Monthly Archives: December 2003

12.24.03 – DVD Shows

This may be the mushiest road journal ever!

We can’t thank you enough, people of Portland Maine & people who travelled to Portland Maine last weekend. We walked on stage Friday night to the most energetic crowd of the tour and played a set full of pure, unadulterated, nervous energy! While we nailed a few songs (Backyard, Ramona, Fa Fa), we had an intimidating list of tunes we “had to get” the second night, and somehow we pulled the Tightest Show in The History of Guster out of our asses on the last night of the tour. Yes, we were wearing the same clothes both nights. Some of us were even wearing the same socks.

There was something very special in the room on Saturday, and I think the DVD will capture it.

Special thanks to our crew, who definitely don’t read the road journal, for being so good to us for four months this fall.

See you in ’04.

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12.18.03 – Portland, ME

It is the eve of our DVD shoot. On the cold streets of Portland not a creature is stirring. Not even Pasty. Meanwhile inside the tinted windows of the Gusbus, my mind has begun to reflect on previous experiences in front of cameras. Our Ghosts of Television Past. An appearance or two on all the late-night talk shows. An ill-advised morning show here, a sarcastic local news interview there… nothing terribly exciting.

And then there’s the WB pilot we shot a few years ago in Los Angeles — the big bony skeleton in the Guster closet — the show about the cute girl who works as an A&R person for a record label and hopes to sign our band after a rousing rendition of “Mona Lisa” sends an awkward, ethnically-mixed bar crowd (united perhaps only by their collective ability to over-dance to Guster) into hysterics.

Here’s a photo off the TV from my favorite scene…

In the scene we’re improvising some dialogue with the cute record label lady after our set. Adam is the one in the tank top with his hands in his pockets performing the Jedi mind trick… I am the angry-looking one seated on the left, wondering how they convinced us to replace Ryan with a Kenny G. lookalike wearing a shiny blazer over a v-neck t-shirt. (Wardrobe Lady: “This look worked for years on Saved By The Bell.”)

I realize that with our fancy Macintosh computers it would have been easy to upload an actual moving, talking mpeg of the scene onto the road journal rather than just the still shot. But in an amazing moment of Unanimous Guster Pride, we were all *not ready to laugh at this yet* after revisiting the episode the other day. Somehow our level of comfortability lies between telling everyone that the pilot exists and actually showing people the pilot.

There were a few anxious months between the taping and the eventual phone call with the news that the network had rejected the pilot. And I have not questioned the existence of a great and merciful God since. Not once. Our acting debut would remain on a shelf in the WB archives, and on a shelf in our hearts. Merry Christmas everyone!

Work it, Adam.

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12.11.03 – Donnie

Our lives are in this man’s hands. This is Donnie, our new bus driver for the last leg of the tour. If you look closely you can see the exact point where the flames on his shirt end and the flames on his arms begin.

Like Guster, Donnie is from Massachusetts. And like Guster, Donnie owns a helmet with a coyote hide glued to it that was sent to him by a group of bikers called the “Red Devils,” who helped him fix his bike following a collision with said coyote somewhere in western Texas years ago.

And in an expression of determination matched only perhaps on this tour by Matt Peskie’s stunning victory at the stuffed animal toy crane at Denny’s in Harrisburg, on Sunday Donnie literally *willed* the NFL Direct TV Satellite Package to work. He was adjusting antenna positions, bus angles, and just generally not accepting no as an answer. I got to watch the Giants get their asses kicked again.

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12.07.03 – St Louis, MO

I was so eager to get a good picture of Hootie and the Blowfish in St Louis that I hardly got a chance to enjoy their set. I couldn’t figure out how to work the camera zoom, whether the flash was necessary, etc… here are a couple of failed attempts:

Too Many Dariuses
Too Dark

So then Ryan walked up to Darius during the gigantic collective “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” encore, extended his arm, and snapped this photo:

And it was that easy. Right in the middle of the song. Then he pointed the camera away from his head and started shooting it at everyone else… I hope someone finds a way to get this next photo to Tyler from BNL. His eyes are rolling into the back of his head and he’s foaming at the mouth because he can sense that I’m poised on the top rope, hovering above my prey like Superfly Snuka in his prime.

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