Monthly Archives: September 2000

09.27.00 – Cleveland, OH

I realized today that my bandmates are taking full advantage of being on our first arena tour, discovering and using backstage facilities I didn’t know existed.

Adam, searching for that common ground between meditation and workout, discusses yoga with Jim from BNL:

Adam considers whether or not he wants to be photographed in a turquoise leotard:

Adam strikes a warrior pose!

Meanwhile, Ryan found out that the training room not only contains exercise bikes, but a DVD player with a copy of “Taxi Driver” in it.

Ryan contemplates the career of Cybil Shepherd while working his calves:

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09.23.00 – Mixfest, Boston MA

Flew from Detroit to Boston to play the Suffolk Downs Race Track to a festival crowd that were there to see us play with Ben Harper, Roxette, The Go-Go’s, Macy Gray, The Vertical Horizons, fellow Tufts alum Tracy Chapman (Go Jumbos! Right, Tracy?! Chug, Chug, Chug! We sure had some good times…), Barenaked Ladies, etc… we played six songs (seven if you include “Race Track”) and Pasty verified that Belinda Carlisle watched our whole set from the side of the stage. Though for me the highlight of the day occured as I was leaving the track…

To get to the parking lot I had to pass through the horse betting area where lots of old men were watching races on TVs because, even though Suffolk Downs had postponed their races due to the concert, these men are addicted to gambling and the venue was servicing their needs, broadcasting horse races from other tracks for everyone to bet on. As the 12th race approached I heard one confident-looking man whisper to his friend, “smart money’s on Chubby.” And so I bet my wallet on horse #9 — “Chubby” to win, place, and show.

Photos by Joshua Sloat

You could say I had a relapse of sorts. While 1994-1996 were critical years for our band, surviving a transition from Gus to Guster, recording our first album and planting the seeds of a touring base, for me they were simply “The Jai Alai Years.” I have been meaning to discover OTB (“Off Track Betting,” not to be confused with OCB — “Old Country Buffet,” another addictive institution), and now I have no choice but to visit them soon and often to win back the smart money I lost on a donkey named Chubby yesterday.

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09.22.00 – Detroit, MI

In honor of the first night on our new tour with the Barenaked Ladies, Ryan got a brand new guitar.

The only problem with Ryan’s new guitar is that it came in an electric blue/purple color.

Please send us your thoughts on the matter by casting a vote below…

The color of Ryan’s guitar is best described as:

a) pretty
b) stupid
c) tuff

The results of the voting will never be published anywhere.

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09.20.00 – University of Michigan

Our contract rider requests some things that are necessities (a case of water, three towels, etc), some things that are luxury items (farley’s strawberry fruit snacks, AA batteries, etc) and one goldfish in a bowl. We almost never get the goldfish in the bowl, but in Ann Arbor tonight we got three goldfish in three bowls. One for each of us. Dead. All three of them.

We usually give away the goldfish and bowl when we get it as these things deserve loving homes (i.e., not our bus) but we weren’t sure what to do with the dead ones the University of Michigan gave us. We gave one away to a girl in the front row who didn’t seem to mind that it was dead. It is worth noting that these goldfish were not floating. They died and sank. I don’t get it.

Now I realize that this journal entry does not have the same insightful wit that the last few did, but my mom called today lamenting the scatological tone of the last one, and i felt obligated to replace it with a nice pg-13 journal entry.

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09.14.00 – Providence RI

This was our 2nd show with our new tour bus. The show was fine. It was after the show that *the shit went down* and someone out there knows exactly what I’m talking about. Tour busses come with bathrooms, and the toilets can handle tinkle but not crap. The pipes can’t process solid waste — they get clogged and start to stink. No Pooping is The Rule on every tour bus. Adam once pooped in a trash bag because he couldn’t hold it and he respected The Rule.

Last night someone shit in the toilet on our new bus. Our driver, who we are just getting to know, was dumbfounded. Day Two and he had to break out the rubber gloves. We were upset as well. So upset that we are asking for your help. Below are the top five suspects, selected during an intense one hour meeting this morning between band members and crew members. In the name of justice, come forward whoever you are…

1.) Dalton Sim
Dalton is our manager and he should know better than to shit on our bus. However he ate Mexican food last night and he doesn’t have to live on this thing. Dalton is 5 foot 9 and hangs out at the White Hen Pantry in Porter Square a lot.

2.) Jennifer Terpollili
Jennifer is a friend of our sound engineer, Rob. She was on the bus, with another friend, for an hour after the show last night. Rob claims neither of them left the back lounge, but Rob could be involved in a cover-up. Rob himself is lucky he isn’t in the list of suspects.

3.) Bill Carroll
Bill is our good friend who works for our record label. He has been in the business for many years and is an avid reader of our road journal. I SAW HIM USE OUR BATHROOM, but he wasn’t in there for more than a minute. Perhaps he committed the crime swiftly, maybe without wiping, but Bill knows The Rule and we doubt he’d do that to us.

4.) Ellen from WBRU
Ellen was in charge of running the concert last night, and her name has been changed in this journal entry. She is a suspect because we discovered her cell phone in the front lounge of our bus after the show. She could have walked on the bus while we were on stage, shat comfortably in our air-conditioned bathroom rather than using the port-o-potty outside, and then gone on about her merry way, leaving the cell phone behind as incriminating evidence. Arguments against The Ellen Theory include the strong argument that “girls don’t shit.”

5.) Elizabeth Weinberg
Liz is the person I email this stuff to so it will go up on the website in a timely manner, without requiring that I learn html or ftp or any of that stuff. I pretty much just included her in the list to see if she would edit it out before it went up. I don’t really think you crapped on our bus, Liz.

Editor’s note: I didn’t do it.

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09.10.00 – Roger Williams College, Bristol RI

yesterday at roger williams college in rhode island a good chunk of the student body came out to see our show on the soccer field, if only because the campus dining services were barbecuing out there and the only way to use your meal plan that day was to see guster. the show was kind of casual… ryan challenged a student named “brent” to a frisbee throwing competition on stage and lost miserably. someone requested some neil young so adam let me play his guitar and sing a verse of ‘heart of gold’ (it’s the only song i can almost play — Em, C, D, G). but the highlight was when we walked off stage and noticed that two bumble bees were having sex in the cooler on top of a bottle of water. we considered saving them from drowning but justified leaving them there on the grounds that they were dying happy and that bees sting people.

click here for a research and reference guide to early american literature about roger williams and his quest to begin a colony where people could worship as their conscience desired without state interference.

click here to see a photo of the bees fucking.

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09.04.00 – St Louis MO Country Fair & Air Show

We played our first ever St Louis Missouri County Fair & Air Show last night. I don’t know how it ended up on the schedule, sandwiched between two innocent college gigs at Columbia and Syracuse. But we were up at 4am, making our way to the airport so we could fly to St Louis and perform to 100 people and 1000 haystacks, with rented equipment, no sleep, no soundcheck, and the “Blue Daredevils” (or something) playing chicken with their airplanes in the sky above us. We were really cranky about the whole thing until they picked us up from the airport in a limo…

In the back of the limo we did exactly what you’d expect. We pushed every button there was to push until we found the one that raises and lowers the barrier separating you from the driver’s cab. We pretended we were in Spinal Tap, and that the driver was going on and on about Sammy Davis Jr, how Frankie Sinatra calls the shots for all those guys, etc… then we looked around until we saw that the cooler was stocked with “Vess-Up” lemon-lime carbonated beverages:

…which seemed odd. You’d think if someone was going to spend a lot of money to put us up in a fancy hotel and drive us around in a limousine all day, that they would stock the limo with a brand-name soda, and not save ten cents on Vess-Ups for the passengers. Don’t get me wrong. It was refreshing and delicious, and we were grateful to have something to drink back there. We were grateful that we didn’t have to walk to the county fair. Grateful that St Louis exists at all. In fact, as this rant seems somewhat spoiled, I am suddenly quite sure that Vess-Up is a special gourmet beverage, made with the pulp of rare imported limons, and served only to members of the limousine-riding community that are aware of its existence and superior taste. And we were grateful to have with us a digital camera, with which Ryan tried to capture the death-defying stunts being performed by the brave pilots above us… (note the artistic use of negative space in Ryan’s photo)…

Or note the six planes in my photo, caught on camera at the precise moment they jettisoned from their tight huddle, a split-second before they zipped off in six different directions, some upside-down, some right-side-up, some doing the thing that ‘Goose’ tried to do in Top Gun.

As for the gig itself, we played 7 songs, each one marred by technical difficulties. Ryan said “fuck” into the microphone and then realized that we were performing to a bunch of families sitting on blankets. Adam tried to put his foot through his monitor to make it sound better. I ate too much ice cream at the fair and almost got diarrhea. We were up at 4 again this morning to catch a flight to Syracuse. Rock and roll.
(note, the word “almost” was added to the last paragraph during the editing of this journal entry.)

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