We were about 5 holes into a relaxing round of frisbee golf today when things took a horrible turn. Coming out of the mall parking lot and shooting for the flagpole in front of the AmeriSuites hotel, drum tech Sean Lynde drastically overestimated how far he could huck the disc and made an ill-advised attempt to clear a water hazard in just one stroke. The disc landed in a pool of algae, right in the middle of the scummiest pond this side of Skokie. We made him get it. It was the good disc.
Assured of road journal glory and consideration for August in the Guster Swimsuit Calendar, Sean strips down and tests the water:
SEAN LYNDE: “Didn’t you guys see Stand By Me!?”
HOTEL SHUTTLE DRIVER: “You know, I can drive you over to Target and pick one of those up for a buck or two…”
i came down with some nasty bronchitis infection and left the road journal here to fester last week. it was hard enough to play each night without releasing bodily fluids at inopportune moments (i.e., drool during “bury me,” urine during “i spy”), nevermind maintaining this thing. thanks to my bandmates for taking the journal by the reins and filling in while i was down.
in north carolina friday night we learned that our set time was bumped up to noon at the voodoo festival (saturday) in new orleans, which meant there was one band (“black eyed peas”) between us and eminem. it also meant that we had 15 hours until we were supposed to be on stage, and we were 900 miles from new orleans. our bus driver estimated it was a 15 hour drive, but he made it in 14, and we played our first song (“barrel of a gun”) just five minutes late. the crowd was surprisingly large and receptive for noon. we’d expected to play to a lot of indifferent eminem fans. eminem showed up for his set 35 minutes late (he is on “hip-hop time,” which is slightly more prompt than “reggae time”) but still had enough energy to grab his crotch and say “y’all muthafuckers” over and over and over. yes, we get the point, we’re all mother fuckers. gotcha. i tried to get a picture of him but the security guards wouldn’t let me bring my camera on stage. not even when i coughed on them.
instead, please enjoy this advance shot from the forthcoming guster swimsuit calendar, which should make even a sworn homophobe like eminem question a few things. what do you think? july? november?
warning: the following journal entry contains no pictures.
on the way from denver to st louis we had a lot of time to kill so we watched the wizard of oz while listening to pink floyd’s album dark side of the moon. you know, how if you start the album exactly on the third roar of the mgm lion, the whole movie is supposed to psynch itself up with the music thereby creating the most psychedelic audio/visual experience ever.
i dunno. both the movie and the album have frequent mood swings — at any second dorothy’s liable to get whacked by a tornado and floyd could be about to hit you upside the head with a wailing choir. sometimes these moments lock up and it’s incredible. but it’s just what happens because the movie and the album are similar dynamically. they are each masterpieces. i say buy them and enjoy them seperately.
here is another reaction i had to it:
this is the greatest. discovery. in the history of humankind. that lyric just went “the lunatic is on the grass” and RIGHT THEN the scarecrow was freaking out on the path and stuffing himself with hay!? dude, it was sick. there’s no way that shit’s coincidental. wait. what the. that kick drum was totally like a heartbeat when the tin man was pounding himself in the chest! no way, we have fritos on this bus!? yes. tito is the worst dog actor of all time. you can see his eyes following his trainer off camera. no way, we have honeycombs!? yes. is the milk still good? i don’t care what the date is… smell that shit before you drink it. soon, pasty, the midgets are coming soon. you keep asking that.
Almost missed my entrance during “Fa Fa” tonight because I brought the digital camera with me on stage and snapped a picture of the crowd as we started the song…
I thought it would be a wider photo, showing the full effect of the arena, with Ryan and Adam (the two guys I am in a band with) on the sides, but all I got in the shot was my tambourine, Ryan’s elbow, and a piece of the crowd, most of whom were chanting in unison:
“Brian, put the camera down! You think about your road journal too much! It’s starting to affect your performance! Have you thought seriously about seeing a therapist!? At the very least, just talking to someone might help you overcome your fear of mascots…”
There are 15 hours of highway between Seattle and Salt Lake City, and Michael (our driver) tackled them in one overnight chunk. This morning I woke up somewhere in Idaho, sat shotgun for a while, and noticed that Michael had been killing bugs all night with his big strong windshield. I tried to count them but soon became bored (and confused). I told Michael my great idea — “I’m gonna write a road journal about all these dead flies! It’ll be awesome!” And he laughed at me and said, “what, you think that’s a lot? That’s nothing. I didn’t even NOTICE those.” And that’s when I realized that the job of the tour bus driver is to see past the bugs and the senseless death littered across the windshield. To see the highway, to smell the wind, to feel the diesel fuel in your blood and the destination in your soul. To ignore your lazy eyelids, your need to pee, the strange noises coming from the lounge behind you…
Michael Stook, Didn’t
notice the bugs on his windshield.
Michael Stook, Never found out who shat in his toilet.
Michael Stook, “Don’t put me on your fucken website.”
Ween’s road diary puts ours to shame. Visit http://www.ween.com (click on tour dates) and check out what it’s really like to live the rock ‘n roll lifestyle. They make us look like a bunch of computer geeks.
Something about our dressing room being the University of Texas Longhorns basketball locker room helped us deliver the gutsiest set of the tour tonight. Perhaps it was this motivational sign hanging next to the lockers:
Or maybe it was the Texas Fight Song, there in the locker room in plain view, which we sang (replacing “Texas” with “Guster”) with our hands over our hearts before we took the stage.
Then again, maybe we were inspired by our newest t-shirt idea, the one where we swap out “Texas” for “Guster” in the following sign and watch them sell like piping hotcakes…
Or, are we breaking some NCAA privacy rule by exposing this stuff?
Day off in Texas, where the flat rock steps across the lawn to our hotel are shaped like… Texas. Everything here is BIG! Everything here is a chain. Ryan bought a cheap blue reclining chair at Target and we all waited for our turn to sit in it because we had nothing else to do. We’re in a suburb of Houston where it’s 95 degrees, there’s an indoor pool that’s too depressing to swim in, and we aren’t mobile.
For lunch we were convinced by the Texan in our band to eat at “Luby’s,” a famous cafeteria chain down here. “Try the chicken-fried steak,” said the Texan. So we went to Luby’s and filled our plates with mashed potatoes and green beans and chicken-fried things and Texas toast and everyone took about two bites of their meal and lost interest in them. That’s when an innocent exchange between two members of our crew turned ugly.
Jamie Landry, 28, monitor engineer for Guster, was through with his meal and had stacked his plates of half-eaten food on top of each other with a slice of chocolate cream pie on the very top, when Sean Lynde, 27, drum tech for Guster, asked “can I have a bite of your pie?” Jamie’s answer: “No. I want to throw it out.”
Sean Lynde: “just wanted to taste the pie”
Jamie Landry: “wanted the satisfaction of throwing it away”