Monthly Archives: November 1999

11.30.99 – Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Providence RI

Hello all…it is finally my turn to “guest-star” on the Guster Tour Journal (kind of like Mr. T on that episode of “Different Strokes”). But anyway, it’s me…Eric. You may have heard my whistling/clapping on the album version of “All the Way Up to Heaven” or seen my sleigh-bell performance on the live interpretation of the song. My actual job title in Guster-land is that of monitor engineer/guitar tech. This means I am responsible for what the guys are hearing in their little tiny earpeices during the show, as well as tuning and maintaining all of Adam and Ryan’s guitars.

Tonight we played a WBRU show in Providence with Vertical Horizon and Tori Amos. It was my 3-year-old nephew, Lucas’, first rock concert ever. According to the girl sitting in front of him in the balcony, he pointed me out every time I came out on to the stage. I think he’s my biggest fan.

But the show went really well and I got to hear Tori’s cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. I think she even waved to James (our stage manager) on her way out. See ya on the road!

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11.29.99 – James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

guest lecturer: ryan miller.

we are in harrisonburg. harrisonburg, virginia. woo hoo.

much fun tonight. it has been a while since we played a university sponsored event, so tonight was a nice change from the oh so grueling club tour. the kind folks at james madison u gave us lots of juice (orange AND cranberry) and a poster, complete with glitter, that read, “jmu loves guster.” that was sweet of them.

three t-shirts were launched at us before we played a single note, and we wore our “jmu ultimate frisbee flying hellfish” shirts with pride thoughout the show. in fact, we inaugurated a new guster tradition: if anyone thows a t-shirt at us on stage in virginia, we are required to put it/them on. for real.

looking forward to tomorrow’s show with tori amos in providence. i’ve seen her on mtv.
ok. very late and i must go and play a few games of bond to get my confidence back after receiving an “ass-whoopin'” by two punk challengers earlier today. i could not hang. i am a dark stain on all that is guster.


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11.28.99 – Hammerstein Ballroom, New York NY

last night we played our biggest show ever. hammerstein ballroom in new york city.

there were 3500 people there, including my parents, guest bass player steve lillywhite, and a girl named heather renee lazinger who emailed us asking if we’d announce her 18th birthday from the stage. we did. just for the hell of it. we’re still waiting for her to speak up and confirm that she was on-hand to soak up the glory of the moment. thanks to everyone that emailed us already to say “hammerstein kicked my ass” — i think we were suprisingly comfortable on stage for such a big show. here’s a brief recap for those of you that missed it…

we chose ‘happy together’ by the turtles (in its entirety) as intro music. we used to play the verse part of that song as the bridge of ‘barrel of a gun.’

lillywhite played bass on ‘what you wish for,’ ‘two points for honesty,’ ‘x-ray eyes,’ ‘barrel of a gun,’ and half of ‘bury me.’

there were 50 dead chickens strung from the ceiling and hovering above the stage. i read my 2nd grade thanksgiving poem about turkeys being shot in honor of the holiday. there were big yam collection bins on stage too.

ryan started playing ‘demons’ and it sounded like he was either two frets off or wicked shithouse or whatever… adam cut him off and refused to play the song until he put his capo on correctly.

dan myers played a ridiculous sax solo on ‘fa fa.’ his best yet, i think.

ryan played piano on ‘so long’ for an encore… it wasn’t bad either, though we mainly did it as an excuse to noodle around on ‘my life’ (bosom buddies theme) on the piano.

we attempted the acoustic ‘mona lisa’ for a finale but couldn’t get 3500 people to be dead silent for it. fortunately, as we are wont to do in these situations, we recovered boldly by performing a rendition of the song plugged-in, but with your conguero/author here on vocals. i have never hit so many notes in one night. thank you new york city.

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11.26.99 – 9:30 Club, Washington DC

We played “We Are The World” as our last song with Jump Little Children tonight. Every band member took a verse. Ward sounded just like Willie Nelson.
We’ll miss you Jump Little Children. Enjoy your travels

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11.20.99 – The Fine Line, Minneapolis MN

guest journalist: angela (the merch girl)

so- this entry is a bit belated. i wanted to write on thursday night – feeling inspired for whatever reason, but the need to shower took over at 3:30 am. we played edmonton that night. a place called “the sidetrack cafe.” before we played, the place hosted “an evening with elton john,” who also happened to be playing edmonton that night. they brought over 100 people to their restaurant by bus, fed them and sent them to the elton john concert – once again by bus. the whole deal seemed a bit odd to me, but then, the fact that guster was playing following this event was equally as odd, so i chalked it up to, well, canada. i was wondering; are canadians accustomed to seeing live music in such venues? the whole eat a meal while listening to guster was too close to dinner theater for my liking. but hey, if that’s how you like it…

the opener at the sidetrack was a local band called “knee deep in grass.” the name says it all. a few guster highlights included several (inevitable) brief elton john covers, as well as ryan’s debut as ryan miller – vocals and keyboards. he faked his way through “so long” like the pro he is, and rumor has it that performance won’t be his last. something to look forward to.

we’re in minneapolis now. the last show before a brief break and the big thanksgiving weekend. oh- and we’re getting a new bus this week! clearly, there is much to celebrate. so let me close by saying sorry if my entry doesn’t contain the same wit and charm that brian’s usually do, but this is only my first and i can get better. really…
be nice to me and i’ll give you free stuff.


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11.16.99 – Day Off, Vancouver BC

Today we saw a matinee of Being John Malkovich on our day off in Vancouver. Rarely is there a Guster Consensus when it comes to movies but we safely give this one the full-on Guster Endorsement. Run, don’t walk.

Last night 58 people came to see us play in Vancouver. I think it was the most fun we’ve had at a show since Gunnerz back when we played Iowa City. They fed us shots on stage and the night just sort of went wherever it went. Perhaps someone should make a tree of the tape of last night. I’ve never sung Mona Lisa so well in my life.


Calgary and Edmonton should be interesting.

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11.15.99 – The Starfish, Vancouver, BC

Hi from Vancouver. I slept through the border-crossing last night so obviously they didn’t break out the dogs on us or tear apart the walls of the bus looking for drugs. This is Brian. I believe our run of guest journalists (Pasty, Isaiah the Contest Winner, James our Stage Manager) is temporarily through… we are still waiting on Lillywhite to toss in his two shillings but he left us hanging on the Studio Journal too.

The West Coast of the United States was very encouraging. Bigger crowds than we expected. Apparently lots of east coasters move out to the west coast when they graduate from college.

Last night in Seattle Ryan told a longwinded 6 Chapter story of his day, explaining why he was wearing the exact same clothes that he was wearing the previous night in Oregon and why he showed up at the gig in a rental car 15 minutes before we were set to take the stage. We also played “Two Points For Honesty” with Ward from Jump Little Children on cello for the first time since Michigan. Ward is the greatest human being on the planet earth, with the possible exception of the other members in his band.

There are some new pictures up on the Nov 13th journal that are worth checking out if you like photos of congueros and horses. Audi 5000.


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11.13.99 – On the Road to Portland, OR

Hello to all across the horizon. I must say that the following opinions and statements are in no way endorsed, supported, or agreed upon by guster or its employees.

We’re en route to Portland, oregon coming from San Francisco. We roked out Great American Music Hall last night. The past few shows have included musical guests Dan Myers on Sax, Steve Lillywhite on bass and dancing shoes, and i made my first appearance on maracas during Fa-Fa. Brian finished up the show singing Circle of Friends, a recent crowd favorite.

My job title is described as Stage Manager which is to include duties that lie within the realm of the stage at any point before, after or during the show. Most of the time i maintain damage control on Bri’s drum world, and help Ryan with guitar passes. Bri of late has been on a flurry of breaking parts again and snapped off a cymbal arm in LA. Evan, the drummer from JLC has been kind enough to loan us whatever it is we need when in a desperate situation.

We are wrapping up the west coast leg of the tour, which like most of the rest of the tour has been fast and furious. We’ve more or less been blessed with great fall weather and few catostrophes.

It is time for me to sign off for now. I’ll get some more pictures up of the guys and our travels. Until we meet again…enjoy yourself.

James Ragsdale

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11.12.99 – House of Blues, Los Angeles CA

Today’s guest writer: Isaiah

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with my favorite band, Guster. The day started when I arrived at the 5 star hotel at the same time as a limousine. I went into the hotel and told the people at the desk who I was and waited for the band to show up.
Brian was the first band member to walk to the limo, congo drum in hand. My mother, who was nice enough to drive me out to the hotel, and I met Brian and talked to him about the day’s plans. Adam came down a few minutes later, and we picked up Ryan in the tour bus. The band made it clear that the only reason that we had a limo is because the Mystery Machine wasn’t good enough.

The fun began when we visted three different music magazine companies, some better than others, with the band signing many autographs and taking as many free cds that they could fit in their pockets. Next was the stop at the radio station 103.1. The band flawlesly played ” Barrel of a gun (4, 3, 2, 1)” and ” I Spy.” I also made my radio debut.
Finally we made it to the House of Blues and had to wave goodbye to the limo.The bands did their sound checks and Jump, Little Children started the show off. They had a great set, and then cleared the stage for the headliners.

As they said on stage, and few times in the Road Diaries, ” We aren’t going to play some of the hits, we’re going to play all of the hits!” And they did, with the croud cheering and singing along the whole time. At the last song of the regular set, ” Fa Fa,” The band let me be the honorary maraca player.( F.Y.I. Brian didn’t bleed all over his drums and turn the show into a KISS concert. And I only messed up a couple of times.)

The band played two encores, the second being a completely unplugged version of ” Mona Lisa.” You could hear a pin drop in the room the crowd was in such awe. After that, many people used me to get to the band, and it worked, perfectly. By the end of the night, I got my autographs, my free gear, and great memories.

My only disappointments were that I ran out of film before the show started, and that I didn’t get any Guster action figures.

Honorary Maraca Player,

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11.09.99 – Day Off, Los Angeles CA

Special guest writer today: Pasty

Some may be asking themselves a couple of questions right now.

1) Who or what the hell is Pasty?
2) Why isn’t that Bongo guy writing?

Answers: I’m just a caveman. I don’t understand the ways of your modern world. Are there little people living inside my computer typing these words? Wait, no. I am the tour manager for the rock band Guster. And that Bongo guy who we all so dearly love, is on the 5 day D.L. because his hands are so blistered and bloody, between the Advil and the ice is barely able to function. Enter me.

I write to you, dear reader, from the confines of our 5 star hotel here in Los Angeles complete with kitchen (ooohhh) and working fireplace (aaahhh). Why a fireplace in L.A., I have no clue. Anyways, I thought I might give you a little re-cap on the past couple of days on the road.

Since our big New Years shin dig in Boston, the aforementioned rock band Guster has been spending time conquering the mid-west and all that it has to offer. Wednesday we all spent a lot of time at the arch in St. Louis. Adam describes the arch as, “Awesome.” I think he and Angela (our merchandise person) even spelled out the letter “A” on the ground while Ryan (in between phone calls to everyone her knew) took a picture from the top of the arch. The show in St. Louis was one of the best of the tour. The guys played really well, and the crowd response was really strong, Brian bleeds all over drums.

Thursday brought us to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa.
Friday was another great show at the Ranch Bowl in Omaha, Nebraska. The show was great, and the best thing about it was that there was a bowling alley attached to the club. Rob (our sound engineer) and myself had a couple of heated matches going on. The other great thing Nebraska provided us with was underwear for Brian and Eric. Again, Brian bleeds all over drums.

Early Saturday morning we arrived in Boulder, Colorado. It was a gorgeous day in the foothills of the rockies. We all had a lot of free time during the day to visit with some of our old friends in the area. Adam and Ryan went hiking and rock climbing, while Brian and I journeyed around the “Ped Mall” and “the Hill” with Eric (our monitor engineer), Angela, Rob and Ari our old tour manager who many of you know well. The show that night was fantastic. A sell-out at the fabulous Fox Theater with Brian once again bleeding all over his drums. The only downside to the evening was the fact that our friends Jump, Little Children, with whom we are on tour, were not able to make it due to technical difficulties to their shuttle bus.

At 4:00 am the next morning, we headed for the Denver airport to catch a flight to Florida. We had a show with Kid Rock in West Palm Beach the same day. We arrived a little late to the Denver airport, had a bit of trouble checking a case full of Brian’s drums, and it turned out that Brian and I missed our flight. We were cutting it close as it was. Our original set time was 3:30 with our plane landing at 2:05. Now, Brian and I were not going to be landing until 4:30. What to do? We scrapped the plans for Adam and Ryan to play acoustic when I was able to get the set changed to 5:50. The band “The Marvelous 3” was kind enough to switch times. So, we made it to the show, set up some rented equipment, and the guys played a pretty short set including a rousing rendition of the Ramones tune, “I Want to be Sedated.” It all worked out, and no blood. At the end of the day, I crashed at the hotel only to be awaken by Kid Rock pulling the fire alarm.

Life on the road. Life on the road.

Stay tuned for more special guests later on in the week.


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