Sunday, June 14, 2009

Houston

From the tour journal

23 September 04

No sleep, no food, all Texas. This morning was amusing. I fell asleep after 2 AM in our hotel room and proceeded to experience a fractured sleep. Maybe it was the cheapo cookies I hastily shoved in my maw right before hitting the sack.

At 7:30 AM, a banging at our door roused us. As if from the bottom of a sewer drain, I heard Billy shout, “Come back later,” him assuming it was housekeeping. Upon looking at the clock and thinking it strange that hotel staff would arrive at this hour, Billy got up and went to the door. He opened it and a man said sternly, “You hit my car with your van door. Your paint is on my car.” Billy responded, “Alright, I’ll come out and look, hold on.” A conversation with Greg ensued: “How should I handle this?” Greg told Billy to go out and investigate. Billy went out. I sat up and looked at Greg- his eyes were shut. Matt was out cold, probably about to continue snoring. Josh buried himself in his sleeping bag.

Within minutes Billy stormed back in: “Everybody get up. We need to leave right now.” Greg shot up and asked, “What happened?” Billy explained, “I looked at the dent on what he said was his car. There was no way our door hit it, and I didn’t see any paint. It was impossible our van caused that damage. I said this to him- he said his name is Ross- and he said, ‘Alright, we’ll have to resolve this another way. Don’t be surprised if there’s a dent in your car.’ Then he jumped in his white pick up- and this was not the car he said we damaged- and took off. Mind you, he was wearing pajama pants.” All of us quickly got up and gathered our things. “Well, I’m taking a shower,” Josh grumbled. Billy continued, “I went to the front desk and they called the police.” Soon an officer named Jim arrived. He said “Ross” was likely “full of shit.” We felt a little more at ease. But not desiring any potential harm to our van (thus being stranded in the nightmare that is Houston), we took brief showers and fled the Best Value Inn.

We drove to a tire place to replace all four tires on the van. The band’s kitty was rather bountiful (for once) and the van (and our lives) required a new set. We walked to a nearby Denny’s and hunkered down. I quickly devoured a jellied bagel and small glass of orange juice. If there is one tour staple for me, it is orange juice. I drink as much as water. No illness yet, so perhaps it’s germ-fighting powers are true.

With brand spanking new tires, we cruised to Home Depot. To combat Greg’s never-ending drums-moving problem during our sets, he decided to build a barrier carpet. This involved buying some remnant rug, a 2 x 4 and then attaching the wood to the rug. Theoretically this would stabilize the drums. So we built this in the Home Depot parking lot (which felt like 200 degrees) and then made our getaway from Houston.

I find little of value in that city. Yesterday, while my band members devoured a carnivorous meal of Cuban tapas, I wandered the ritzy high-end strip malls, hunting for sustenance. I settled on two bags of soy chips and a bottle of iced tea from Walgreens. At least the show that night at Walters on Washington was fun. Baton Rouge proved a great show as well. That was our first solo on tour. We left our various touring partners in Daytona Beach- Coliseum and Breather Resist. Now we go it alone. Two young girls interviewed Josh and I outside the Dark Room last night, though I can’t remember a thing we said. I have yet to see any of the interviews we’ve done appear in print or cyberspace, though really, it’s not as if we have anything interesting to add to the grand tradition of rock journalism.

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