Monthly Archives: October 2003

10.30.03 – UNH

A guy named Brian offered us a three-person UNH clarinet section via email and we took him up on it. Brian and Jen played regular-old clarinet and a guy named Peter played bass clarinet. And it totally energized Diane, at least in our monitors, where it was audible. In the house they might not have been able to get it up enough in the mix, but the crowd seemed to like that fact that a few students were up there playing woodwinds with Guster.

Welcome to my most boring road journal yet.

Funny jokes: 0
Pictures of sheet music: 1

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10.29.03 – Chicago, IL

A few weeks ago a Chariots of Fire outro sprung up at the end of Homecoming King in Florida. It happened kind of organically, like we were just noodling at the end of the song and suddenly we all knew what had to be done, it was TIME… but then you start playing it regularly and eventually the novelty wears off and it feels less spontaneous, gets stale, and eventually gets retired. This is the way it goes for many of Guster’s gags (for the love of Christ, are we still playing the Hot Lixx version of Medicine?)

The plan in Chicago was to get a bunch of really big men out there in their underpants for the Chariots of Fire outro, and we lined up a bunch of full-figured friends for the job. Even sent two out to Walgreens for tighty-whities when they thought they could just show up in boxers and pull off a Chariots reference (k’shaw!?). Anyway, all bets were off when we realized the Barenaked Ladies were in town that night, and no one likes to be on stage with Guster while wearing their skivvies more than them. (Dental Plan! Lisa needs braces?)… they gave us two brilliant slo-mo laps (three BNL guys anyway, along with three miscelaneous large friends of ours) and Kathleen Edwards punctuated the gag with her signature “Hey I’m Hot AND I’m Wearing Guster Is For Lovers Panties” ass flash. The members of Guster were happy and the members of the crowd were alternately happy and confused. We played Rainy Day as an encore for the first time in at least three years. It was just like the scene in Life as a House where the miserable whiny kid hits rock bottom and agrees to give the creepy neighbor guy a blowjob in his Mercedes for cash. (that scene is soundtracked with Rainy Day, just to be clear here).

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10.22.03 – Consumer Report

I am going to write a brief but definitive consumer report on bottled spring water right now. There is no one more qualified to do this than me. I am The Thundergod and I have been drinking ten random bottles of water a day for eight years now. If I didn’t include your favorite brand of water in my report, you are welcome to write me about it and I will tell you whether it’s worth drinking or not.

GREATEST BEVERAGES ON EARTH: Crystal Geyser, Poland Spring, Deer Park.

I DRINK IT, BUT I FEEL FUNNY ABOUT IT: Aquafina, Dasani

GOOD: Ice Mountain, Arrowhead, Volvic

FAIR: Dannon, Member’s Mark “Natural”

EXCUSE ME, DID YOU JUST PISS IN A BOTTLE AND SELL IT TO ME? I THINK YOU DID. I THINK YOU JUST SOLD ME THIS BOTTLE OF WATER THAT TASTES LIKE PISS. I WOULDN’T WASH MY ARMPITS WITH THIS WATER. IF A DROP OF THIS WATER HAPPENED TO END UP ON MY TOOTHBRUSH I WOULD HAVE TO THROW THE TOOTHBRUSH AWAY:

Aberfoyle, Evian

I feel a little funny writing about bottled water and not Elliott Smith today. If you don’t have any Elliott Smith records, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Sad.

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10.18.03 – Texas

The seven-week point of the tour is the point where you’ve been on tour too long. It’s the point when people are liable to snap at any moment. It’s the point where conversations like this happen with the lady behind the counter at the hotel:

Me: I’d like to check out of room 710.
Her: I think your ear is bleeding.

And she was right, my ear was bleeding. I dabbed at it and it was wet with blood — not just like a speck of blood, but a full-on pool of blood, like I’d been shot in the side of the head but didn’t notice. Without a mirror in front of me I just used the front desk staff’s reactions to gage the severity of the situation, and they all looked pretty horrified. I started thinking “when could someone have shot me in the head? I hardly even felt it…”

Anyway, it was probably a shaving accident and Adam had a styptic pencil in his bottomless dop kit, which is good because we went to a radio station in Austin right after that, and at the seven-week point of the tour you don’t need a D.J. asking you if your ear is bleeding on the air. Or how you got the name Guster.

Anyway here are some highlights from Texas:

HOUSTON: I steered clear of the Jack-In-The-Box and had an okay time for once in Houston, thanks to a beer-drinking Cat and a beer-drinking bird. A guy named Jeff actually got kicked out of the show for throwing a ping-pong ball at the band during Airport Song. He was the only one who chucked one at us. He was screaming “It’s a tradition!!” and flailing his arms as the security dragged him out in a headlock. Or something.

DALLAS: Hands down the best show we’ve ever had in Texas. Yay.

AUSTIN: The show hasn’t happened yet, but Ryan’s adorable seven-year old cousin just soundchecked Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with us on a tiny little violin, and it’s gonna be Gold. It *has* to work… the only thing better would be if we could train a puppy or a kitten or a dead bird to play violin on stage.

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10.11.03 Florida

The St. Petersburg show has happened. The most feared show of the tour… the one where we were supposed to play to no one in brutal Florida humidity… the one where we expected to be able to toss a free Guster t-shirt into the crowd and then find it on the venue floor at the end of the night… it’s over and it actually went well. The whole Florida week went well.

We challenged Florida to shit or get off the pot this time, and Florida took a big collective shit for us. We promise not to wait three years to come back.

Getting back to the hotel last night after the show I walked into the lobby and saw lots of…flesh! Scantilly-clad girls wearing make-up, sideways baseball caps, and tiny skirts. Fishnet stockings! Just as I was thinking to myself “well, it’s about damn time” — a limo pulled up. A giant hip hop posse got out and I realized that these girls were all going to have sex with Ludacris, not me. Which made sense because I didn’t remember seeing them at our concert.

I wanted to take pictures but I was afraid how obvious I would be and I didn’t want anyone to kick my ass. I managed a few blurry shots, but didn’t get any groupies in the frame. I thought about maybe playing the Spring Fling Card — (“Hey! Ludacris! Remember that spring fling show we played together at UMass Amherst last year!? I was in the really wimpy band with the strobe light right before you? We sure had some good times…. {long pause}… yeah… {longer pause} …. how about I come hang out with you and your friends in your suite? I’m a fly on the wall, Cris. Fly on the wall…”)

So, while Ludacris was busy having sex with eleven girls in his hotel room, me and Joe and some of Joe’s friends threw the frisbee around in front of the hotel. Then we got the frisbee stuck in a tree. Then we threw a bottle of water at the frisbee to try to get it down but got the water stuck in the tree. Then we treed a second frisbee trying to get the first frisbee down (we didn’t care about the water)… then our friend Michael climbed the tree and got the frisbees back. All in about the time it took Ludacris to have sex with eleven girls in his hotel room. Or, maybe they were just looking out the window laughing at us.

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10.08.03 – New Orleans, LA

This came to our office in the mail from a little kid (I hope):


In case you can’t make out the words, it says:

Advice
Brian shave beird
Ryan get haircut
Adam doing great job
Joe more banjoe
Pastey get some sun

Technically it says “Toe more banjoe” though. That’s not a J. That’s an umbrella. Good to know that Adam doesn’t have any self-improvements to make in the eyes of advice-giving toddlers. Though as an insider here I can assure you Adam is far from perfect. Adam leaves Hot Pocket Cheese Turds on the microwave dish and when you don’t get to them right away they settle into the glass — every time someone uses the microwave the turds get a little harder. After a week you need like three people and a box of tools to get them off.


Hot Pocket Turd

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10.05.03 – Myrtle Beach

After 8 years on the road, we finally made it to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Unlike Centralia, Myrtle Beach actually attracts visitors, who play miniature golf, eat at seafood buffets, and wear airbrushed clothing. Some go to the “Dixie Stampede,” a Dolly Parton-owned venue where you get treated to dinner and a civil war re-enactment (where the South *wins*). Some stay in oceanside motels called “The God Bless America Motel.” Some stay in oceanside motels called “The God Bless America Motel Too.” Some of them strap American flags to their fishing poles. Some of them strap Confederate flags to their motorcycles.

In any event, you thrust Guster into an environment like this and everyone is pretty happy. A day off by the beach can do a lot for morale, plus we got to use the metal detector we’d been carrying on the bus the whole tour. The crowd at the show was loud and spirited (except when we asked how many people there were *actually from Myrtle Beach*), we threw in a Ben Folds cover for the heck of it, and I wore shorts on stage even though Guster Inc. generally frowns upon the idea.

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