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<- Back to fuck Tour Diary part 1

August 1, Day 9, Portland

While we are making the final repair arrangements, our pal Alyssa pulls into the Arco station for gas. She is on her way to the beach with a couple of her friends and two very big dogs. Alyssa invites us to join the party and I am truly tempted, but I have a long and ugly history with big dogs. Torn, I reluctantly decide to stay with Tim and Kyle to monitor the van’s progress at the Arco station. Ted and Geoff, obviously free from any crippling large mammal phobias, head off with Alyssa, her friends and the big dogs for what will certainly be a grand day.

After we drive the Dodge onto the gas lift in the service bay at the station, Tim and Kyle somehow convince me to remain hidden in the van so as to be certain that no mechanical flim-flammery occurs once our wounded chariot is airborne. The next nine hours pass uneventfully as the van is fitted with a shiny new torque converter and external engine balancer (the wrong parts had been used when the new engine was installed some 30,000 miles ago, resulting in a progressively violent series of vibrations and related maladies).

The show at EJ’s is ok. Two Dollar Guitar and Transparent Thing are both very good (I missed the first band); fuck is nefariously oblique. Upon arriving in Portland, fuck were greeted with a particularly vicious and scathing review of their new cd in a local music rag - I think they really wanted to set the record straight with a special show. I don’t know what they were worried about - the critic (one John Graham) who penned the diatribe was obviously a victim of his own fears. I think he saw the name of the band, suffered a justifiable outbreak of penis envy and lashed out accordingly. I don’t think he’s vindictive by nature - in another article he heartily recommended the new Bon Jovi record. Oh well.

August 2, Day 10, Boise

Tonight’s show at the Neurolux is fuck’s first ever Boise appearance. I have to admit that I don’t have any particularly interesting insights on this evening’s events, with the exception of being overwhelmed by the unusually high percentage of total fucking nutcases. We leave after the show and drive all night to ...

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August 3, Day 11, Laramie

Laramie, Wyoming. No show tonight, but a special evening for fuck, nonetheless, as this is the first night of the tour that we get to stay in a motel. The highlight of the day was a pit stop at a Utah rest area. I was sitting in the men’s room, working on a haiku about the unusually short stalls (even by my standards) and generally minding my own business when I noticed a gentleman who had apparently been washing his hands in the sink for at least ten minutes. I originally dismissed his behavior as one of those tragic obsessive/compulsive Lady Macbeth things, until a bottle of "Ferret Glow" shampoo on the counter caught my eye. Could it be? Sure enough, he was giving his ferret a bath in the sink (literally, not euphemistically). It was the kind of tender, heartwarming scene that could make me reconsider any preconceived notions I might have about Utah. Oh, yeah - I eventually finished my haiku:

The stalls are too short In Utah rest stop men’s rooms To jack off alone.

August 4, Day 12, Denver

Upon arriving in Denver, we are greeted by a torrential downpour which threatens to wash the van off the highway. The show at the 15th Street Tavern is fun, but the real highlight of this stop is dinner at Wolf’s barbecue joint in downtown Denver. I inhale two barbecue tofu sandwiches, complete with fixin’s (potato chips and pickle). Yumyumyum. After the show, we are accosted by some freak-boy who says he used to be Perry Farrell’s personal assistant. As he continues his slurred and dubious tale, we quietly slip into the van, lock the doors, start the engine and head out of town.

August 5, Day 13, Lawrence

We arrive in Lawrence, Kansas early in the afternoon. Tonight’s show at The Replay is good, clean fun. An otherwise harmless evening is marred at the last moment by a rogue parking enforcement officer who issues a $10 citation to the fuck van for being parked backwards in a parking stall. Even though we point out that parking any other way would mean loading our gear in the middle of the street, the friendly but dense officer stands by his original assessment. I would like to go on record as a concerned traveler and point out that the dullards who penned this bizarre addition to Lawrence’s parking penal code should be ashamed of themselves. Was Bob Dole in on this?

August 6, Day 14, St. Louis

Tonight’s show at Cicero’s is the first of several shows we will be playing with Smells Like recording artists, The Clears. The Clears are from Memphis, and you can’t really describe their music or live show without some reference to early eighties new wave. It’s fun stuff - and great stage outfits to boot. The show is comfortably uncrowded (as in, aside from the band members and their families, the fan base consists of two drunks and some guy who thinks this was supposed to be reggae night).

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August 7, Day 15, Chicago

Personally, I love Chicago - the people, the city, the lake, the Cubs -everything. This visit is a glorious reaffirmation of those sentiments. Lounge Ax, rightfully beloved by all touring bands, is a welcome oasis in the oft "difficult" Midwest. We have a hectic schedule today - after loading in, we do a quick sound check and meet up with Cyndi (hereafter known by her new code name "SuperGoddess"), a writer for Magnet, who will be conducting her interview while we drive to WNUR for a radio show. I spend the bulk of the evening following Cyndi around the radio station and club, collecting any loose hairs or stray clothing fibers that fall from her perfect form, with the honorable intention of utilizing these bits and pieces of her essence to construct an elaborate shrine to her overwhelming beauty.

Eric and Mike, our hosts at WNUR, are equally charming, and nice enough to let me live out one of my life-long dreams and host a radio call-in show. Due to our restricted schedule, I only have time for one caller, a hard-lisping drunk from East Chicago. Still, his insights on our topic "Do Monkeys Make Better Lovers?" are valid and provocative. I am thrilled.

Tonight’s line-up is chock full of goodies, with Viewmaster (who will be sharing several dates with us over the next couple of weeks), The Clears, Two Dollar Guitar and fuck. The show is pretty well attended and things are running smoothly, so I decide to celebrate with a frosty cold Leinenkugel. In light of the fact that I almost never drink, and certainly not on an empty stomach, this is maybe not one of my better decisions. After blacking out, I wake up at 9:00 the next morning, face down on the floor of the van with a handful of what appears to be Cyndi’s hair clenched in my fist. On a more positive note, a quick inspection of my immediate surroundings indicates that I did not soil myself during the evening.

August 8, Day 16, Detroit

What should have been an uneventful trip to Detroit turns into a twilight zone-ish nightmare when the alternator on the van fails and we are stranded for six hours in a small town in Indiana (I don’t remember the exact name of the city, but it was something like Stepford or Stepfjord). We arrive at the Magic Stick in Detroit after midnight, just in time for a brief, inchoate fuck set. The lovely Kim (well-known proprietor of Zoot’s) is our gracious host this evening. On the way to her house, the fuck van starts complaining anew with an unidentifiable grinding noise. I am becoming increasingly envious of the other bands’ rented vehicles. Unrelated personal aside: I make a mental note to discuss with my therapist my recently developed fixation with the size and shape of grown men’s nipples.

On to fuck Tour Diary part 3 ->