the hotel and paid of the driver. He asked us if we were sure this was the place we want to be. I don't give a fuck. This is the name on my iteneray. So, I guess this is it. Thanks, dude. I'm going to sleep. Checking in at about one in the morning. Sun still shining down on us. Fuck man, does the sun ever set here? I see children running around. It's like one in the morning. Not my time. Their time. Wondering why there are kids still up. Pirates running around. Why pirates? What the hell is going on? Getting our key and a shot of vodka. Two big bottles of "orange drink" and gathering our stuff. More kids. The fuck is with all these kids?

Fuck it. Lets just go to bed.

The next morning we woke up.

It was show time.

But where were we at? What kind of hotel was this?

This show hadn't even begun yet.

The pirates were coming.

They were coming for us.

Captain Sabertooth was right outside our door.

And it was only Monday.

We were running low on vodka. We had to face the pirates. They were out there. The kids. The pirates. The vodka.

The Zoo?


But, that's a story for another day.

QOTSA - Feel Good Hit of the Summer
Turbonegro Ride With us
Turbonegro Rendezvous With Anus
Turbonegro -Don’t Say Motherfucker, Motherfucker
Turbonegro Get it On
Turbonegro Back to Dungaree High
Turbonegro - Age of Pamparius

June 26, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 14

This is the 14th in a series. Tales of an anonymous punk rocker. This whole series came out when Michele and the Turtle met and some stories were exchanged. This is the product of both their ideas. Turtle writes them, Michele provides some inspiration and crossed the i's and dots the t's. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy putting them together.

A Kidnapping

Late night. Really late. Like four in the morning late. Wandering around with a stack of papers. Not hand bills. Flyers.

We were in your town. We drove here. You may not wanna see us. But you were gonna god damn know about it. Late night things like this made you addicited to this kind of adrenaline. Blood racing and heart pounding. This was fun. Shirtless. Tired. Going on nothing but pure adrenaline. In a new town. We have one day. Maybe less. Maybe a few hours. Maybe even less than that. We need to do something. Grab something. Get those guns and that stack and lets go. Let's hit the college and the schools. We wait until the dead of night. Nail everything in sight. We can do this. Where is the college at? You know? You do? Well guess what? You are coming with us. Get in the van cause we are going to do this now.

The band was halfway shot so we left most of them on the floor back at the place to sleep. Loading up on methamphetamine, we grabbed a hostage who knew the town. If you didn't know, speed and adrenaline make a fucked up head. But, anyways. Our hostage knew how to get around town. He could give us instructions to get there. Where are we going? Tell us. Like a torture scene from some bad WWII movie. "You have information we need to know! The school closest to the club! Where! Where is it? Where is the club! Where is the club at?! Where! Tell us where the local dive bars are! Where! I don't care if it's four in the fucking morning. Tell us where! Now! We have ways of making you talk...." You get some seriously angry people looking at their watches and feeling like a vampire, knowing the sun will soon rise. We didn't want to know where we were or see any light unless it was lit with a streetlamp and sometimes that streetlamp was to much. Light hurts.

Let's just get this done and then go home and sleep. You need to load this up. This thing right here. You ever see one of these? This is called a tack gun. And before you ask, yes they were all stolen from painters.hataht30.jpg You know what these are. These are flyers. These are what the tack guns hit. This is why we are here. We are here to get these bills up. Tack guns help us in our goal. The reason you are here is to point us to where we need to go. Where is the club. Point and everything will be ok and we can all go back and meet our friends and band members from last night, smoke a cigarette and pass out before that evil, evil sun comes up. So it's your call. Help us and sleep soon. Or act like a whiny "I need to go to sleep" bitch and drag this out longer.

It's your call.

Be here til five, six, seven, or fucking eight.

It's your call.

Get us to where we want to go and you will get you home sooner.

God, that sounds like a threat.

Scratch my head as we head to the crappy parts of town. Basic fact. We didn't draw the cream of the crop fans. We went to the punk rock dive bars hitting up kids who shouldn't even have beeen out in the streets much less be near a bar. No sorority girls here. Which kinda sucks. Cause they always wear sweats. I always wondered about sorority girls. Why do they always wear sweats? I mean I'm not gonna sit around and say I dress the best, but when you see like 20 of them all in sweats with the name of the school or the chapter on their ass, you always have to ask yourself why can't you just go out naked? They didn't put much effort into this so why should I have to? I mean, if I get bitched at for eating food in a restaurant while being shirtless because it looks bad, why can't I point at them and say,"Hey dude, I might be shirtless, but they are all wearing sweats! What the hell is with that?!? Think about that before you toss me out of your half ass fast food joint."

I always got tossed out. Still, I think I made my point. But I'd always lose.

Group of Girls in Sweats v. Some Shirtless Dude Covered in Tattoos.

Oh yeah. I'm taking a walk. I'll leave now.

Back to the story.

We couldn't hit the nice areas of town. Well, we could've. But it wouldn't matter. They wouldn't really care. It would be just like another "Garage Sale" sign that would be ignored and left up two weeks after the sale was over. That would just be a waste of time. Just doing something for the sake of doing it has fucked me over way too many times. I'm not gonna sweat at five in the morning in front of surburbia when I can barely move and when all the residents cared about was where the new Java City is going in. So I take my time now to think about what I am doing. I've spent too much time spinning my wheels till the sun came up to think about this anymore. We were gonna hit three places. The club, which is ok for promotion. The school, which is better promotion. And then the dive bars. The best for promotion.

Drunken punk rock bars rule. You can smell the Pabst walking up. They rule. You know you need to bring out the flyers when you see one of these.

It's always too bad when you find them too late. After they are closed. Unless it was Nevada, you were kinda out of luck at two in the morning. But it happens. But, there still are hangers on. I hate to say it, but gutter punks. They hang out till the sun comes up. Hm. They have friends. What to do.....Kick 'em and stick 'em! When they roll over, push a flyer in their chest and move on. Hell if I know if it worked. All I know is kicking gutter punks is a hell of a lot fun! You like the Subhumans? You like Crass?
150px-Subhumans_Head.jpgWell take a shower then! Hearing them in a drunken stupor telling you something about the government in some slurred language that could only be understood by someone as drunk as they were. "The system is killing you and me! We need to fight the real enemy!"

Ok, stinky. Just show the flyer to your friends and we can call this a night. I don't need to know how CBS has brainwashed me while blood is dripping out of your nose because of the amount of shitty cocaine you did the night before. Slow down there, crusty. Just take the flyer to your friends.

If you have never done this, this activity is illegal in most states and in Canada. Not really illegal, but is breaking the law. Leaving them up gets you in trouble, but by that time, we were gone. Out of town. Maybe it's not in Mexico. But I was always to busy looking for a Velvis to really care in Tijuana. But, you had to do it though. Not kicking crusty punks, that was more for fun, but posting. This is something you do late at night. Usually the night before. You take a shitload of flyers, not bill size but full size and nail everything in fucking site. This is what we did. This was the way it worked. Nail everything in site. Whoever couldn't make it that night had to do it the next night. Drop off the tired crew while the others went out. Grabbed who ever could tell us where we were at. Shove them in the car. Hand them a beer. Start the engine. Tell them that they have a few choices. Learn how to use this gun and learn how to jump as high as you can and how to swing your arm in mid air and don't god damn land on me. I don't like staples in my back or bodies crashing down on me. So hit it right the first time. And don't land on me. Please.

But, there was a problem. Sometimes "Good Samaritans" would pull your flyers down. They would wake up and walk their fucking dogs in the morning. Little, old short men with an agenda? I don't know. All I know is driving down streets I know I posted the hell out of these streets three hours before. Now? No posts. What happened? Who pulled these down? It's only been three hours? It's nine in the morning? They are all gone?

It's happened too many times for me to think it was a drug induced hallucination. They were there last night. I know it.

Just another lesson learned on the road.

Sometimes you can break your ass all night to get your show promoted, but in the end, some little old man with a cane and some shitty dog can ruin a whole nights work.

7 Seconds - Red and Black

June 20, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 13

This is the 13th in a series. Tales of an anonymous punk rocker. This whole series came out when Michele and the Turtle met and some stories were exchanged. This is the product of both their ideas. Turtle writes them, Michele provides some inspiration and crossed the i's and dots the t's. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy putting them together.

Touring. It wears on you. Sometimes it does. I have no idea about these bands that tour all year. What the hell. All year? I need my own bed too much for that. I will tell you I loved it. But, I won't lie and tell you that it was always fun. Sometimes, we begged for a day off. We just did too much. Did it too fast. Did it too much. That's all. We just needed a break. Just a day. Please, just a day. I needed to just sit and watch TV for a day and actually eat something and get my head right. Just a day. One day. Is that too much to ask?

I'm not saying I couldn't take it. I could keep going. I could keep moving. That was no problem. But I just wanted to breathe. Just a day. I was tired. And I felt like shit. We only had gas money, so detoxing off cigarettes was kinda a gimmie. It was gonna happen. I just had to wait til the shakes started. I knew it was coming. I just needed a break. Anywhere.

Good news!

We had a day off!

And we had a friend who lived halfway to the last gig! Ok. This was good. Day off. Small town. Not many expectations. dscn9305_8.thm.jpgTV. Day off. Get me there by three in the morning and let me sleep til nine. That's all I need. Just a floor and a place for me to sleep. I'm cool. Open the door to let the cool air in and let me feel it on my skin and smell it in my nose.

At the end of a tour, you kinda stop thinking about having fun. It just becomes a job. Especially your first tour.When you walk in a club and just smell beer. No one is there. Just you and the other bands. You make friends with them. You just try to have fun. But you know no one has ever heard of you and no one is going to be there on a Monday night. Obligations. You said you would do it. Break the case and get ready for a total of ...three...wait..that's four fans, to show up. And these are the same guys who made you spaghetti the night before.


Why do we do this?

Paying the dues.

So anyways. Every once in a while you are really breaking down. Your body is just spent and you are grouchy as all hell. You don't wanna sleep and you don't wan't to play. Strange town and strange area. But you just know that you need one night off. Just one night. Just to sit on a sofa and watch TV. Grab a beer and just watch it. Just slow down for a second. Smell the fresh air and just sit back.

Well we had our chance. One day off. Thank god. One day to breathe and detox and just try to calm down. Take a shower and eat tons of free ramen. Oh yeah. If you are in a band, you get used to eating ramen really fast. And eating food out of cans gets to be second nature. If you can shove a can of chili in your pocket along with buying a pack of ramen at the local liquor store? Pure dope. Pure fucking dope. Shoplifting? Well, yeah. I guess. I made my reparations to places I've done wrong, so no one lecture me on it, ok? But it worked. It was dope so good it would kill anyone in jail who fixed it. Cause you know what that meant? Chili noodles!!!

*I've been watching alot of women in prison movies lately.

Hey. Don't laugh, dude. I still eat food out of cans, which I hear shit about from Michele, but it's what I do. I mean really, is Chef Boyardee really gonna taste that much better heated up? I mean really. Come on.

So we had a day off. Just sleeping in late. Well, sleeping in late for me really means 9 o'clock, but still, that was a lot for me. So what to do? Where were we at? Some long hair guy asked me if I wanted to play volleyball and have some drinks. Drinks? Ok. Volleyball? Hm. Maybe. We will see. Let me get a buzz going. Then we can talk.

A phone call was made and an owner was woke up. The bar was opening early. Right on. Piling into cars, not the van, that fucker was dying hardcore, but cars. Arriving at course? Oh. Really? Well, this is weird. This is weird. I need a drink. A round of Long Island Iced Teas passed around. This is good. I can deal with this now.

Wow. That's something I never thought about.

Long Island Iced Tea. I need to ask Michele what the story is behind that name. She's from Long Island. She might know. Or maybe she will just say "Kennedy". Hell if I know. Hm.


The liquor soaked in. One day off before the next show. Some band was playing tonight with a bunch of our friends. Well, I didn't know them, but a bunch of friends of some of the guys in the band did. But this was the daytime, Many hours before that show started.... What to do? In all honesty, I could have spent the day on the floor sleeping and just waiting for the gig to start. But, we were hanging out with a bunch of hippies who listened to local punk rock bands and ate ramen all day. They wanted to show us the town. They wanted to show us what they had to offer. Why their town was cool. Plus the owner of the bar was the girlfriend of one of the hippies! Score!

Ok. I'll tell you thing about these longhairs. They had money. I could tell. This was a kinda rich place. This area. Wherever the fuck this was, I could tell, this was a coin operated area. You could just tell. These guys weren't in a band, but someone bank rolled them. I don't ask questions in situations like that. I enjoy the free food and the floor to sleep on. But I'm not gonna say "Hey dude, you have money. The fuck are you eating ramen for?" But hey, that might be how they got the money in the first place. I don't know. I stopped asked questions about that kind of stuff along time ago. You are rich. I can't read minds. Ever since I stopped paying my dues to the Scientologists, I lost my ability to see into peoples minds. As soon as Tom Cruise joined I felt that L. Ron Hubbard sold out, so I left.

What was I talking about anyways...

Oh yeah.

Volleyball and alcohol!

I decided to play. I was in shorts. Our singer was at some skatepark. We were all drunk. What the hell? "Let's serve that fucker" I kept yelling that. Over and over. Isn't that what you say? I think it is. I think I remember that phrase from the Olympics. I think. It's kinda hard to listen when you are so fixated on girls in bikinis diving in the sand. Hey. I'm not sexist. But hey. Asses up, diving in the sand. You would have to be Abe Vigoda not to stare at them wide eyed. And he would even have a hard on. Assess in the sand, man. Assess in the sand.

*This is the part of the story where Michele tells me to knock it off*

Anyways, we decided to play volleyball. Ball in the air. Rules decided. Or, really explained. I don't know how to play that game so I'm gonna have to trust them to not lie to me. I hate doing that cause I know the type of people I associated with were all a bunch of liars, but this was volleyball.

They have to tell us the truth.

Places put and shirts came off. I guess it wasn't shirts v skins, but you guys know by now I don't like wearing clothes. That's just me. And what? I can't smoke while playing this? Um, ok. See here cowboy.... that's not gonna work. See this scar on my chest that looks like a quarter? That's a cigarette burn. I even tried to smoke while I sleep. Yeah, sometimes there are some drawbacks, but I always have a smoke. That little burn tells you I will be smoking while we play. So don't tell me I won't be able to breathe. High altitude and shit. Thanks for your advice. Hit the fucking ball. A drink is calling me. Hit the ball.

It's in the air! Here we go. Being half drunk running around for it. Ok. It went down. We can touch it how many times? Really? Three? That's all? You do know we are going down guys, right? And worse than that. There seems to be some burning hot like thing in the sky that is making everything bright. I don't like that thing. The what? The sun? S..U..N... No. I don't like that word. I don't like that thing. That's kinda sucky. It's hot.

So we were getting our asses kicked. It happens. A bunch of guys ending a tour that kicked their ass usually aren't gonna be the best volleyball players. I might be overstepping my line there, but that's my opinion. Professional time wasters can beat anyone who plays in a band any day of the week. That's what they did. Play volleyball. That's all they did. Play volleyball. That's not what we did. They seemed to take an almost sadistic pleasure when we agreed to play them.

Another ball hit at me. Fuck. I missed it. I was right at the line trying to get this. I thought it was going out. I missed it. I let it go. Damn. Then another one straight at me. I let it go. I thought it was out. Damn. It was in. Damn. OK. If he hits me again, I'm hitting it. I don't care where it goes. I'm hitting it.

Ball hit. Walk under it. Get it!

Unfortunatley for me, the sand bank dropped off at the side and hit a grass pad about one foot down. My foot fell down. It stayed. It stuck on the ground. My body kept moving. I heard a rip and I fell. I'm not gonna say it hurt. But I knew my walking days were going to be limited for a few days. I might have screwed up.

Five hours later, getting out of the hospital with a huge cast on my leg, I sat and wondered about the last show. Oh man. I fucked up.We can't make it. I can't be on stage like this. Wait! It's ok. We have a roadie that can play my stuff!
I don't have that huge of an ego. I can sit on the side to let and let this go on. He can do it tonight. I'm done anyways. Drugs from the hopsital were flowing around my body and leaving from my pores. I did the tour. Well. 99 percent of it. Someone else could end it and I wouldn't get all pissy. But man, I blew it.

Getting in the van.

Laying down.

A body next to me. What the hell? Who is this? Pulling off his blanket. Laying on the floor. Breathing slow. The lead singer? Is that him? What the hell is that? Something on his arm. A sling?

"What happened to him?"

Seems the singer had crashed into some concrete on his skateboard.Dislocated his shoulder and was hopped up on Morphine. There would be no show tomorrow. He was so high he could barely breathe. I was so hurt I couldn't walk.

That was it. That was the end to the first tour. Turn the van home and call it quits. Too much too fast. Next time we will have learned a little from this lesson. But right now, this is over. I always hated bands kicking shows. "Oh! I'm too sick to play." Things like that. That was always lame to see. I hated that. People pay to see you and you can't show up. Always seemed lame. So I always made all shows unless the place burned down. But I think we talked about that story before. If not, you will will hear it later. But anyways...

This was the only time we did that. But hell man, fifty percent of the band couldn't move without help. I think we kinda deserved this one.

Little did I know this was nothing compared to what was ahead of me.

One thing I learned from that experience, though...

I'll never play volleyball again.

Suicidal Tendencies - Go Skate
SNFU - This is the End
DRI - Couch Slouch

June 16, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 12

This is the 12th in a series. Tales of an anonymous punk rocker. This whole series came out when bird met turtle and some words were exchanged. This is the product of both their travels. Enjoy it.

Ok......what's going on.....wait......

Waking up with a hangover. Sleeping on a floor. Covered in beer. Wait, more beer? Wait. Is someone pissing on me? What the fuck? Open your eyes, god dammit. The night is over. Do it now. Fuck. What's going on? Fuck. Where am I? Stop that. Who's doing that? Move. Now. Wake up. Open my eyes. Someone pouring a fucking beer on my chest at six in the morning?

I moved fast and just stared in my usual confused morning look.

"You fucking dick. What the fuck? Why did you do that? Where the fuck are we at........"

"We are near an ocean. Get it? Coors Lite? Like water? I thought it was funny. Well, it's kinda funny if you think about it. But near some ocean. Fuck if I know. One of the two big ones."

Well thanks Dan Rather for that clear concise infomation. That helps a hell of alot. Why don't you tell me why you are dumping a Coors Light on me before I give you a report why I'm kicking your ass. Fuck dude. Just shake me, god dammit. I have never really slept that hard. Or did I? You didn't need to dump a beer on me, asshole.

I had no idea where we were. I knew I smelled the ocean. I knew we had to play at some fucking college. I knew something....fuck...i needed a beer. Well, that's not what I knew but I knew something was happening. I couldn't see straight the night before. I remember just slamming back warm beer after a show. Passing out at this house, I think. Maybe it was somewhere else. I needed water. Drinking so much beer the night before. Losing any kind of mosture in my body and barely able to drive. I could barely fuction. No bueno.

Oh yeah. I drove the van sometimes.

I remember driving around with someone pointing and someone yelling and all of us drinking. That's all. Serious guys. Back then I didn't fuck around. We broke some laws. But you could prolly figure that out by now.

So what the hell happened last night?

I sat on the sofa and thought. What had happened? We played a show. I know that for sure. But after that....

I was lost and trying to find someones home by some beach by the ocean that had a roof and food and something about a TV with some kinda cable thing and the floor had carpet and if I was lucky it had a pillow but if not I had my arm that could hold my keys and those keys went in the van and that van moving and moving ruled, dude. You get a free pizza if you help someone move.

So you can see, I wasn't pushing all the gears here, guys. In fact, if I was a car, I'd be running in first. Or was I an automatic? Or maybe it was a big phoenix that rose out of the ashes. Guys, I was shot. When all your friends start to look like Alex Trebec and you start answering things in the form of a question, maybe it's time to slow down on the drugs there a little.

So imagine waking up to a water fall of beer on your chest the next morning. Wondering. Confused. What the fuck are we doing today? Why am I on the floor? What day is this? Where are my clothes? Why am I naked? Where is everyone? Why is shitty beer being poured on me?

Walking outside while someone is yelling at you that we have a day show in San Francisco. At the college.

What? What college? Where? What? When? Now? Are you serious? Ok. You got it. Lemmie just wash my face.

Hearing in the back as I walked in the house. Throwing a shirt on.

"We need to leave now!"

oko. Let me get my pants. Somehow I ended up naked last night. Don't know how that happened. Wait, I always sleep naked at home. This wasn't home. I don't know anything but to wash this shit off my face and chest. "We need to leave like fucking now! It's at noon today! On the campus! Pull your fucking clothes on and lets go!"

oko...gimmie a sec...I tied one on hard last night...gimmie a sec...hold on....cigarette...hold on....

*disclaimer...I never played the groupie thing...I just sleep's what I do...gimmie a break*

Dragged outside by my arm, trying to light a cigarette while seeing the ocean. Wondering where in the fuck in San Francisco we were. I've lived in Chinatown before and none of this looked familiar. Gotta get my bearings. Gotta figure this out. Where am I at. Where am I at....

"Hey guys, where are we at?"

"Santa Cruz."

"And we have to go to fucking San Francisco? Who's bright fucking plan was this?"

"Yours. You said they had a keg at that house last night. That's why we went."

"I did? Really? Really? That doesn't sound like me......Well, did they have one?"

"I can't remember."

Well I'm gonna have to guess they did cause everyone in the van looked like shit. Really bad. Just lying around feeling bad. You could feel it, smell it, hear it, and fuck man, know it. This was a beat down crew. We went too fast last night. Hey dude. It happens. Like the last cigarette in pack, when you are running low you need to suck the last bit out until you drop and throw the pack away, we had sucked out our strength. We needed a break. It showed. We usually would have to go about 15 hours to stand or fall for the next show, but this one was like four hours till we had to go? And we are two hours away? And set up time plus required getting fucked up time?

Oh yeah.

We might have made a mistake on this one.

Rolling into the campus shot as hell. Not thinking about anything except moving the gear in. Sweating beer, drugs and Taco Bell. Busting our ass to get to the show. Making sure all the strings were tight. Pulling every trick we had to get the last life out of the strings. Tightening up and setting up. Medical tape and beer ready. Pulling off the shirt and waiting to go, wondering where everyone is at. No time for a check. Put the set list up. We know what we need to do. Stand or fall. Let's get this fucking thing going.

Who the fuck is this guy running up?

"Hey guys...we only have time for you to play one song before the next class starts."





"Could you guys just make it a short one? Just have fun and play one? We have Cokes in the back! Just play a short fast one. We need to get this going, guys. Just play."

Oh yeah. We will play. We are gonna motherfucking play till you shut the god damn power off. You woke our ass up and got us here for one song? One god damn song?? Jesus fucking christ. Usually someone buys me a Coke before I get fucked, but one song? Jesus fucking christ!

Ok. We will play you your one song. It's a new one. You might not have heard of it. It's called "Everything We Have With No Breaks Just Cause You Pissed Us Off."

So we went. We just kept going. Who were we gonna piss off? I could give a fuck less about whomever they decided to call sound this week. Fuck man, they looked as wasted as us. The kids didn't care. They looked as wasted as us. So we didn't stop. We keep going. Playing until our set list was done. It was just one of those things. You asked us to come. Wake us up. Didn't feed us. Didn't pay us. And then ask us to play just one song? Are you fucking kidding? What opium den did you just come from? Cause I need to find it. My "No Care" level needs to be up to where yours is.

So they shut the power off. Meh. It was gonna happen. I knew to just keep playing till the speakers said "no bueno." Pissed off basically about the situation and about everyone laughing at me. Waking up too early. Playing when the sun was up. Being hungry. Being tired. Being hungover. Being sick. I could get why everyone was so go giggly. That happens with lack of sleep. It happens. You get used to people not making sense after awhile. When you sweat blood, you will laugh at a thumbtack if the sun hit it right. But what the fuck was so funny this morning? And this afternoon? Why was everyone laughing? What the hell was going on?

I walked into the bathroom. Pretending I got the joke. Whatever the joke was. Looking in the mirror.


Someone had wrote "Insert penis here" on my face from the night before. A drawing of a penis on my cheek pointing at my mouth. An arrow pointed at where it should go on my lips.


That's why they pulled me away from the mirror this morning


And I just thought that all day, the guys in the band were just laughing at my jokes.


I knew my jokes weren't that funny.


FEAR Free Beer

June 12, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 11

[This is the 11th in a series of true stories about an anonymous punk rock guy. This is the turtle's gig, he writes these up.]

We get a little serious now. This is when we really have to look at something behind the shows and look past the road. Something past the sweat and something more then the drugs. A driving factor that bites you in the ass when you are just starting out and don't know where to sleep. Something that everyone has had to deal with. Something that makes you stop and think you can't go much farther, but you have to get more so you can keep going. Something....


Not gas for the van.

That's the fucker that made this happen. That damn van took everything. "The Sled" took all our money with a broken axel in that last town. And gas ain't cheap. But you guys know that already.

Food. Just food.

You have no idea what it is like to be in a strange town, sticky as hell, smelling like smoke, cranky as fuck, racked up on dope and beer and not even remembering why you are yelling at the drummer. "He sucks." "Oh yeah? Why does he suck?" "Cause he just fucking does." "You wanna be a little more specific?" "Yeah, ok. Cause he use's Old Spice deoderant and I fucking hate fucking Old Spice. god dammit. What the fuck is wrong with his head? Why does he use that shit? This van smells like a fucking whorehouse on fire." "OK. Calm down.....hey guys we need to eat...fucking long do we have left to the show?"

Six hours. Oh crap. Six hours. Add show time in on that and you have .....ohhhhh twelve hours or so till we get paid and have enough money to eat? If we get paid?

Oh crap.

I'm seeing elves out of my eyes and running low on drugs and I can't think of anything but some weird ass pastor from years ago who used to send out posters to his flock. Tiltman? Tillman? Tilman? Tilton? Fuck. I can't remember. All I know is I used to tweak and always get them to send me free ones. Kiss a litle ass and you get a free poster. Free ones that I would plaster on my bedroom. I had so many Tilton posters and holy oil and sacred towels taped on my wall it looked more like a baptist minister's room than some sped out kid with nothing to do but fuck with people at four in the morning.

I was kinda gone. I told you.

Not eating does this to you.

Hey. It's what i did back then. Hey, dude. My room looked cool. But anyways.....

Back to the story.

We were all wacked out and needed something to eat. No one had said anything nice to each other for a few days. You get used to your first name being "Shut up, asshole." Your middle name being "Bite me" and your last name being "Hey dude. I'm passing out. Can you drive?" It just happens some days. So we sat there. Just searching our pockets for change. Something. There had to be something. Search the floor. Search the cabs. Search the cases. Search people's asses if we thought they were holding out. Search everything. Find everything. Every penny. Every dime. Eventually me and the git tech found about a dollar.

Ok. Let's think.

Thats not enough for Dennys. So no bueno there. That's not enough for McDonald's. No bueno. That's not enough for Burger King. Shit. We are hitting the bottom here. Like hitting the bottom of the seafloor.The sand was coming fast. Shoplifting was coming to mind. Hmmm. Fuck, I can't function like this. I stopped thinking two days ago. You make the fucking call. Where do we go?

We stopped. The van was dumped in a tourist town. You know one of those towns that is just off the freeway that is entirely fast food joints and nothing else for miles around? A town you always had to wonder where the people who worked in these places came from? Did they import them daily? Where these guys are from? There are no houses for miles. Where do they live? Am I missing something? Do they all live in that hotel over there? What do they do at night? Do they go to school? Does the shake machine work? Cause I can talk my way into a free shake like no other man.

That's the thoughts that go through your head when you have nothing in your head except drugs, vodka and beer. Nothing really matters anymore but you kinda get to thinking that maybe jesus christ would make you feel a little bit better if you feasted on the nipple of the "Taco Bell" virgin!

Fuck yeah! We forgot Taco Bell! We can get two soft tacos! Fuck yeah! How could we forget about the Taco Bell? What the hell was wrong with us?

Oh, beer and drugs....I get

We wandered over to the establishment with a few others in tow. Everyone was splitting up. Some went here and some went there. Most went for 99 cent cheeseburgers or some other crap food. But before we broke up, we all huddled. Not like a gay huddle. We covered that in the earlier post. We just tried to figure out a timeframe. So we didn't have to ditch anyone and pick up a new drummer cause he was too busy sleeping in the tube at McDonald's Playland to get the fuck up back to the van cause "Ronald was so nice. He just wanted me to sleep. And he was so yellow. And he had big feet. Big feet are cool. I've always wanted big feet. Big red feet. "

Not eating again, guys.

I told you.

It does something to you.

So the drummer looks at us. "OK guys, we only have twelve hours to go. We are all dead broke and just get what you can and let's get this over with and get back in the van."

Like fucking some kind of fast food quarterback trying to motivate me to get shitty food as fast as I can. This isn't the Mean Machine. You're not Burt Reynolds and we're not in jail. This is Taco Bell. Not a god damn prison story, drama queen.

Let's go.

I got my soft taco. The only thing I ate for a few days. Covered in six packets of hot sauce to kill the taste. Don't get me wrong. I could eat more, but I was broke. No more cash. No one had any more cash. We put everything in that damn van. We thought it was a deal sitting in a gas station when we bought it. Hey dude. We were wrong. The tank of that van was like a vampire that could live in the day. Fuck. One soft taco. But hey dude. One was better then nothing. Savor that damn thing while sucking it back as fast as you could so you wouldn't have to taste it. It's down. Thank god.

I smoke my last cigarette and flick it.

Out from Carl's Jr. comes the drummer. Strutting like a fucking rooster who just fucked ten hens. Finishing off a huge bag of fries and shoving back the biggest burger I had ever seen and slamming back a huge shake.

I just sat there looking at him like... "What the fuck, dude? We are sitting here sucking hot sauce to get our fucking nine essential vitamins for the day and you are feasting on this? What the fuck happened here, dude?"

"Oh...sorry.... I didn't tell you...I had ten bucks..the food wasnt that good though...sorry I forgot to tell you......"

Oh yeah.

There was retribution at the entrance of Taco Bell that day.

Yo quiero my fucking ass, motherfucker.

Told you.

Not eating does things to you.

MDC - Kleptomaniac
MDC - Corporate Deathburger
Subhumans - Religious Wars

June 5, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 10

This is the tenth in a series of true stories about an anonymous punk rock guy. This is the turtle's gig, he writes these up.

Blame Canada

Where are we? What fucking state is that in? You gotta be fucking kidding me....really? I slept that long? Does anyone have a beer? Hey dude. Answer the fucking question and we can keep this on a civil level. Please dude. My head hurts and I've been choking on fucking exhaust for the last 12 hours. Nice to see you fuckers cared to see if I was breathing. Are you shitting me? We been driving that long? Where is the fucking beer?

Welcome to Canada! Land of fucked up languages , bacon and bad beer. The border that turns into pure trees as you get closer. Pure fucking trees. Somewhere where you don't know what is gonna happen, but much like any other country, all you care about if there are cheap dive bars, cheap food, and cheap gas. It was coming up. Canada. Welcome to the border. Whether you liked it or not it was time to dump the beer cans and pull your IDs. Drain that last beer and open the side door. Dump the cans out on the freeway and watch the Indian cry. Get ready to smile to some dude in a funny suit and wake the fuck up. Your passport..... passport...I had a passport...I fucking had a fucking passport. What the fuck happened to it. Fuck. It's fucking around here somewhere. God damn dude, slow the fucking van down and give me some god damn time to fucking find it. It's fucking around around here somewhere and I can fucking find it if you guys just fucking move off the floor and give me room to search.

This was Canada.

canflag.jpgThis was my first trip. I flew there before, but I never knew. Do I really need one? I'd really been fucked with in Europe for not having a passport. Just a few times. But when I was, it was pretty hard. I'm not a terrorist, but I'm smart enough to eat all the dope I had gotten from the previous country.

But Canada? Do we really have to do that? Show our passport? Really?

I didn't know. But I knew I lost my driver licence along time ago...but I had a passport... "Do you even think they ask for passports? I mean it's Canada, dude. Do you really think they do? I'm fucked if they do.... How much time do we have? They can't really, can they? Do you guy's want to slow down a bit? And fucking try moving out of the way so I can look? "

No bueno. The van kept going towards what could either be some stupid thing in my head or some hardcore search and denial of me into the country.

I didn't know.

Lined up. Pushing drugs into to hidden places. Shoving people around looking for any form of ID while everyone else grumbled at me for waking them up. "Move, god dammit" "Why?" "I'm looking for fucking ID" "What? You are kidding me, right? It's Canada, dude."

I won't fool you and try to say drugs didn't have a big effect on my brain. I woke up paranoid and shot and shaking and sweaty and looking for the next beer and looking for my passport at the same time. Yeah dude, I was kinda shot. My head was sweaty and my eyes were bloodshot. The only thing that helped was shoving back Taco Bell while trying to cover the taste of day old fast food with as much hot sauce as I could to stop the gag response of my throat. I had ten minutes to get my head straight and figure out what the fuck was going on. When you have a limit like that you can either give up, hitch a ride home or slam a beer. You live in the mess that is your head and do what you need to do.

I chose the latter.

No passport.


Let's see what happens then.

Just sitting and wondering and waiting and wondering and waiting and wondering. Is this gonna work? Did I just fuck up? Everyone in the van looking at me like "Hey dude, it was fun with you, but we can always get another bass player, so if you are gonna slam that beer you better do it fast and keep your ass looking"

Slamming a beer, moving clothes around while really, none of us had any idea if we really needed a passport or not for the Canadian border. It's fucking Canada right? I don't even take a passport when I go to Mexico. Do I really need a passport here? Fuck. Move dude. You might be sitting on it.

Found it. Time for another beer.

Now, where are we at?

I was looking at dates wondering where in the fuck Victoriaville is and how far the local liquor store was. That was even too much for me. Way too much information. That's probably how I ended up in Canada in the first place. I started not caring and was just dragged from place to place. We all were. We just kept going. Remember, this was early, so the tour was more of a 24 hour party. It was new to us and we wanted to be numb and have a good time. That meant listening to others and doing what they said.

My head was shot. Really shot. I couldn't fucking think. If you asked me to sell my children to Mexicans for drug mules I prolly would have said "yes" as long as you had a Camel Light.

Two minutes to the border.

Shake your head

One minute.

Toss the smoke, down the beer.

"You have dope? Drugs? Citizenship? Purpose? You smell like beer. Let's search your van."

That wasn't totally unsurprising. We rolled out of the van when they opened the side. It was kind of a gimme that they would think we were doing something bad. The back of the van was loaded with equipment and cases. We reeked of sweat and blood. If you don't know what blood smells like after a few days, fall asleep for one night with a penny in your hand. Clutch it. Smell your hand in the morning. That’s the smell of week old blood.

They pulled us out and counted up our CDs. Made a list. Some dumbass border guard took the list inside and came out with a receipt for us. A receipt for what dude?

We owe what?? To fucking who??

They taxed all of the CDs, all of them. All the band merchandise they could find in the van was taxed. Everything that was imported in was taxed. The only thing that didn’t catch a tax were shirts. Because hey dude, they were clothes ok? We would be wearing them....soon....we swear..they are all personal clothes...ok?

The import tax was more then the value of the CDs. Christ. We just gave them up. We didn't have the cash and the guards weren't working with us. Kinda hard to bribe someone with cold Taco Bell, a shitty CD, a free T-shirt, and a pack of smokes. Usually this works, but not for a guard. They all uppity and shit.

Oh well. Another week of not eating. Another week of being on the road.

They could have the fucking box of CDs. We didn't have the time. We had to keep moving.

Welcome to Canada.

Mr. Right and Mr. Wrong - Canada is Pissed
South Park - Blame Canada

May 30, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 9

This is the ninth in a series of true stories about an anonymous punk rock guy. This one was written by the turtle. I just took care of crossing the t's and shit.

Land of the Mouse
[a follow up to this story]

Disneyland. Anaheim California. That is the town of Mighty Ducks, Del Taco and misinterpretations of "UNITY" tattoos. Somewhere you only go if you want to ride the Matterhorn and have visual sex with Minnie Mouse.

A place that was as flat as the desert and just as god damn boring.

This is where our recording time was. This is where we had to spend what seemed like a lifetime.

We spent all our days in bars with no money waiting for a transfer from the label. We walked from bar to bar. That's what we did. Find happy hours. Move around and not talk to each other. Waitress walks up, we walk away, shoving back the free chili dogs or whatever the fuck they had. Fuck, I think I was on a popcorn diet ‘til "Nacho Thursday" one week. We moved when they asked us what we wanted to drink. Water only can push you so far until they figure out you are a bunch of freeloaders and toss you out. That’s what we did. And I don't make any apologies or excuses. ‘Cause nachos rule, dude. Two words. "Free" and "Nachos." Hey dude, if this a dream don't fucking wake me up cause this is the best I ate in days.

We always did get thrown out. It was just a matter of time . Ticking away. Like a fucking time bomb. Shove that shit back like you are in the fucking Kentucky Derby. Get as much back cause the race is on and it only lasts a few minutes before the wreath is on the winner and you have to leave.

One day we had to wait around while the drummer decided how he wanted his set miced. We had nothing to do. had about a dollar in change so we decided to get a beer. At the liquor store. Fuck man, even dive bars were too upscale for us.

Oh yeah. We were slumming fucking hardcore, man.

The nearest store was one on the main drag of Anaheim. The same street that had Disneyland on it.


Fuck yeah!

We had no cash. Nothing. Budweiser 16 ouncers and a studio with some asshole yelling "Gimmie snare again! One more time! Snare! Like you mean it this time! Snare!"

Fuck that, dude. Let's find something to do.

We tried to borrow money earlier in the week, but as the "Free Nacho" story says, we were having no luck. Jesus, this week was shitty. We walked up to the gate at Disneyland. 9 o'clock at night and 25 or so bucks to get in? Hmmm...they close at 10... we are broke..hmm....Well fuck that, man. This place is only open for a few more hours. After that we are in the studio for most of the night. Hm......

God dammit we are gonna get in. And it doesn't fucking matter how we do it cause if I have to be recording in a shit smelling recording studio for the rest of the week, I'm gonna be riding a fucking teacup by the end of this night. As god is my witness, I will be touching Tinkerbell’s ass by the time this place closes if I have to put up the crap back there for another week.

A idea was born. A plan formulated. Small fence. Fast runners. A diversion. A dumbass diversion.

Well, hell.

It was decided that I would leap the fence. I would be the diversion.

The plan. I would rip of my shirt and throw it when I hit main street. Hell, I had another shirt underneath. I’d keep running till I hit the Haunted Mansion. My friends would follow after the Disney cops chased me. We would meet at the mansion in 20 minutes, have some fun, then go back to the studio.

I couldn't see any Disney cops. Not eating kinda makes you wonky after awhile. And I know nachos are good, they just just don't work as a meal. Things get....funny.

I unbutton my shirt. Wipe the sweat off my brow. Throw the smoke down and down the beer. Kids were coming out ‘cause it was getting late. The park was is in shutting down mode. The night was over for some, but just starting for us.

I ran. As hard as I could. I caught the glance of a kid as I was running full throtle at the fence. It was that confused look on his face. A mixture of "What the fuck?" and "Fuck yeah, dude!!!" Something that reminds you of seeing a Chinese contortionist stretching her legs around her back while being on her chest. Or maybe thats just me. I'm kinda kinky, ok?

I gave the kid a fast smile as I hit the fence. Got over it and started to run.

I was tackled by about three guards right when I hit my stride. Pulled down to the ground as my friends laughed at my ass on the ground and walked away. Disney cops.

Fucking Disney cops.

At least they didn't have guns.

Well maybe chocolate guns.

Minors around ya know.

Vandals - Pirate's Life

May 26, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 8

This is the eighth in a series of true stories about an anonymous ex-punk rock guy. This one was written by the turtle. I just took care of crossing the t's and shit.

Recording. Fuck. Recording. Fuck. I had never done it before. I've been with other people while they did it. I knew the gig. Wait. Drink beer. Wait. Drink beer. Wait. TV time. Little House on the Prairie is on god dammit. Everyone needs to shut up cause someones going blind on the Prairie and I wanna see it! So shut up! Wait. Drink beer. Wait. Taco Bell time. Wait. Go Home. Drink beer.

When I was told we were recording the next week, I was sleeping in a three story Victorian house in the middle of nowhere. I could barely open my eyes enough to step over bodies to get outside. We had to travel. Yeah dude. Unfortunately these places aren't in the greatest locations. I wasn't recording for a big time label that fed us cocaine and vodka as we sat and waited while eating steak sandwiches. This was a warehouse in the projects. Just enough locks on the door to let people know you couldn't get in, but enough that neighbors wouldn’t think it was a meth lab.

It would be four hour drive to the studio. Welcome to LA. You can't fucking go to the bathroom without a four hour wait. You get used to it, but it doesn’t mean you have to like it. But we had a friend producing it all at discount so we hopped in the van and headed for the studio. In that god forsaken town. The land of the Mouse. Christ. Anaheim. Fucking Anaheim. When we got into town, we booked into a hotel, dumped our stuff off and immediately headed down to the studio to check out what we were going to be doing. How it was going to work and who was going to be there. I was tired. The only thing that made me happy was the hat I bought with the last of my money on the drive down. Fucking Anaheim. The last of my money. Spent on shit food and a stupid Mouse hat cause I was too drunk to actually think I might need to eat sometime.

Continue reading "we have a date with the underground, chapter 8" »

May 22, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 7

This is the seventh in a series. It is someone else's story, told to and transcribed by me. Basically, he gave me the details and atmosphere and lot of the words and I put them together in my magic hat and pulled this out. His voice, his story, my translation..

Never Go Back

Some days you feel you have to do what you have to do. Running on empty, feeling there must be some sort of deity who is either out to get you or just bored. Just wasting time fucking with you til "Batman " reruns would come on and he could sleep on the couch. See, this is why I don't believe in god.

One night when we were just starting, we played a gig in San Francisco. The set was alright. It was a two staged set. Two totally different styles of music. One upstairs and one downstairs.

Not really caring about anything but playing, I went to sleep in the truck, carefully noting where the sun was at in the sky so I knew how long I could sleep. Crocodile Fucking Dundee. Like I knew.

When I woke up there were tons of people there. It was two bars, two sets and Saturday night.

We didn't really want to mess with anyone or make any enemies. It had already been a bad run. The last three months were spent cleaning blood off some piece of equipment, the van, or ourselves and we were getting, well, getting fucking tired of it. Waking up in the morning with your hand smelling like a penny gets old after awhile.

The bass amp was huge. We called it "The widow maker." When you say it's name you grab your balls and squeeze. That thing was a mess. A huge Fender cab that weighed probably as much as my mother when she was on her "Pork Diet." It was big and it did was it was intended to do, but it was missing two wheels. Great. Just fucking great. We had a make shift crew that consisted of a neighbor and that was it. He was the one. The one who got free ins but instead of helping, used our drink tickets. He was it. Great. Just fucking great. We had to drag this thing in every night while I kept reassuring my friends that "hey dude, it might bust your balls, but it was fucking cheap ok?"

The set goes, we finish up and and I'm walking around afterwards wondering what happened to my gear. "Widow Maker? Baby?" Finally, our "roadie" said he found our hand truck and would pull my amp out. But, wait.we didn't have a hand truck. Hm. This is the way it works folks, anytime you think "Hm" something is probably wrong. But hey, I was a young dumb kid so loaded on free beer I could barely function my fingers much less put together a sentence asking where that thing came from. "Cool," I thought as I jumped in the van. The roadie pulled the Widow Maker and "our" hand truck in and we took off for home.

Some time during the trip it occurred to me that the hand truck was not ours. It was the club's. We stole it from them. You could put together your thoughts as if this was justified, but in the back of my mind, we stole from them. Burning bridges in this business is not a good thing.

About two or three hours from home, I decided we had to go back and I took over the driving. This was not right. Fuck, everyone was sleeping anyhow Who cares. We had to take the hand truck back. You don't want to leave a club thinking that a band stole from them. I don't even know how much those fucking hand trucks are but i spent more on gas bringing it back than the fucking OPEC nations do pumping out crude.

When I got back, the guy who had stamped our hands the night before was still at the door, probably too tweaked to go home. He asked what we wanted. It was way before 6 in the morning and they weren't even open yet. I explained to him how we made a big mistake the night before and grabbed their hand truck by accident and we wanted to return it and it was an honest mistake and... The dude looks at the hand truck. Stares. Then says "You didn't have to bring that back. That's an old one."

At that exact moment when those words hit my ears, I decided I would burn every bridge like the Towering fucking Inferno.

Dag Nasty - Never Go Back
Dag Nasty - Thin Line

May 18, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 6

This is the sixth in a series. It is someone else's story, told to and transcribed by me. Basically, he gave me the details and atmosphere and lot of the words and I put them together in my magic hat and pulled this out. His voice, his story, my translation..

Sleepy in Seattle

Touring drags on you after awhile. Sometimes you wonder why you started this in the first place. All you can do is look at the dates and anticipate when the tour is ending. Calculating when the last gig will end and the time it will take you to get back in your own bed. It's a bleak feeling when you're near the end of a tour and you look at the gig dates and you come up with a 36 hour drive til you see your house. You damn well know everyone else is feeling the same way so it's gonna be a straight shot home. You'll be in that van for 36 hours and you hate even thinking of it. But it needs to be done. You need to be home. Living in a van sucks.

I was crashed out the floor of another band’s house in Seattle. The guys in that band kept kicking us to wake up, saying we were a bunch of sleeper boys. Fuck, we'd been on the road 16 hours after playing a gig in Portland then another in Seattle. All I could manage to do was stick my middle finger up from under my blanket and say "You know, you need to go fuck yourself."

We had a break that day, so we got up and went thrift store shopping. Dead tired. But something tells you that if you don't do get up and out, you are going to sleep all day and lose your ability to function in the night. See you get used to being on a "no sleep schedule" on tour. Sure you sleep, but really, how well can you sleep in a strange town on a strange floor with strange people when you don't even know what fucking time zone you are in? The local guys were all happy and fully rested and I looked at the guys in the band and saw the black circles underneath all of our eyes, which told me we were just about done. Thank fucking god this was almost over. ‘Cause we were gonna have to bury someone if this went on any longer.

We spent the morning by the wharf. That area of Seattle is full of great dive restaurants, the kind where you can eat an omelette, drink a beer and have a cigarette in your mouth at the same time. At 8am I was eating breakfast and listening to sailors tell me their stories as they drank vodka. I slammed back Budweisers as I wondered who the hell could drink vodka this early.

By noon, the whole band was dying and we had a show to play that night. We needed to sleep bad and it was up to each one of us to take care of that ourselves.

sleepground-thumb.jpgLater that day, we loaded in to the club. The sound check hadn't started yet. I got my hand stamp and drink tickets from the door. I looked at the guest list to see who it had on it then it hit me....I didn't know anyone in that fucking town . I needed to crash, bad. I had been sleeping in clubs for years. Didn't mean I liked it. I just got used to it. But it had to be done.

Right when I was just going down, I heard the thump of the bass drum. I was out of it. Not drunk, but completely exhausted. I had been awake a long time and instinct alone kept me going. I got up, walked out back with a smoke in my mouth and fell asleep outside. Right then some one kicked me up for sound check. Great just fucking great.

The band was half awake and half dead and as they walked on the stage before the check and I wondered if this gig was even gonna happen. I couldn't remember my middle name much less tune a fucking bass. Shoving back drinks, I pushed the button and I was ready. 15 minutes of this shit. Great. Just fucking great. Meanwhile a bench out back was calling me to sleep on.

But when the crowd moved in and the first band hit the stage, I had a feeling that this was gonna go. And the longer the opener played, the more I could sense that feeling coming up, that this was gonna happen tonight no matter how tired I was, these people wanted to see us and we damn well better come on stage and play.

Ramones - Touring
SNFU - Trudging

May 17, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 5

This is the fifth in a series. It is someone else's story, told to and transcribed by me. Basically, he gave me the details and atmosphere and lot of the words and I put them together in my magic hat and pulled this out. His voice, his story, my translation..

Can You Please Stop Throwing Beer On Me?

After that initial gig, we start picking up gigs at other party houses. Tonight's at a frat house right outside a college town.

You really don't know what to expect inside of one of these. I mean, frat guys are pretty much the exact opposite of punk rockers. So walking to the door there's a feeling of "Hey! We are gonna get free beer!" and "Hey! We are gonna get our asses kicked!"

The first time we walk in this house, the stench hits me. Beer and burning methamphetamine. That smell permeates the house. As we set up to play, we watch as ten guys bump into walls and play video games.

I roll in the drum bag, set it down and go to look for a beer. One of the wall-bumpers says that the keg won't be there for fifteen minutes, so I head for the fridge to see if there's any beer there. Something I have never seen stares back at me - a fridge with a padlock on it. Great. Just fucking great. Now what? Welcome to a frat house.

I go upstairs to find the friend who lives there who hooked this gig up for us. He's sitting in his room smoking speed. On tinfoil. Call the white trash brigade cause I have one to be picked up. His hands shake as i ask him where the beer is at. He says there is a keg downstairs. There isn't. Great. Just fucking great.

I walk back downstairs and just wait. That's something you have to get used to when you are playing gigs. Hurry up and wait. It's one of the worst parts of being in a band. You're told you need to get ready. Then you're told to wait for an hour. Hurry up and wait.

Our equipment is already set up, so we just sit around this huge house waiting for something to happen. Eventually, people start coming in the door. It's getting huge, fast. I can't believe how many people are pouring in. As they walk through the house, they give me a look like I don't belong - a contemptuous sort of a sneer. It's a look that you get used to. It's a look that says "They let you in this house? Your band better be god damn good." There's a huge crowd of people and they push everywhere. Just getting up from the keg is a challenge, much less keeping people away from the set.

thouse-thumb.JPGI'm using a new wireless set. One of the guys in the band has a friend who lets him try out these new devices to see if we like them. Musicians like us rarely get much gear for free. We usually deal with an asshole salesman who wants to jack us like a fucking used car salesmen. But this shit is free for us to try out and we decide to test them out at this party. If we only have them for a night, we might as well drop the clutch and see how much these motherfuckers can take. So I take my bass, and as I'm playing, I go for a walk to test out this wireless thing. The guitarist is sick of getting hit with beer so he follows me. The singer takes our lead but heads out the back and we try the new equipment out in the different yards, just having fun, seeing what we can do with this party. I'm outside playing the wireless bass in a circle of kids. They are screaming at me and throwing beer on me, and I just keep going. The singer is in the back yard getting the same thing and the poor drummer has to take it all on his own in the open garage.

As the beer cups hit me and people dance around me, the only thing I think, surprisingly, is "This is fucking cool!" Still playing, I walk around the house. over to a fucked up sofa that's just sitting outside, and the crowd follows me like I am the Pied Piper of Punk. I sit on the couch and just move my fingers as girls come up and kiss me on the cheek. I keep going, just playing, listening to clues as to which song we're playing next.

The singer, still in the backyard, says something like "Ok, this is getting crazy, we lost our guitarist and our bass player and I have no idea where I'm at, but this is the next song." He yells the name of it and "1-2-3 go!" and I'm going again on the sofa with a huge circle of people around me.

I'm laughing and having the time of my life. I remember that earlier in the night I thought that being punk rockers in a frat house, we would get our asses kicked. Getting wired and drunk on free dope and beer, and the kids digging the music are things I never expected so I play my heart out for this crowd and the rest of the band does the same. We are fucking glowing. The kids feel it and edge us on as we push with everything we have to make sure we have fun. Because when the band has fun, the crowd does, too.

After the gig, someone from the frat comes up and asks us to be the house band. I think, this is a great fucking week. And it's only Tuesday.

Fear - Gimme Some Action
Rich Kids on LSD - Dead Teds
Rich Kids on LSD - Break the Camel's Back

May 14, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 4

This is the fourth in a series. It is the beginning of someone else's story, told to and transcribed by me. Basically, he gave me the details and atmosphere and lot of the words and I put them together in my magic hat and pulled this out. His voice, his story, my translation..

Paying the Dues

You can't get the big gigs if you don't cut your teeth on the small ones first.

It was raining when we pulled up late at night in a small college town to play one of our first parties. We drove up there in a pickup truck, with all our equipment in the cab. By the time we got there, the boards were wet, the gear was soaked. We spent the first half of the night waiting for the rain to end while using hair dryers to dry off the wires.

It was getting late and we knew we had to get out there whether the gear was dry or not and at least say something to the kids if we couldn’t play. You don’t play in the rain unless you want to die. But you walk out to the kids just to say "Hey we fucking tried, ok?"

Finally, the rain stopped dripping out of the sky. Any last hopes that we could get out of this night were dashed. It was time to start putting the gear together and dragging it outside. The last beers were downed and I started moving. By the time we set up, I had already downed a few 40s and people were filing into the backyard - mostly to get to the keg, not to see us.

Stage_diver_Circle_Jerks-thumb.jpgSomeone smiled down on us that night because the gear all turned red when we hit the button. We were a new band and we really had nothing so far as our own material. Yeah, that’s the way it works folks. Not many bands start out playing their own music. Well, they do, but basically all of the songs are subtitled "Crap i wrote When I Was Drunk." So you play a lot of covers. That night we started playing Circle Jerks "Back up Against the Wall.” If you have ever heard that song you know it is kind of mellow up till the kick. Then it goes. When that kick hit, the place exploded and things started getting out of control.

This was a party house that had three other houses connected to it. People from the other houses pushed over the fences to get to this party and the fences came crashing down. Wood that was meant to separate the yards was now just something to walk over to get to where we were playing.

The main focus of the party was the beer. In all honestly, our band wasn't that great. We were just there to entertain while the keg was being tapped. Even so, the music and the atmosphere was something you can't take lightly. When you see all the girls and guys having fun while you are ripping it up on stage, it's a bit awe inspiring, especially when it's one of your first live gigs.

My friend Jimmie had been sleeping in a bedroom that was right behind the set. There was a sliding glass door on the room that was covered with a sheet to stop the sun from shining in on him in the mornings. He thought it would be fun to turn a backlight on and dance naked as we played so everyone could see his shadow as he danced sideways and held his cock up. If Jimmie didn't get laid that night, then surely god did not exist.

So here I was, just a kid playing bass at one of my first live shows, and I had people waiting in line for beer cheering for this huge, dancing cock behind me.

The party was getting out of hand. Fences were beaten down and three separate pits started in three yards. I knew they were happening but I really didn’t care; I was experiencing the rush you get from playing in front of a crowd. You get scared of that feeling, but you get addicted to that rush, too. You want to stop to savor the moment, because every time a song ends you can feel that rush eaving you, like the last drips of your blood are escaping a cut vein and you have to hold on to the vein so you don't die. You need that feeling - you don't know why, you just do. So you towel your forehead off and wait for the lead while desperately trying to get a smoke in, to get the last drag of a cigarette into your lungs before you know you have to spit it out and move again.

A yell. A scream. A fight broke out and there’s a body on the ground. I walked over and tried to pick the kid up off of the floor while I was getting hit in the back of the head. The same time I was trying to get the kid out, some asshole walked up and nailed him with pepper spray. The fumes hit me and knocked me back. I recovered, dragged the to the front and shoved him out the gate. My night was done. I really didn't care because after driving all day, drying off the equipment, then playing all night while being sweat soaked in the cold air, you really are kind of done.

I got a towel and went inside to sit on the sofa. The people who weren’t scared off by the cops were still running around. I was out of cigarettes, so I walked back outside to find someone who was smoking. The party had broken up. The show basically ended when the police showed up. This was up in the top ten rough days for me, yet I walked out of the gate wondering why I still wanted more.

Circle Jerks - Back Up Against the Wall
Dead Kennedys - Riot
-Youth Brigade - Violence

May 12, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 3

This is the third in a series. It is the beginning of someone else's story, told to and transcribed by me. Basically, he gave me the details and atmosphere and lot of the words and I put them together in my magic hat and pulled this out. His voice, his story, my translation. This series will have enough stories that they will eventually get their own page, but for now they will appear here at least once a week, most likely more than that.

I've Got Blisters On My Fingers

If you've ever been to a punk show you know the thing that takes your breath away is the bass. The guitar will just blow your ear out. The vocals are ignored by most of the people in the show. This isn't The Who, this isn't The Rolling Stones. We could give a fuck less what you are saying, you don't run this show. The only reason the crowd moves is the bass and the drums, and the drums will numb your brain. But the bass, it will reach into your chest and suck the air out of your lungs.

john-thumb.jpgI'd watch John Entwistle and I'd stare in awe at his three finger playing. The way his hands moved, the intimidating attitude and stance, the man became a god to me. I'd watch him play and study his movements and it was always like he was holding the set together. While everyone else was having fun, he only had this intense half ass smile on his face that said,"yeah this is fun but where are we going after this?" Townsend could jump all over the stage and Daltry could flip his mike wherever the fuck he wants, but without Entwistle the set dies, and he was so cool about it, like he didn't give a shit about anything. Yet he ruled everything. I got the same feeling years later when I saw Black Flag and Kira Roessler was playing bass, and I was awed at how mellow she was amidst all the chaos. Entwistle was the same way, but even more intense, because you could tell he had the power of the music in his hands, that the grind of his bass held the music together. His sound held the music hostage. I wanted that power. I wanted to play an instrument that could shake your bones. Something about that hit me hard and, etched the thought in my head that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to play bass.

I was 15 when I got my first bass, a Fender knock off. The first night I had it, my brother told me to play with my fingers and to just keep going, even though I didn't know how to play, even though it was going to hurt like hell. So I spent that first night, unplugged and in front of the tv, playing until my fingers ached, watching them first blister and then bleed. I did that every night for about a week and my fingertips became so hard I could make sparks fly if I dragged them on the asphalt.

I started to play with other kids, mostly in a garage at one guy's house where had a makeshift set. There was a guitar, a mic running thru a guitar amp, a set of crappy drums, and my bass. We sang songs like "Sexual Snoopy" and "I Hate Tuna Casserole."

The first time you hear your miced voice boom across the neighborhood so everyone can hear is intimidating. Most kids will step back when they hear their voice pushed through the neighborhood and say "Hey, whoa, this thing is loud!" I was into it. I would talk on the mic about my new comic book and or just laugh and not care that my voice was being carried down the block. In fact, I liked it. That's how I knew that life on the stage was for me.

The Who - Happy Jack
The Who - Boris the Spider
Black Flag - Jealous Again

Part I here
Part 2 here

May 10, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 2

This is the second in a series. It is the beginning of someone else's story, told to and transcribed by me. Basically, he gave me the details and atmosphere and lot of the words and I put them together in my magic hat and pulled this out. His voice, his story, my translation. This series will have enough stories that they will eventually get their own page, but for now they will appear here at least once a week, most likely more than that.

The Cobra Bites Back

I wake up at noon not wanting to move, feeling the pains of one of my first hangovers. I wonder why I ever thought it would be a good idea to drink vodka - why the hell do people drink this crap when it makes you feel so bad? Despite my hangover, I grab a warm Bud from the case my father forgot to put in the fridge. I wander out into the living room, sit down and stare at the TV, my head spinning. The phone rings. Do I want to go to a show tonight?

A few hours later I'm sitting outside the house smoking, waiting for my ride. A primer grey 68 Chevelle pulls up. I toss the smoke, slam the car door and wonder what the hell is gonna happen tonight. I'm 13 years old and on my way to my first punk rock show.

gbhstud.jpgWe have some time to kill and some new areas of town to explore, but, being the way we are, the only thing we explore is an alley next to a liquor store, armed with a few 40s of King Cobra and a pack of smokes. We hang out there for a while drinking and smoking and by the time we’re ready to roll out to the show, that one 40 oz has rendered me shitfaced. We had long ago ditched the Chevelle at the Midtown Market, so we walk the five blocks - I’m mostly stumbling - to the Oasis Ballroom. G.B.H and Cro Mags. It's show time.

We get inside the gig and it's dark and I don't know where I'm at; the only thing I know is that the doorman is my neighbor and I can get into a 21 plus show for free even though I'm only 13. I spot my neighbor and he pushes me in.

I'm standing by the side of the pit. I know I'm too small to go in, but the lure of the pit - and the fact that I’m too drunk to care - is too much and I attempt it anyway. I get hit immediately because the small are preyed on in those places. I'm nailed right in the face, on my left temple. The hit drops me and suddenly I'm covered by bodies of older punks because that's what they do when someone small goes down, they protect them. Hell, if someone bends over to tie their shoes in the pit in between songs, two people automatically stand around them as a shield. So I go down, but I'm picked up before I hit the ground and pushed back up. I realize I've had enough and stumble out of the pit. The second wave of a King Cobra drunk hits me. Hard.

G.B.H. is just starting their set and I can't stand up. I'm about to puke and my eye hurts where it got hit. Suddenly, I'm being held up be the doorman, who knows I shouldn't even be there. I'm digging around in my hurt eye for my contact lens. I can feel it in there, I figure it got moved around when I got nailed, but I can't get to it. I'm throwing up, looking for my contact lens with one hand while trying to cover the spray of my vomit with the other hand and wondering, not for the first time, why I was there.The stench of the show is unbelievable. I move my head so as not to inhale my own vomit when I breathe, but I only smell sweat, beer and well, piss? Yea, I think that's piss.

I've got puke all over my shirt and I'm still clawing inside my eye for my contact, still being held up by my neighbor, GBH still playing in the background and I'm sure I'm going to pass out any second and then it dawns on me that I was never even wearing my contacts So what the fuck? In my drunken stupor it occurs to me that the thing I was clawing for in my eye was not a displaced contact but a cut I got in the pit. I shake myself off the doorman and head outside, smelling like a fetid mixture of my own sweat and vomit.

I ask myself again, why am I here? Why did I do this? And despite the fact that I am about to go down hard and despite the cut in my eye and the stains on my shirt and the sweat stinging my eyes and despite choking on the smell of piss and beer, I know I'll be back. Something inside that place - the music, the lights, the pit, the rush, even the violence and the pain - something makes me want to come back. Something tells me I need get back in there and be a bigger part of what I just experienced, because what I just had isn't enough. I need more.


Race Against Time
Knife Edge
Drug Party

Part I here

May 8, 2006

we have a date with the underground, chapter 1

This is the first in a series. It is the beginning of someone else's story, told to and transcribed by me. Basically, he gave me the details and atmosphere and lot of the words and I put them together in my magic hat and pulled this out. His voice, his story, my translation. This series will have enough stories that they will eventually get their own page, but for now they will appear here at least once a week, most likely more than that.

Sometimes you have to wonder how you ended up where you are. Your mind wanders to the distant past and to distant places in a vain attempt to find out who you are today by searching for who you were in the past.

How could you know that something you did - something so small - would be the catalyst to a lifestyle? How could you know that an idea you had on a boring Sunday afternoon would open your eyes to the begining and make you see everything in bold new colors and a brand new frame? That you would look back on that seemingly insignificant moment and realize it brought you to the precise instant when you first felt something click, something that shouted "you better forget your past because we are hitting fifth gear. Forget everything you have seen before this, because the next turn is coming and you better fucking hold on."

If and when you look back on your life and wonder how you became this person who stares back in the mirror at you in the morning while you brush your teeth, you are lucky to get even a small feeling of how it happened much less a full clue of when your path moved from one to the other. When you stare at yourself and question how it started, why you wanted to get tattoos, why you liked the bright lights and the smell of sweat and the bodies climbing over you to reach for the stage only to jump back in the crowd, you have to wonder where the beginning of all that was, don't you?

meatmen.jpgFor me it was spending one Sunday morning when I was 14 years old drinking a beer and drawing up a cover of a Meatmen album (We’re the Meatmen and You Suck) on a white t-shirt to wear to a gig. I placed the album under the shirt, turned a bright light on it and drew the outline, filling it in with black Sharpie.

I got picked up for the show and spent the ride there wondering why the hell I was sliding around the back of an El Camino with a German Shepard on my way to this punk rock show; something that scared the shit out of me. My two previous experiences with shows left me nervous about going to another. I do remember that I felt different about this one, that this was something big. Maybe it was making the shirt; I felt a connection with the scene that I hadn't felt before. My feeling that something big was happening to me intensified as I got into the gig.

I found myself sitting on a staircase with a skinhead whose only happiness that evening had come from drilling a hole through his steel toed Doc Marten to fit a nail in it. I sat drinking a beer with him and being blown away by the weird pride he felt in bragging about that. Hell, when you are 14 you drink with whoever buys you a beer. The feeling I got as I looked at the guy as he pointed out the nail made me think I might be getting into something that was bigger than I could handle. Despite that, I still had that sense of something big about to happen to me and was feeling the rush that comes wtih being at a show, It was the stage and the lights that dragged me in, the moving with the crowd toward the stage, the girls voices in your ear, not talking to you but just talking, wanting to move up and get closer to the stage. It was the feel of the stage cutting into yourchest and you just wanting to get up there and look at the crowd just to get a taste of what is was like. And once you are in, you can’t just stop. You have to keep going. Everything in your body says for you to go home and just go to bed. But you know this is you. You were meant to be there, even if it meant something like hanging around with a guy who puts nails in his boots.

I was living the moment that changed everything for me and anyone who has lived this life and feels like they were born to do this will remember that click, when the music starts and your beer spills and you are pushed forward, and people are crawling on you to get to the stage. For the entire show you are covered in bodies and beer. If you aren't drinking a beer, you have one coming at you. If you aren't in the air or on the stage, you are on the ground. You ask yourself again Why am I here, why am I doing this, but you can't leave. Something deep in you, whatever it is, tells you this is what you are born to do. Not to be in the crowd, but to be on the stage. When you stand on the floor smelling the sweat and feeling the heat of the lights, and you look at the stage and think that’s where I want to be, it's life changing. You imagine the feeling of the band. Being out there on the floor has given you such a high and you think about how high the band must be just on adrenaline and not only are you jealous, you are envious. You want more. You want to feel that.

Standing there on the floor, the heat was so intense I felt as if it was suffocating me. Sweat ran down my face and stung my eyes.. As the crush of people pushed into me, my t-shirt - soaked with the sweat of myself and everyone else in the pit - stuck to me like glue. The heat and perspiration soaked the fresh ink of my shirt onto my chest. I reeked of Sharpie.

As I walked out stinking like ink,beer and sweat, a girl came up to me wearing a silk screened version of my shirt and asked if she could have mine in exchange for hers.

That was when I knew something was different. That this was where I needed to be . I knew the smell of sweat and smoke was going to be on me forever and I had better god damn get used to the bright lights cause they were only gonna get brighter.

Meatmen Stomp
1 Down 3 To Go
Tooling for Anus
Blow Me Jah
Mr. Tapeworm

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