Monthly Archives: November 2006

11.20.06 – Orono, ME

Last week, as we neared the end of the Adam Has Pneumonia tour, we realized we’d almost forgotten that it was also the Chia Josh tour. If you haven’t been reading the, uhh, *weekly* road journal updates lately, our monitor engineer and sometimes keyboardist Josh Cohen collected $20 from each member of the Gusbus in exchange for two months of unabated hair growth.

Having only known Josh as a closely shaven bald man, we all felt we were getting a deal, even though Josh warned us that his hair grows in “patchy” and looks “weird.” Here is a photo of Josh from my camera phone, during the last week of the Chia Josh tour:

As you can see Josh is styling. He is suave, sophisticated, and two hundred dollars richer. The beret is for the good of the public, trust me, and it looks so good that he considered keeping the hair because, quite honestly, we all think the beret will go from cool to creepy if he wears it without the sideburns and such.

Josh chose to return to his more comfortable hairless state when the last show came around, and agreed to do it with pomp, circumstance, and a little danger. This is the girl Ryan picked out of the crowd to shave his head on stage in Orono, Maine during the middle of “What You Wish For” —

And here is her first incision, a bold vertical cut just east of the left ear that left a nice clump of hair on the stage between Ryan and Joe.

This is Josh in the barber’s chair, resembling a young Kyle Gass (what’s he gonna do with all the cash!?)

And as the last chords of What You Wish For rang out in the auditorium, our volunteer barber put the finishing touches on her Mr. Potato Head, leaving just two big awkward sideburns. You can sort of see one of the sideburns in this photo:

And last but not least, here’s a picture of me, celebrating the fact that I won $200 from Josh in a half hour of poker on the bus that very night! Woo-hoo! Never go all in when there’s a chance your opponent has a flush, Josh.

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11.13.06 – Los Angeles, CA

We’ve been in Los Angeles for the last few days, and as usual I’ve spotted a few celebrities. I couldn’t quite place the first one I saw when he got out of an SUV the size of my apartment, but the guy had such an aura of cheese-dick about him I knew that he had to be famous. My friend Dave said “love the show, love the show” as he walked pass us, and he offered back a testosterone-flavored “thank you, brother,” without breaking a stride or removing his sunglasses.

I thought he was gonna snap into a Slim Jim right then and there. A couple hours later we got a text message from our tour manager that read: Dog the Bounty Hunter is staying at the hotel and is every bit the cheese dick he appears to be on TV…

Other celebrity spottings: On the flight out here I am pretty sure I was sitting next to the woman that played the mom in that movie “Junebug” (yes, this is a pretty boring celebrity siting) (no, I don’t talk to the people in my row on airplanes), and last night Meg White came into Norm’s Diner in West Hollywood while I was half way through my Avo-Gobble sandwich. She did not play the stuffed-animal lose-fifty-cents crane game. I did.

But the most exciting starfucking moment in our week was actually Thursday in Chicago, when we went on a morning radio show right after “Weird Al” Yankovic, who is back on top of the world again thanks to a video where he’s riding a segueway scooter. We got photos with him. I wanted to tell him that UHF is my favorite movie of all time, but I was too shy, and UHF is not my favorite movie of all time. But Weird Al was generous with his time, approachable, and full of energy. He even looked directly into the tiny lens of Ryan’s cell phone camera and made an “I’m wild and crazy” face when Ryan did his usual trick…

The other night in Columbus a ping pong ball caught on fire underneath my drum stool in the middle of Ruby Falls. Our guitar tech, Andy, spotted it and pretty much darted across the stage and smothered the flames with his body, just as I was starting to feel like my ass was getting hot. I didn’t lose a beat, or my life, and Ruby Falls was all the more epic with a little pyro. How this becomes the last paragraph in a road journal about “Weird Al” Yankovic, and not it’s own proper entry, has everything to do with the fact that there’s no photo to go along with the story. Thanks Andy!

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11.06.06 – Minneapolis, MN

This picture pretty much says everything I want to say in this road journal. It’s Seth, our tour manager, looking sheepish and vulnerable, right before singing “One Man Wrecking Machine” at our favorite karaoke bar in Minneapolis (and the world), “U Otter Stop Inn.” Seth got to be the guy to sing it by virtue of having to use the bathroom while we were there, giving us just enough time to write his name and the song’s code number on a piece of paper, and to turn it in to the karaoke-lady without him noticing.

I thought the best part of this would be getting to appreciate the nuances that went into the song’s instrumental reconstruction. And they were all there. Every drum fill, performed identically to the Guster recording (except maybe the hired studio drummer had a better pocket)… the background counterpoint vocal, sung and mixed in just right, even Joe’s guitar overdub in the outro (not the slide guitar but the other picky part with the rotary sound) was covered competently. Amazing to think that those guys cut that song and probably five other songs “Hey Ya!” in an hour. But the most amazing part of it turned out to be Seth, who sings worse than I do. Who knew? It was ugly. Uglier than when I sang Charlene’s “I’ve Never Been To Me” a half hour later without any clue how the verse melodies went. Or the chorus melodies.

I don’t expect One Man Wrecking Machine to show up on too many karaoke lists across the country, but I was excited to see that they used the album version’s lyrics, with the thing about the pants and the line about the joint, rather than the Bible Belt Remix, which saw a little daylight on radio, and replaced “passing round a skinny joint” with “hanging out at Skinny’s Joint” — of course I shouldn’t make it sound like *they* replaced it. We had the alternate version in our back pocket, we just delivered it only to the stations that kicked up a fuss about our edgy lyrical content. So I guess that makes us the sell-outs.

In other Guster Sells Out news, we got our t-shirt in one of those Marc Horowitz Is Stuck In A Nissan Centra For An Entire Week ads, but as far as I know they didn’t pay us.

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