When Jason Varitek came up to bat for the Red Sox during game two of the World Series the other night, a FOX graphic called “GET TO KNOW YOUR TEAM” (or something) popped up on the screen, revealing that the Sox catcher’s favorite bands are the Dave Matthews Band and the Barenaked Ladies. In search of a snarky comment on some blog somewhere on the internet, I googled this strange combination of musicians/athlete and found this:
So, Barenaked Ladies and Dave Matthews Band, huh? Apparently Tek has the same taste in music as a 15 year old girl from 1998.
Nothing wrong with that. It hit close enough to home that I started to have a little daydream about seeing our band up there in that graphic. What if Coco Crisp saw us singing the national anthem at Fenway, went out and bought “Keep It Together” and then gave us a shout-out in his FOX profile? The glory! The free world series tickets! Someone once told me Barry Zito liked Guster. Why can’t he ever be in the world series? How great would it be if one of these players had the vision to be ironic and fuck with the answers they gave the network? I asked Joe what the most ridiculous pair of “favorite bands” could be for a baseball player, and he said without hesitating: “Olivia Newton-John and Foghat.” I swear if I ever make it to the majors I’m going with this as my answer.
We’ve had a serious case of “senioritis” the last couple of weeks on tour, foregoing soundchecks in favor of taking advantage of the extra nice weather. We fielded 7 of us for a basketball game between some Guster crew and Georgia Southern University concert committee the other day, which was going to make for an awkward 4 on 3 half-court game, until one rogue girl in blue jeans approached the court with a sharpie and a piece of paper (recognizing me despite my high-tops, headband, and Allen Iverson elbow cast) in search of a signature. Before she could say a word, I told her “we need one, you wanna run?” And suddenly she was in the middle of a piss-poor basketball game full of musicians who aren’t afraid to deliver a hard foul. Josh, our monitor engineer, even blocked her shot. I’m so sorry, Kate, if you’re reading this.
Anyway, that same day Gordon began to talk about how far he could throw a frisbee. He seemed very content with himself. He pointed to the bus, which was a quarter of a mile away, and said “I bet I could hit the bus from here.” Having played for the Tufts Elephant Men Ultimate Frisbee Team in our day, Ryan and I were skeptical to say the least. “I bet you couldn’t throw it half way to the bus” I said. “I’ll bet you ten dollars you can’t reach the bus” said Ryan. “I’ll bet you ten dollars I can throw it farther than you” said Gordon to Ryan and then it was so on.
We got two frisbees, a few members of the Georgia Southern Ultimate team to judge, plenty of cameras, spectators, and theories about optimal wind direction. The GSU “pep rally” kicked in too, so we had a bunch of tubas playing a marching band version of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” which provided a lovely soundtrack. It was two out of three though it didn’t need to be. Gordon threw the frisbee really far, but Ryan can throw a frisbee… well, much further than you’d expect Ryan Miller to be able to throw a frisbee. He actually has one of the longest hucks (frisbee terminology) I’ve ever seen. Gordon paid up.
But then some of the young GSU frisbee team guys wanted to get in on the action, and one by one Ryan sent them to humiliating defeat after humiliating defeat. So they called in “Patrick,” a strapping young buck of a frisbee captain here-why-don’t-you-hold-my-clipboard type (see below).
Patrick looked like he might crush the frisbee into little plastic bits with his bare hands rather than throw it. He chucked it further than any of his teammates, but Ryan, who is almost 35, beat him too. I suppose this road journal could also be interpreted as a challenge to anyone out there to try to throw a frisbee further than Ryan. Too bad this is our last show for a good while.
Speaking of which, the road journal now begins a very long, very merciful slumber. Fear not, we’ll be in the studio soon enough (I’d give it six months), and I’ll begin to update the studio journal when that happens. Plus, here’s part two of my “HOW TO PLAY THE DRUMS” essay on the Meinl website.