Archive for the ‘ Notes From Das Boot ’ Category

Notes From Das Boot 229

Monday 3/2/15- Red Bank, New Jersey

ScumBASH was an odd festival even by Dutch standards (The Exploited, Rev. Horton Heat Sham 69, Monster Magnet and many unknown roots-a-billy bands). The crowd was a cross between Neo-rockabilly guys their Betty Page-ish counterparts, doughy middle aged guys in Mohawks, and artisan beard farmers. By the end of the festival after a long day of drinking everyone was staggering around and it looked like the cover of a Back From The Grave* compilation (minus the murder and mayhem). The best part of the day was checking out the old Van Nelle  factory where the festival was held. An amazing building from the late 1920’s and a great example of the International Style of architecture. The worst part was that there was no record sellers in the “Cutthroat Bay” of retailers. At most of these kind of festivals and especially if there’s any rockabilly or punk contingent there’s gonna be a couple of guys hawking records. Nope, there was an old-timey barber, a couple of guys doing tattoos, a nail place and a t-shirt guy who seemed to only sell shirts that had Johnny Cash on them or the word Psychobilly. 

Now I’m home again and everything is a little more right in the world. Back to work tomorrow.

Voeding Kracht, the mechanical overlord of ScumBASH.

*if you don’t have any of the Back From The Grave compilations, buy them all and buy them now.  

Notes from Das Boot 228

Saturday 2/28/15, Dresden Germany en route to Rotterdam Holland

Don’t know if I’ll get a chance to post during the day. ScumBASH is run by the same people who ran Speedfest and the Internet at Speedfest was akin to somebody scrawling the word Wi-Fi on a piece of paper and handing it you:    

Here’s your internet wi-fi.       

 But it’s just a piece of paper with the words Internet and wi-fi written on it.     

 Well we didn’t say it was good wi-fi.   

 Can I get online with it.   


Last club show today. An aging scenester, hanging around with the local crew. He looked like in the old days he would have been in the East German version of Television (No Television). Pointing out everything that’s wrong with how I’m setting up my projectors.   

Staring, long cigarette drag…exhale… “ah…projectors…yes, you are too far back…perhaps…they might work…hmmm….maybe not…”        

  I just gave him a long dead eyed stare and he left.

Dressing room has a heavy, headache inducing mold smell, the kind I identify with old, shitty, water damaged record collections we get in at work  “some of them records are stuck together but the vinyls are good”

Towards the end of the tour there’s a game called sour milk roulette. We have a collection of milk that we get on our rider every day. Sometimes they outstay their welcome and if you grab the wrong milk for coffee or cereal, gahhhhhhh!  By the time you realize the milk has turned its already been put away and its a hassle to walk the three steps back to the fridge and throw it out, and so it stays. A quick fix is to see what language the carton is in. Christ, we haven’t been in England in two weeks, avoid that milk…but don’t throw it out. 

Who knows when, just be ready!!!

Notes from Das Boot 227

Friday 2/27/15, Dresden Germany

Second to last day of the tour. With ScumBASH/FEST/CON/etc. tomorrow which at best is gonna be a mess (christ, it’s called ScumBASH. A rare case of truth in advertising), today is the best day to start packing. Trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube with some extra toothpaste (in the form of records and books). The final pack is always frustrating, never enough room and questions about why I brought certain things in the first place. Did I really need to bring my entire collection of tiny hats in their tiny hat boxes? Probably not, while they brought me great comfort and joy while on the road, they did take up a lot of room. However I did make a little extra money when I set up Tim’s Phantastigal Tiny Hat Museum at the merch counter (5€, cash only). Some say it was a bigger draw than the actual concert, families would come from miles around and buy concert tickets just for the chance to see the “best curated tiny hat collection on any continent”* but I don’t want to stop here. Eventually I want to have a tiny hat revue with small birds waltzing around a stage wearing the tiny hats. The next step in world tiny hat domination will be even tinier hats for insects. Imagine a wood louse in a tiny fitted homburg…

I need some sleep or strong coffee

Show today in Dresden at an old slaughterhouse, most venues in Germany are at old slaughterhouses.

*NY Times, 2/10/14 from the article Tiny Hats, Why Now?

One of the highlights of my tiny hat collection

Notes from Das Boot 226

Thursday 2/26/15, Hanover Germany

Was informed that the festival in Rotterdam is ScumBASH and not ScumFEST which is another festival. I didn’t realize how many scum based music festivals there were in Europe: ScumPARTY, ScumSTOCK, ScumCON, and ScumBRUNCH. Sorry for the confusion.

Had another problem with the lighting guys name. Flo told me his name twice and I proceeded to call him Val for a couple of hours, realized my mistake and then called him Lon. Lon? Who the fuck is called Lon? (don’t tell me, I don’t care). I gave up and just called him “Thanks, Man” for the rest of the day.

Internet was terrible at the Schlachthoff Club today, Worse than InterNOT, it was Shitternet. Unable to download the de-colorized version of Gone With the Wind, maybe tomorrow.

BONUS STORY: maybe this is too obscure or maybe it’s just too dumb- opening band Bombus does a drum solo every night. I’ve never seen the drum solo but I hear it every night. Bob and I hypothesized that all the guys in the band participated in the drum solo, like a relay race but with drums. And when somebody would compliment the drummer on his skills, some body else from the band would quip, “He’s not even the best drummer in Bombus” referencing the Beatles story that ended “he’s (Ringo) not even the best drummer in the Beatles”

the Chinese Pep Boys from a Mao exhibit in Bremen 

Notes From Das Boot 225

Wednesday 2/25/15, Bremen Germany 

Getting sick on road is one of the more miserable aspects of touring. The same cramped living situation plus you feel like shit. So over the years I’ve been bringing more and more stuff to stave of sickness or make it bearable when I do. It has grown into a giant zip-lock that’s like a  middle class voodoo Gris Gris bag. I have to have everything: DayQuil, NyQuil, DuskQuil. Ibuprofen and Excedrin, because it has caffeine and I’m sure the Euro’s haven’t figured that out yet. Every type of stomach aid I can find. Band-aids, do Europeans even have band-aids? Maybe they just use spider webs and mud. I have it broken down into 2 smaller bags, one for the main suitcase and one for the satellite case that I keep on the bus. You need a Rolaid? Should have thought of that before we left America, fella. I’m sure these savages over here don’t know what an antacid is and I only have 9 rolls left, sorry.

Keep away sickness

Notes from Das Boot 224

Tuesday 2/24/15, Bremen Germany

Show in Gothenborg at Sticky Fingers was real good, small venue, packed house, good production and great opening band Dead Heads who played noisy, amped up blues rock, a rough mix of Graveyard and TheHellacopters.
The next show was Oslo. The only things open in Oslo on a Sunday are cafes, bars and 7-11’s (which are better then the ones in the states, smaller yet with more stuff), which meant I missed out on going to another one of my favorite record stores Tiger. A sharp little indie store that I manage to drop too much money in when I’m there.
About a half hour before doors, we got word that Dave’s bus plague had gotten worse, his voice was a croak and unless we were gonna do the show in sign language it would be canceled. I volunteered to do interpretive dance for the songs in the set so the show would go on without a singer but was beaten into a coma by band and crew for my very generous offer. I woke up in Bremen where we are spending our unscheduled day off. I went out for dinner last night, made a wrong turn and wound up in a restaurant-less part of town. I saw a sign in the distance that had a lamb on it. I thought it was a sign for a restaurant. It was a actually a sheep indicating a mattress shop. I ate some bedding.
Four shows left.

I went to the Can store to pick up a reissue of Monster Movie on lp but they had no idea what I was talking about. I demanded to speak to Holger Czukay . I was asked to leave. ( sorry for the record nerd humor attempt, but how many times are you gonna see a store called Can in Germany)

Notes from Das Boot 223

Saturday 2/21/15, on a ferry between Denmark and Sweden

7am ferry to Gothenborg, had a couple of Danish kroners left and I got the “breakfast special” coffee and a Semla which looked like a light whipped cream pastry but was really a hard roll with unsweetened whipped cream on it, at least the coffee was hot. ish.

The Effenaar in Eindhoven has an elevator to go between the five floors. I have been reading a book on Stiff Records and I was on the elevator and looking at the tour dates on my laminate, I saw Aarhus and I was started to sing Our House by Madness (who were on Stiff Records) but substituting Aarhus. “Aarhus…in the middle of the street…”. The elevator door opened and the drummer from the opening band Bombus* was standing there and just stared at me as I trailed off “AARHuuuus…….” He didn’t get on and just backed away as the door closed.

*Bombus are a solid outfit from Sweden who sound like a cross between Motörhead and High on Fire.

Still life with disappointing Semla

Notes from Das Boot 222

Friday 2/20/15, Aarhus, Denmark

We got into Aarhus about 2pm yesterday for our last real day off of the tour. Cool city with a great art museum and a couple of record stores. Then the final push. 4 shows, long hellish drive, 4 shows ending with “Scumfest” in Rotterdam where we are playing with Rev. Horton Heat and The Exploited on a large varied bill which guarantees that everyone attending will be disappointed at least some of the time.

Wednesday 2/18/15, Eindhoven Holland

Saarbrucken went well for me, almost too well. I really wanted to use “sour in Saarbrucken” but the day was just too good. There’s a great record store there called Rex Roturi and I picked up a bunch of singles that I was looking for and a few I didn’t know existed. The house crew and lights were very good, pretty painless. Today we are at the Effenaar in Eindhoven. This is the new Effenaar. Awhile ago the Dutch tore down a bunch of old rock clubs and replaced them with these giant brutalist style venues that don’t have the weird quirkiness of the old places but have some of the best production (light & sound equipment) around and the crew are really good.

I called my wife on her iPod touch using FaceTime (audio only):
Me-…Carrie…….can you…..hear me?….
Carrie-…what…goddamn FaceTime….
Me-…goddamn it…hang up and I’ll call on the regular phone..
I called her back on her regular cel phone
Carrie…I can hear you on my iPod and my phone…but not every word…it’s weird…
Me-what?!…can you hear….
Carrie-…now I can’t hear you on either one…
Me-what…fuckin’ piece of… fuckin’ …fuck!
Me-just hang up everything…and I’ll…fuck!
Carrie-…I can’t hear you…I’m gonna hang…</em>

The hotels of Europe part 16: rooms on a budget

Notes from Das Boot, 221

Sunday 2/15/15, London England

Finishing up our U.K. shows. A couple of notes:
36 Crazy Fists played another room at the deceptively gigantic Rock City in Nottingham the night we were there. I have it on good authority that really only 30 of the fists are crazy, the other 6 are just sad and acting out.

-The bus is slowly turning into a plague ship. Bob is just getting over the bus cold, which consists of equal parts cement head and peanut butter lung. Now Chris has it and Bobo who always seems to be working on a low level hacking cough regimen seems a little bit worse. Two weeks to go, hoping I can dodge the sick bullet

Monday 2/16/15, Saarbrucken Germany

-Good day off here. Hotel is very nice and has a real bed. The Ibis hotels that we’ve been normally getting on days off have beds that are like a wrestling mat on a sheet of plywood.
Normally on days off I do my best to avoid everybody on tour. I like everybody but for fucks sake, 24 hours a day with the same people in cramped quarters for weeks on end is enough to blow your goddamned brains out. Having said that, a bunch of us went out to dinner at a local brewery/restaurant and it was great, not once did I want to take a flamethrower to the rest of the table

-Our tour mgr. Bobo or Jens Bornhoft aka: The Brutal Strudel or Baron Von Bumout, occasionally writes his own blog about touring. Notes From der Panzer, it’s a different view of touring then this shambles. In my continuing ineptness with all things digital, I don’t have a link but check Jens Bornhoft in my list of Friends on facebook. Or perhaps if the good Baron is reading this he can supply his own link. I hope he writes a book of his touring stories and calls it Who Do You Think You Are, Eric Clapton?!

Old german cigarette ad

Notes from Das Boot 220

Saturday, 2/14/15, Glasgow Scotland

The dreary gloominess of Glasgow is emphasized by driving into it on a rainy morning looking thru the dirty tinted windows of the bus. It’s best summed up by this poem by Yeats
Upon Entering Glasgow
No NO! NO!!

The show at Rock City, was good. Their loaders are some of the best we’ve had. Actual Hells Angels, we could have left our gear in the parking lot and no one would have messed with it.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of clubs in the U.K. are their sticky floors. I found out the reason, they add a small amount of maple syrup to their mop buckets. Sometimes the floors aren’t sticky enough and they spread a thin coat of honey to make it comply with U.K. sticky floor regulations.
Bob pointed out that the 5£ Scottish note has Scotty from Star Trek on it. This money is not accepted in any other part of the U.K.

Autographed photo of Mark E. Smith, backstage at Rock City