I know, it’s early. Ask my eyeballs, which feel like someone slashed them with razorblades and soaked them in rubbing alcohol. We left the hotel bright and early to get a leg on this drive to Denver. Yes, that’s Boise, ID to Denver, CO. Around 830 miles, nearly a third of the way across these great United States. Let us not forget that we lose an hour during the journey.
Boise seemed as drab as one might expect of a city in the state of Idaho. But perhaps that is an overly harsh, generalized statement from a dude raised within a six-hour drive of New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston, Baltimore and New Brunswick (the envy-worth of that last one is arguable). The show was decent. 40-50 kids, typical technical difficulties, small stage we did not use, much to the consternation of the drug-addled looking sound guy (is there really any other kind?). The kids were quite appreciative of us coming out here. I mean, it’s Boise, ID. Not exactly the cultural hotbed of Western Civilization.
Whenever I find myself in these places, I ponder what it must be like to live in them. I grew up at the Jersey shore nearly a spitting distance from the Atlantic Ocean and 50 miles from NYC. Southern California thus far comes as close to my homeland as anywhere we’ve been, and SoCal is on an entirely different existential trip. This is America. Most of it is pick-up trucks, southern accents, chain stores, beef jerky, religious emblems and American flags. This, as Josh commented, is why George W. Bush is president.
In other news, our show in Cleveland, OH on May 2 fell through. Allegedly, the kids doing the show neglected to pay a deposit to reserve the space. Of course said kid also failed to notify us that the show was cancelled. Someone else from the area posted this information on a messageboard. Someone else might be able to set up a show. This is DIY hardcore. We will track down Jason, the offender, and deal with him summarily, harshly, Jersey-style.
Also, Matt cracked me in the dome-piece last night with his bass. I thought it was Billy striking me with the mic. Upon impact, everything flashed for a second. This morning there’s only a small bump on my forehead, not much larger than a nasty pimple. That makes two whacks to the head and one to the jaw, in addition to a bevy of bumps, bruises, cuts and scrapes all across my arms, elbows, legs, knees and hips. I used to judge the quality of a set on how damaged I was the next morning. As John McClain would say, I’m getting too old for this shit.
As indicated earlier, eating has been difficult. These long drives limit time and availability for decent sustenance. For me it’s doubly hard. I need a grocery store. I’m ready to ravage a head of lettuce. I’d eat a block of tofu whole, unseasoned and raw. Maybe Denver will be an oasis of fine vegetarian/vegan dining in a desert of Carl’s Jr. Jr. and Mickey Ds.
It’s sunk to the point where Minute Maid orange juice “from concentrate” tastes refreshing, as if I just pulled the fruit off the branch and squeezed it into this plastic bottle. That, my friends, is a commentary on the beverage selection in this desolate nowhere we now inhabit. Indeed, you think about food a great deal during these long drives with nary a nutritious meal in sight. Sometimes a vast bowl of salad hovers along the horizon- but it’s just a desert mirage. How sweet those thick, dark leafy greens drenched in roasted red pepper dressing would taste right now. I can feel the fibers of the leaves crunching to green mush in my mouth. It’s been 27 days on the road.
We were met with extreme signs of poverty when we rolled in Idaho. Outside one house stood a makeshift sign announcing “Chuckleberries For Sale.” What the hell is a chuckleberry??? Is this a regional delicacy like boiled peanuts? What’s up with boiled peanuts anyway??? Perhaps a chuckleberry is a mutant, Frankenstein concoction by a bored, hard-working self-starter. Maybe genetic modification has reached the DIY level out here in Idaho.