Mon, Feb 5 - San Francisco
Day one of the tour! We were excited.
Mon, Feb 5 - San Francisco
Day one of the tour! We were excited. We loaded up the van at Danny's house, stopped in Glendale to pick up the lovely and very talented Darice Bailey (keys), and we were off. Fairly uneventful drive, which was good...we drove by Harris Ranch on I-5 which never fails to disgust with its pungent odors of death (it is a very large cattle ranch)--it was enough to make even the most ardent steak-lover (read: me) re-think eating meat...we got to Cafe du Nord around 5pm and loaded in. They furnished a very tasty dinner--pork chops, biscuits, mashed potatos...everyone at Cafe du Nord is exceedingly nice...Rob the club manager went out of his to make us feel welcome. The show was a total jam--a great crowd of about 100 nice folks, and it was a great way to start the tour. Our friend and "tour manager" Ben, who in his real life is an overpaid "strategy consultant", put us up at a swank hotel we could never afford on our own. They even had oxygen canisters in the room, though despite our best efforts we couldn't really "feel" the effects of the oxygen.
Tues, Feb 6 - Travel Day/Hanging in Davis at Ben's Folks' House
Mellow day...I had a very tasty seared Ahi tuna burger then we drove to Davis, CA, where Ben grew up and where is his folks still live. We took it easy--Ben's folks were very generous and hospitable, cooking us a very tasty dinner of sausage and tri-tip, in spite of Dan being introduced several times as autistic. That night we watched "The Limey" with Terrence Stamp, one of my favorite movies. Went to bed early.
(CONTINUED: Click permalink below for more tour diary entries from 2/7-2/9)
Wed, Feb 7 - Eugene, OR
Long day of driving--Northern CA and southern OR are beautiful...looks like the planet Endor from Return of the Jedi. It was kind of a raining, misty mountain hop sort of day. We got to Eugene around 6PM and went straight to the venue, Sam Bond's Garage...they had a lot of nice beer and tasty pizza. Eugene, to be frank, however, was kind of a letdown--there are a LOT of hippies and overall, just kind of a weird vibe. They seem to like aliens a lot--there are lots of drawings og otherworldly creatures. The cashier at the health food store--who was very nice--was the highest person we'd ever seen our lives. The show was kind of a letdown, though we did meet Conrad, a crazy, crazy old hippie who defies description. He made many outrageous claims (one of which is that he does a one-man, a cappella Doors tribute act), got really drunk, and basically freaked us all out. We retired to a fleabit motel and all contracted one thing or another from the sheets...the best part was the big sign in the bathroom that said "Don't Steal the Towels and Linens"--and then the bathmat said "Hilton" on it.
Thursday, Feb 8 - Portland, OR
We were all very excited to go to Portland, Ross and Dan never having been. We rolled into town and met with up with our wonderful booking agent Kevin. We set up shop at his killer pad and made our way to the Doug Fir Lounge , which is easliy one of the nicest places we have ever played. The food, the soundcheck/soundguy were all very much to our liking. We played a great show for a very respectful, appreciative audience who didn't seem to have any money for buying records. Jim Fairchild (of Grandaddy) has a new band called All Smiles and they were really god. Jim Fairchild might be one of the nicest, sweetest guys we've ever met--Ross has a huge man-crush on him. Ross also has a crush on Janet Weiss. Anyway, it was an amazing night all around. Special Thanks to Kevin and Kelly for all the hospitality.
Friday, Feb 9 - Seattle, WA
It was a wonderful homecoming for me, and another first time visit for Dan and Ross. We went immediately to KEXP and did a short performance on air. The people at KEXP are True Believers and they are invariably warm and supportive of the band (this being our second meeting; we all remember the fireworks from our performance on air during CMJ). We then loading into Sunset Tavern and somehow killed four hours either napping or drinking before the show. We had a great, great crowd and played our balls off, despite the drinking/napping. For the first time (for me anyway) there were people mouthing the words to our songs. That is a crazy feeling, although I would like to know how they figured them out; I'm pretty sure none of us know the words to anything except the chorus of "Down in the Valley".
After the show we drove to Snonhomish to stay with my family. We listened to John Lennon and arrived very late. My aunt, uncle and cousin went above and beyond the call of duty. Thanks so much for the hospitality guys! Special thanks to Mike Goldberg for the nice writeup in Seattle Weekly, and also I want to give a shout out to my big brother Dave since I blew it on the radio.
Now off to Government Camp, OR to play Mt Hood...more entries soon!!!