Monthly Archives: April 2004

04.29.04 – Butchie Playing Bocce

This is Butchie. The man responsible for driving a 75 foot truck full of Guster equipment to every show on this tour. And with so many back-to-back days on this run, he deserves a road journal and a Guster Medal. Last night he sat for an hour and a half in a line of trucks at the Canadian border waiting to be inspected at 4:30 in the morning, and tonight he’s got a 550 mile drive to get the gear to Pennsylvania for load-in tomorrow morning.

Come to think of it, last night the rest of us sat in a border crossing waiting room for an hour too, while border crossing people searched fruitlessly for drugs and weapons and rare mollusks that would wreak havoc on the unsuspecting ecology of Canada if released into select lakes within the country. They found nothing. But it’s a good thing Allyson’s copy of “High Times” magazine with Ani DiFranco on the cover was sitting out on the table in the front lounge. We could have actually gotten out of there quickly or something.

And why is it I always turn red in the face and act completely guilty, like I have something horrible to hide even though I don’t, whenever one of these uniformed border cops asks me a simple question? “Mr. Rosenworcel, where were you born?” “Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, sir.” “Well, which one is it, Champaign or Urbana?” {pause} {sweat} {shake} {pause} “I…. I believe they are twin cities… and there’s a giant squid in a tank in the closet of the back lounge and three pounds of marijuana up my ass.”

This is Butchie playing bocce, the Gusters’ favorite new campus activity. In the background is his teammate, fellow Italian Joe Pisapia, who lost 20-14 to the all-Jew team of Miller/Rosenworcel. No one can beat me and Ryan at stupid trivial sports like ping pong, bocce, and video tennis. No one. While we were out in the courtyard at Calvin College a student in one of the dorms started blasting Guster out of his window. Maybe he was just getting pumped up for the concert that night, but I see it as the ultimate passive aggression, trying to furtively affect the band’s set list in the middle of their bocce game. He went from “What You Wish For” right to “Two Points For Honesty,” made it through half of “Rainy Day” (best song on the album) and then went right to “Careful” on K.I.T. He got everything he asked for, except half of Rainy Day, which we haven’t played in six months.

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04.23.04 – Fairfax, VA

Another parking lot. Another private backstage port-o-potty for the Gusters.

Quote of the day:

The last one to wake up and the last one to shit, Joe Pisapia walks out of the port-o-potty and says “it’s like soft-serve Jenga in there.”

 +   =  ?

Thank you, Google Image Search. Metaphor illustrated.

Biggest awkward silence of the day:

The crowd at George Mason University, who reacted dead-silently to Ryan Miller’s monologue from the stage about a port-o-potty fetish he learned about. In the interest of protecting the public from perverted voyeurs, Ryan warned everyone that there was a sub-culture of people out there whose fetish involved covering themselves in Saran Wrap and hiding in port-o-potty holes to get a front row view of the hot crappin’ action going down in there. Ryan mentioned it in the students’ interest, a “look before you shit” kind of public service announcement, but the crowd was very reserved with their expressions of appreciation. The crowd did not react at all, in fact.

Worst moment in Guster history:

A drunk horrible girl, in the middle of “Amsterdam,” bum-rushed the mixing board and turned every knob she could get her hands on before Pasty tackled her. Possibly a well-researched Al Qaeda operative, she managed to fuck-up the entire house EQ, creating twenty seconds of pure feedback, while doing damage to the guitar and vocal channels that took several songs to undo. She clearly had a plan of attack and a geopolitical anti-Guster agenda to implement. We will need to beef up security around the mixing board. As new sound engineer Paul Tozer said, “it’s just so difficult to mix when you’re angry.”

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04.18.04 – Carbondale

In the foreground, drum tech Sean Lynde at work. In the background, a row of twelve port-o-potties — the only shitting facilities available to you when you play college parking lots. At least the Gusbus pulled in bright and early to set up, giving us first crack at the goods before the students were allowed in to destroy them with beer shits and vomit, and as I stepped off the bus en route to the combat zone, Adam confirmed that they were all fresh on his way back. All fresh except the one Adam chose, that is.

I decided to avoid The Brown Room on the right, even though it was bigger (wait a minute, aren’t they *all* brown rooms?) — there was something I didn’t trust about it, and I thought Adam might have gone there. Then I noticed that one of them was a designated women’s port-o-potty… I knew this because there was a picture of a person wearing a skirt on the outside of it, and only women wear skirts.

Women being cleaner than men, who sometimes enjoy a good seat-pissin’, I chose it instantly… but on the inside it didn’t look any different than the regular non-gender-specific potties I’d seen. There was a deep dark hole full of blue water (and Adam’s turds, I swear to God, he chose the same one), and there was a spider web full of flies because some really smart spider had set up shop in there, knowing full well he’d catch himself a veritable cornucopia of insects who attempted to enter the hole for some shit-eatin’.

I kept searching for something in there that might have been specifically designed for women. You know, like maybe a bolted-down seat or a fly-covered tampon disposal box or something… but there was nothing. I think someone just arbitrarily put a sticker of a person in a skirt on one of the port-o-potties. So before I left, I turned around and pissed all over the seat.

No, I didn’t.

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04.16.04 – Guster Anthology

Were any of you guys up against me in the bidding war for the homemade “Guster Anthology” DVD on eBay? Why’d you bail at $16? I was ready to take that auction to the mat. I had band dollars to play with.

Flipping through the contents — it’s got a few late night TV appearances on there, Austin City Limits, a few videos and other rarities — I’ve said it before, these bootlegger people are not to be prosecuted, they are to be mocked publicly for their really lame artwork instead. I mean, why shut down a guy for trying to pay off his TiVo bills?

But this guy actually went with the artistic themes from Keep It Together… he kept the cover understated, he chose a font that’s appeared in Guster posters before… it’s like he was challenging me to find fault with it — “go ahead and mock me, Bri, my really lame artwork is just your really lame artwork.”

Alas, a closer look at the back cover reveals a haphazard photoshop job on the band member heads…

Ha ha… with that crazy photoshop job, why, he makes it look like we have bad haircuts!

Guster — worst hair in rock?

On a separate note, will the person who fit an entire dissertation about the movie “The Goonies” onto a ping pong ball that ended up on stage please email me here:

Thank you.

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First five minutes back on the bus for the spring tour and the most obnoxious, chiming melody just started careening out of someone’s cell phone. Everyone perked up in the front lounge and began searching for the offender. Joe’s eyes narrowed in on me accusingly as the phone played its cruel song a second time… but it wasn’t me. I never take my phone off of vibrate.

Suddenly the sound went away. “Hello!?” said Smitty, from the driver’s seat.

Fists clenched, a collective muted cry of “Smitty!” emerged from behind the teeth of the crew in the front lounge. Actually, it’s good to have Smitty back — smoothest ride we’ve ever had in a bus — though we never found out what happened to Donnie after his mysterious disappearance last tour. Abducted? Probed!?

Last week Smitty’s girlfriend showed him his road journal from last tour and Smitty showed up this time demanding a new interview.

New interview with Smitty: “Smitty, how’d you wind up with that particular cell phone ring, did the phone come with it set to that one?”

Smitty: “Yeah, why is it the same as yours?”

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04.09.04 – Lowell, MA

Charity show… Barenaked Ladies headlining… radio station disc jockeys announcing the bands… yes, these are the ingredients for a show with a Joint Multi-Band Confusing Encore.

You know, where the headlining band vaguely knows the song but the opening bands don’t, so they learn a token verse or harmony, and their drummer stands somewhere on stage shaking a tambourine, and there are lots of guitarists but not lots of guitarists whose guitars are actually plugged in.

It’s happened with us and BNL many times… once with the Ladies joining us for a surprise catastrophic version of “Boy’s Don’t Cry” in California, where we introduced them as The Cure and more people thought that The Cure just “looked a lot less depressed” than realized that BNL were actually on stage with us. But usually they’re the headliners, and I’m standing on the riser behind Tyler, observing the dynamics of eye contact and musical gestures that help to cue the obligatory break down, audience-sung chorus, and double-time build to a seemingly coordinated finish.

In Lowell we went with Neil Young’s “Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World” — a good arena song, an excuse for Joe to rip a solo (his guitar was actually plugged in), and just the right dash of political undertones to feel relevant but not too heavy at a Mass 9/11 Fund Charity show. Plus, I think Ed actually knew some of the lyrics.

I opted for the unplugged banjo rather than the tambourine/shaker this time around. Look how high up on the neck I’m wailing on that thing! Look at my bowl haircut!

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