Tour is over, for better and for worse.
For better: I’ll use the two weeks off to drain the fluid out of my fingers (and to discover that a simple Google Image Search for “swollen fingers” yields gold, pure gold!)
For worse: Yesterday I was eating Mayer-funded, sesame-encrusted tuna with wasabi-mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, served to me by Mayer-funded, sesame-encrusted, pretty catering ladies. Today I went through the last six packets of H-O Instant Oatmeal in my apartment just to make the hunger go away.
At the end of a tour you go through your end-of-a-tour-routines…
1.) Rock, paper, scissors for whatever random bus items have no clear owner. In this case, me, Sean, and Pasty were willing to go to the mat for the front-lounge squirrel, the source of which was a mystery. In this case, I should have thrown rock. Nothin’ beats that.
Ro-Sham-Squirrel Recreating events for the road journal is fun!
2.) Purge all the photos from the new camera-phone and post the best one. The winner is…
Scotty Crowe, 2002
Remember Scotty, the guy that writes the road journals on John Mayer’s website? The two of us had a bit of an ongoing feud during the Mayer/Guster summer tour of 2002, a feud that was propagated by our fans, who goaded us with emails and sometimes exposed Scotty’s genital diseases on the side flaps of homemade Guster posters:
Nearly two years have passed since those accusations flew, and the wounds have not completely healed. This is from his journal entry a few weeks ago, the night we joined the tour…
“Finally, our good friends of the entity Guster are back out with us. Call me Norah, but it feels a bit like home. But I know this fun is wrapped deeply in a bouquet of potential hatred — I can’t wait to see what sorts of STDs the Guster fans will notifying me of possessing this time around.”
And now it’s the last weekend of the tour and there hasn’t been any road journal sparring whatsoever. No crab-calling from the crowd. No controversy. Last night, Scotty and I agreed we’d celebrate our newfound harmony with a photo of us sharing a hug:
But the photo came out all wrong. He’s hugging me, I’m not hugging him — it almost looks like he’s humping my leg. So I thought I’d put this picture up instead…
It captures the essence of Scotty. I just discovered the zoom-in function on iPhoto, too…
Someone please make a t-shirt out of this.
NO BUT SERIOUSLY. Thanks to the Mayer crew for treating us so nicely. At the Purdue show, John walked out on stage with us at the top of our set, like in the middle of the pack, between Adam and Joe… he walked all the way across the stage and off the stage. Not one person noticed. It reminded me of the show in North Carolina in 2002 when we introduced a special guest for the next song, “please welcome to the stage Mr John Mayer” — crowd goes nuts — John walks on stage but doesn’t pick up a guitar, instead he sits down with crayons and a coloring book and colors for the duration of the song, then walks off. Most arena-rockers aren’t so creative or loose… not that I know that many arena-rockers. Just a few. Like Sting. And a couple others.
06:00 hours:The Gusbus pulls up to security on the campus of the West Point Military Academy. Smitty waves his laminate at the guard and cruises on to the parking lot of the Eisenhower Theater, where the band will remain sleeping on the bus for another six hours.
13:00 hours: Members of Guster begin roaming around campus, which is desolate and spooky. Several ideas for that night’s show are brainstormed and rejected, including:
“Let’s get a U-S-A chant going during Fa Fa” and…
“Let’s walk out to the theme from M*A*S*H again” and…
“Maybe tonight’s the night we should unveil Pasty’s alter-ego — Spandex Pasty — on stage.”
15:00 hours: While exploring the campus I happen upon a monument of soldiers in the thick of battle, gazing at it curiously without realizing what it was trying to tell me about the audience that night…. specifically that they’ll be stonefaced, uniformed, and poised to shoot (us).
16:00 hours: One hour before soundcheck, Ryan is able to complete enough of a sit-up on the West Point Training Course to look respectable in this photo:
21:00 hours: The Guster portion of the concert is done and clearly these camouflaged individuals could not be happier.
In fact, the members of Guster themselves seem pretty happy to have survived the event. John Mayer takes the stage and West Point lets loose. The cadets rise to their feet. Their young, virile, monkey-bar-chiseled physiques are true wonders of land and sea, and this is the night their hard work is serenaded. Vote Kerry in ’04.
This is no way to rock. How can I be expected to rock while my finger is covered with Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Padding, Kendall Alginate Hydrocolloidal Dressing (attached with Krazy Glue), and a chunk of a Bridgeport Sound Tigers minor league hockey #1 foam hand? These are not the ingredients of rock. And yet, without this unique combination of elements I can rock even less. I can not rock at all. Without these items the bongos are like a a hot pan filled with bubbling oil, waiting to deep-fry my mitts like a plantain.
The damage was done during a 45-minute set in Montreal the other night, to a young crowd of unsuspecting Quebecois who whispered “Zut alors!” to one another as the blood splattered during “Happier.”
Moving on to brighter topics… we threw our own Cornell University show in among the Mayer dates last week on a Sunday night in Ithaca and somehow ended up with the biggest crowd that we’ve ever headlined to outside of Boston and NYC. I think they were mostly Cornell students, and many of them came to check out Rufus Wainwright too, but there were a sea of bodies bouncing on a nerf track that night, and Ryan chose to indulge them with a glimpse of his own wonderland of a body when an “Ithaca has GORGES” shirt made it’s way to the stage.
Grammatically correct apparel — Ithaca *is* gorgeous…. Ithaca *has* gorges.
Even though he was just putting the shirt on, we have the technology here — if we just Flip It & Reverse It — to make it look like it’s coming off… here’s a little screensaver for the ladies…
Just as we were getting comfortable out on the road with the Mayer Camp again, Fortuna swept in and spun our cycle downward after the Louisville show. Remember Donnie, the much-loved Gusbus driver with flames for arms who’d been carting us around since November?
Well, after our show last night in Kentucky, we climbed on the bus and found not Donnie but THIS MAN:
Smitty. Not Donnie. Smitty. All traces of Donnie had been removed too. His coyote helmet — gone. His… coyote helmet chin strap — gone. “I’m your bus driver now,” said Smitty, as he let out a hearty phlegm-coated guffaw. I guess there was a weird circumstance with the bus company and Donnie had to leave our tour, immediately, without even saying goodbye. I know you’re thinking “big deal, so you got a new driver, get back to the shit-phone controversy”, but imagine if you were accustomed to coming home from school every day and your mom always greeted you at the kitchen door, perhaps with a warm chocolate cookie extended from a battered Guster oven mitt..
And then suddenly one day you come home and it’s not your mom at the door…. it’s Smitty! And he’s holding a big blue flashlight instead of a chocolate chip cookie, and when he sees the horror in your eyes, he yells “I’M YOUR MOTHER NOW!” … and he starts laughing maniacally, and there’s phlegm is his laugh, and the phlegm-laugh, it never stops! And you can’t scream, as hard as you try, you can’t seem to make any noise…
That’s what it’s like.
guster.com EXCLUSIVE interview with Smitty:
guster.com: “So, is that a beard or a goatee?”
Smitty: “I dunno, it’s kind of in-between I guess.”
We were pretty excited about our new West Virginia football jerseys, received today in Morgantown courtesy of the university. They even went to the trouble of putting our last names on the back, and sizing the letters in our last names so that they spread from shoulder to shoulder, unlike my 7th grade indoor soccer team, which left everyone’s letters the same size and made me the laughing stock of suburban Connecticut with an illegible name starting at one sleeve cuff and ending at the other.
Look at the font size they had to use for my last name, “Rosenworcel,” versus the font size they used for Pasty’s last name, “Pasty”:
After the show, while strutting around campus in my West Virginia jersey, some people came up to me and said “yeah, they did that for Jason Mraz when he played here too.”
Pasty does his world famous Jason Mraz impression.