Archive for August, 2010

I Hate Me, Part 299,734

It was the last show of a short Monster Magnet tour. We were playing a festival in East Germany and headlining the secondary stage/tent. It was a good show and after it was over there were some people at the barricade by the foot of the stage looking for set lists, drum sticks, or guitar picks (or as the Euro’s say “plectrums”). I had a set list and I gave it away.  As I was doing this, our guitar tech stage left, Towers (aka: Towers of Power, Towering Inferno, Inferno) handed me a stack of papers that seemed like a bunch of set lists. Great. Here I am “Hero of the Day” I’m handing out set lists, everyone gets one, everyone’s happy. Until I realized that in the stack of “set lists” only the first two were actual set lists, the rest were blank. So I was ceremoniously handing out blank sheets of paper. And then I started to have crumpled up paper thrown back at me. There were raised German voices, I was no longer the hero. I mimed something that indicated that I would be right back.  I didn’t come back.


The cold I thought I had beaten came back and I have crackly ears and peanut butter lung, so I’m laying low. Check out this cool song from Damon, it’s called “Can You Feel Me” it’s from the great comp Forge Your Own Chains:Heavy Psychedelic Ballads & Dirges 1968-1974 (Now Again Records)

I Like Records 42

Afternoon. A guy comes towards the back counter, stumbling and a little slackjawed. I wasn’t sure if he was on an afternoon drunk or slightly retarded or a combination of the two. As he got closer to the counter I smelled he was drunk:

Guy: Alright…Alright…Where’s the SALE!!

Me: What sale?

Guy: Yeah, that’s right…What Sale?!…Where is it?…I dunno…I don’t wanna pay twenny two dollars for the Allman…thology…of the…Allman….guys.

Me: What?!

Guy: Do you got Elton Johns first album

[Sean grabbed it from the Elton John section and gave it to the guy]

Guy: Yeah!…No…This isn’t it…You know what I’m lookin’ for………………………..

[uncomfortable silence as I wait for him to tell me, but I think he thinks I know what he’s looking for]

Me:………………..yeah….I don’t know what you’re looking for.

Guy: You know…………………his saddest song

Me:..mmmmm……Rocket Man?

Guy: No……..that’s sad but it ain’t his saddest…You know the song….It’s so sad that…people don’t even want to hear it…”I can see it very well”

Me: Can see WHAT very well?

Guy: That’s the song…or the words…or somethin’…I don’t know

[I look up the song]

Me: It’s on Madman Across the Water

Guy: Yesss!!

[EPILOGUE: we were out of stock of the CD]

If You Squint (Mets 3)

Mets journeyman infielder Mike Hessman resembles horror icon Rondo Hatton



Notes From Das Boot 76

Well the last three days were festivals with little or no internet connection and it was tough to get online at all. I also got the seemingly obligatory tour cold, I thought I had beat it but with three days left, Pow! Sore throat, coughing, fever plus living on a damp bus with nine out of thirteen people smoking like chimneys has left me a little worse for wear. So I’m gonna sleep for awhile.

Hail to thee, coffee machine

I’d also like to mention the the MVP (most valuable player) of the tour was the coffee machine on the bus. Peter our bus driver ( and Senator Palpatine lookalike (from the great state of Naboo)) got it last year and it consistently makes the best coffee I’ve ever had. Three cheers and a tiger! for Peter and his coffee machine.
good night.

Notes From Das Boot 75

(shit internet connection last two days, hope this get online)

As this thing is wrapping up I’d like to mention a few things. First I’d like to thank Sherry for taking the tour diary from my blog ( and reprinting it on the new Monster Magnet site, which she has worked tirelessly on. Second, Bobo (our tour manager) hooked me up with a great book on East German product design and a really hard to find Heads/White Hills split 12”. If you like Monster Magnet (or noisy psych rock) and you’re not listening to The Heads, you’re really missing out. They just reissued their first album Relaxing With... with an added 2nd disc. Also pick up their 2008 album Dead In The Water, roaring psychedelic noise: Neu! + Stooges + Hawkwind = Dead In The Water. Fuck it, buy everything by them, you won’t be disappointed. If you dig that, then definitely check out Hey Colossus and their record Happy Birthday. Lastly I’d like to thank Ben for sending me a copy of Apathy for the Devil a 70’s memoir by music journalist Nick Kent. Kent wrote for the NME and wrote the great The Dark Stuff a book of interviews. Apathy…is a real good read and has made the slow parts of this tour go by quickly

Notes From Das Boot 74

Lierop, NL (Nirwana Tuinfest)

Small outdoor festival, like a really big backyard party, we’re on a bill that includes il Nino, Sepultura, and Sick of it All. Dinner was in town a few minutes away and we were driven there by a runner from the festival. I was sitting in the front seat and the driver started speaking dutch to me, and I let him know I didn’t speak dutch. He thought this over for a few seconds and continued to speak dutch to me. Feeling uncomfortable, I replied in a series of grunts and nods which seemed to placate him and we had a one sided conversation. At the restaurant, I was sitting at a table facing a window on the street. A woman came up on the sidewalk and used the window as a mirror, fixing make-up, hair and finally picking her nose, not realizing or caring that it was in fact not a mirror but a window in a restaurant.

Witchfinder General

[Matthew Hopkins a 17th century english lawyer was appointed Witchfinder General by parliment during the English civil war to root out sorcery.]

Hopkins: Alright now, right over there. The woman behind the bale of hay…she’s a witch.

Mayor of Town: Really? Ok…so now what? Are you going to burn her?… or torture her?

Hopkins: Woah…woah…Slow down buddy, I’m the Witch FINDER General, I just find ‘em. We have to wait for the Witchburner General….yeah….mmmm….I think he’s on vacation this week… we may have to find the Witchstabber General…mmm…He should be on call today….Where’s my assistant? WHERE’S MY ASSISTANT!?

Assistant: (running, out of breath)…Sorry, I was filing…

Hopkins: Where’s Witchstabber General? He’s on call today and we have a witch here that needs dealing with.

Assistant: Didn’t you get the memo? Witchstabber General tore his rotator cuff from all the witch stabbing last week…he’s out for months….Let me see…mmmmmm…we have…  Witchkicker General...and Witchinsulter General…..Witchgouger General will be back tomorrow, he’s taking sensitivity classes.

Hopkins: Thank Christ, Witchgouger General got a little carried away sometimes ya know…Jesus, you’re not leaving me with much are you…sigh…get me Witchkicker General.

Mayor of Town: Yeah..the..uh…the witch ran away…sorry.

Hopkins:sigh….well…sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.

Assistant: What does that mean?

Hopkins: It means get me a goddamned drink, that’s what it means…….Christ!

Notes From Das Boot 73

(near Frankfurt)
(this is why I don’t write a normal tour diary, overwhelmed by minutiae)

( 8/18/10-8:00am, up early, hot bus = little sleep)
We’re playing the Batschkapp (loosely translated: “a hat for bats”) tonight, it has been referred to as a “legendary club”. When I hear that phrase a red flag goes up, “legendary clubs” usually have rotten load-in’s and getting anything done is a work out. I call it CBGB’s disease. Yeah, I know it was legendary but try being a regular band playing there, impossible to get anything done and the CB’s house crew while being incredibly unhelpful kept reminding you how lucky you were to be playing there. I’m sure it’ll be good here, the majority of German clubs, legendary or not are usually pretty solid.
(4:30 pm)
Well, I was right. Real good crew, good catering and clean bathrooms, a trifecta of non-shittiness….. Phil has been looking for a 4 amp slow burn fuse and amazingly enough the entire city of Frankfurt doesn’t seem to have one, or they’re hoarding them. Either way it’s not good and we just found out (right after I wrote the previous sentence) that his main guitar amp is now fucked (proper fucked?) and nerves are a little frayed…. It’s soundcheck now and I’m in the dressing room next to the stage and our guitar tech stage right has a really good brutal metal voice, he’s called Bruce but his real name is Antonio and no one has any idea why the name change, maybe he’s the singer in an Iron Maiden cover band, maybe not…. Ed’s late for soundcheck, so there’s a lot of waiting around and noodling and coffee drinking….The crew just played a bit of ZZ Top’s “Tush”…Ed’s here and during soundcheck they did a version of “Hallucination Bomb” with Sabbath’s “Snowblind” in it, it sounded pretty cool…… Guy who did poster for tonight’s show is here, they look real good…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Show was sold out and people were wedged in like sardines…Real good crowd, although the new songs didn’t go over as well as they did in Amsterdam or Budapest… Load out wasn’t too bad even though it’s two sets of stairs…Our dressing room was stocked with a good local beer, Henninger Kaiser Pilsner…My Sleeping Karma opened up tonight and were a nice change of pace a bit like Amon Duul II (not to be confused with Amon Duul I who were awful or Amon Duul III which is a breakfast cereal)…Bus call is at 3am, two hours of the bus filled with people I don’t know…Drank scotch with Danny, I don’t like scotch.

I really like the design of this german street light

Notes From Das Boot 72


(truck stop, Germany)

I saw this Shell energy drink and I wasn’t sure if it was a car additive or a human additive.

pixy stix

Actually, I was sure it was a drink, I just thought it was a little weird and I figured a good angle on it would be the “Car additive/Human additive” thing. Guaranteed high hilarity and a thoughtful discussion on the effects of so called “energy drinks” on society, especially youngsters, what’s wrong with Hi-C or Kool-Aid, or even a frosty glass of Tang. If Tang was good enough for our astronauts, it should be good enough for our kids. Energy drinks, feh. When we were kids and were tired from working ( 2 six hour shifts at the “farm”) my parents would give us a few Pixy Stix and a mason jar of pond water and send us back to work with a gentle kick to the behind. Oh well…time for my meds.