Days of Lore

MONEY FOR NOTHING There’s a certain romantic element to being in a band—creating music, receiving the adoration of fans and traveling across the country in a tour van with nothing to do but eat, sleep and rock, or in the case of Led Zeppelin—drink Jack Daniels out of the bottle, shoot heroin, dabble in Black magic and dip red snappers where they don’t belong.

I’ve always been fascinated with the whole band concept and thought if ever given the opportunity, I’d take it to the limit like such debauched luminaries as Bonham, Osbourne and Sixx—you know—bedding down mothers and daughters in the same night, snorting ants through coke straws and tossing furniture out hotel windows. You think that’s disgusting? What about the fact they were getting paid disgusting amounts of money to carry these acts out? God bless America!

So I was finally given my chance to wreak a little havoc with my band on a recent mini-tour of the Pacific Northwest, which included stops in Portland and Seattle. It was only two days, but I think just about everything that could happen on a three-month cross country tour, happened—and I’m not talking about all the fun stuff listed above. We dealt with unruly stage managers, we got lost in Seattle, our van broke down in Oregon and we played sub-par sets both nights to crowds that liked us. If anything, it was the perfect vehicle for conducting a little sociological experiment.

MISS PIGGY, YOU’RE ON I knew things were going to be interesting the second we walked into Sabala’s in Portland—an old converted movie theater filled with greaser-types with neck tattoos and pompadours. We were greeted by the stage manager, sporting a poofy mullet, a thin Fu Manchu moustache and a shiny blue satin jacket that covered his jolly old beer-belly. He sort of resembled a puppet and the running joke was that he was like Scooter from The Muppet Show, hurrying us to set up, yelling at us to get off the stage after 20 minutes, yelling at us for trying to load our equipment out, paying us 30 bucks and lecturing us on the ins-and-outs of being a touring band.

On the bright side, we almost got in a fight with a group of meatheads after the show, I enjoyed Dot’s famous burrito in a bowl and I was able to witness first-hand what listening to Reagan Youth at five in the morning does to 30-year-old men.

LOVE BUZZ Seattle was the complete opposite of Portland—a great club, good sound and nice people—and it’s the home of Queensrÿche for God’s sake. There was also a good buzz in the air since their beloved Seahawks had made it to the Super Bowl (all for naught).

And even though we drove around the city for hours trying to find the Sunset Tavern, once we did, we were greeted not by a Muppet, but by a kindly bartender who made us feel welcome—thanking us for coming and offering us all the beer our little hearts desired. We even had a sound-check. And both bands, Olympia’s Nudity and Seattle’s Kinski were fantastic. Check them out at: and

TOUR DIARRHEA The next morning didn’t start off so swell—a dead battery, which was replaced with a new one that eventually died just south of Eugene, Ore., due to a bad alternator. The ordeal set us all back a day—to the chagrin of bosses and wives. But it was all worth it to meet Jim the tow truck driver who has been to just about every city in the country: “Chico? Fuck Chico. I got stuck in traffic one time and … ” He also told us about the time he saw Bob Seger, Linda Ronstadt and Emerson Lake and Palmer in 1975 while tripping on acid. I’m going to miss the big lug.

All-in-all it was a good weekend. I met some good people, I realized I wasn’t going insane when I saw sparks shooting from the battery compartment and we managed not to kill one another. But three months of sitting for hours upon hours with the same guys in a van that smells like someone crapped in the ashtray? We’d surely all die.