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Worst Concert Ever

Chris Rock

Chris Rock

Blues Traveler

Blues Traveler

About ten years ago when Monster Magnet was still on A&M Records, we got invited to see Chris Rock and “Orchestral” Blues Traveler. It was a corporate show at PNC Art Center sponsored by Heineken. I hated Blues Traveler but liked Chris Rock and events like that were odd enough where it might be interesting. We had good seats and the place was filled up, mostly with khaki / LaCoste wearing white people. This bummed me out and then I realized that I was just another  powerfully uncool white guy who just wasn’t as well dressed as the others. This half-assed epiphany bummed me out even more. Chris Rock came out first and did a quick half hour set, it was funny stuff. Then he got word that the “orchestral” set up for Blues Traveler was taking longer than expected and he’d have to stay out there. This information really threw him for a loop and I’m not sure if he ran out of material or just said “fuck-it, they only paid me for a half hour.” Anyhow, he just wandered around the stage and made vague statements and observations. (After 10 seconds of silence)” Yeah…Blues Traveler…you guys ready for ‘em?…Yeah, they’re setting this shit up for ‘em…Yeah…Just look at these fuckin’ guys up here (pointing to some hapless crew guys setting up a platform on stage)…Look at that motherfucker…He’s all fat and shit…Fat..Mother..Fucker……Yeah…fat..…Blues Traveler yeah…They should be comin’ out soon…yeah…..Blues Traveler” This went on for about fifteen minutes, it was horrible and great at the same time. Chris Rock’s high level of uncomfortableness was a sight to behold. The idiots running things should have gotten him off the stage and put on some music or something. A&M recording artists Blues Traveler eventually made it onstage, augmented by a small classical outfit. They played five or six songs and it was awful. Every now and again a band will have the ego to think their bullshit will sound transcendental with a full orchestra. It rarely works, it sounds like shit and everyone involved is uncomfortable. “Orchestral” Blues Traveler only played for about half an hour and that was it. They didn’t plan on coming back and blues rocking their way through another hour or so as everyone expected, they just left. Lot’s of people were bummed, I was not among them.

I like Records 7

The Crazy Country Tape Ladies

I haven’t seen these two in quite awhile, two middle aged women who appeared to be addled. They always wore pink rain jackets and puffy pink sweat pants. They used to come in once a month usually at night, right before closing time. They were  friendly but really dumb or heavily medicated maybe a little of both. Our cassette section was pretty small and we didn’t have a ton of country tapes but that’s what they asked for. One of them had a notebook which they would refer to and while they got the artist right they never ever got the song title correct. I think they just took bits of the lyric and went with that. “Do you have Aaron Tippin “Baby, please don’t go and leave me home again tonight””” We would always be nice…at first. Like I said the song titles were always wrong and when a title came up that was very close, “We have Aaron Tippin “Don’t leave me”” they would never buy it. There would be a lot of hemmin’ and hawin’ and then they’d say no. They would go through the same titles every time they came in and very rarely bought anything. We tried to avoid them like the plague but it would be like musical chairs, whoever didn’t get one of the good hiding spots got stuck with them. What little patience we had was quickly used up pretty quickly. It would be “Do you Kathy Mattea-“I Love the way that you love me at Christmas” and just as the last word left her mouth, “No, we don’t and we’re closing now.”  I miss them but only as a story telling device.

Notes From Das Boot 5

 

November ’92? (page was damaged, couldn’t make out date)
Detroit has this club, Harpos. It’s a huge old art deco theatre right in an especially shitty part of town. It’s run by a guy that I called Harpo although that wasn’t his name. He reminded me of the psychiatrist in M*A*S*H, all arms and legs shaking like a walking earthquake. The stage is nine feet off of the ground so we figured there’d be no kids on stage. Wrong. From the first note it was flying bodies everywhere, pedals got unplugged and equipment was flying. Thugs with “bouncer” shirts were beating any unofficial stage dweller and tossing them back into the now swelling pit which was about 100 feet across. One poor bastard while trying to escape the stage law, slipped and got tangled neckwise in Dave’s guitar cord. So while the thug was dragging the kid off the stage, the guitar cord is strangling him. Dave stops his rocking and spectacularly dives on the bouncer and frees the kid. The crowd digs it and I think there were a few more Magnet fans after the set. Between sets there was a wet t-shirt contest type of thing and I got to be one of the judges, it was pretty goddamned great. The mix of the wet t-shirt contest, the hot sweaty room, and $1.25 pitchers of beer amped the crowd into the fucking stratosphere. White Zombie hit the stage and detonation, it was like a riot, like the last helicopter out of Saigon. I was on stage by the bass amp, taking it all in. The stage is nine fucking feet tall and still waves of kids get on the stage breaking through the human fence made by the bouncers. It’s now open warfare, bouncers just start punching anybody they can in the face. Two kids get on stage just to kick the bouncers and jump back in to the crowd. Another kid rises up out of the pit on somebody’s shoulder, maces a particularly vicious bouncer and vanishes back into the sea of people. Victory. Final total; 2 bouncers hurt, 5 kids hospitalized, 2 broken arms and 3 concussions. Show’s over, everyone leaves, no big deal. “You should have seen Pantera man, that was a fucked up show.” I can’t even imagine it

Police Blotter, March 17th

Police Blotter, March 17th

A billboard for the “Friends Of the Snakes” foundation on rte. 22 in Bippo County was defaced and set on fire early Monday evening. Police are still investigating.

O’Malleys Wooden Staff Emporium (18 Finch Drive), was robbed at approximately 11pm Monday evening. Police say that three wooden staffs with a value of $100 each were stolen. A spokesman for the emporium describes the staffs as the “St. Patrick” model, a 4 ft. tall wooden staff in the shape of a stretched out snake. Police are still investigating.

The offices of Snake Herders Union Local 701 were vandalized early Tuesday morning. Police are still investigating.

The Dublin Arms apartment complex (7 Kranepool Ave.) was vandalized at 8am Tuesday morning. Approximately $500 in damages was done to the complex. The suspect is described by witnesses as being a late middle aged white male with a long beard, wearing a robe and carrying a large stick. When confronted by the landlord the suspect said he was looking to rid the area of snakes. The suspect escaped on foot before police arrived.

A burglary was reported at Snakeville Pet store, (75 Petstore Ave.) 11am Tuesday morning. Approximately 25 snakes were stolen. Police are still investigating.

An altercation Tuesday evening at O’Flannerhans Irish Trinity House Bar, 15 Oxnard Avenue is being investigated. A fight broke out at approximately 8pm between members of the staff and a patron who refused to pay the $5 cover charge claiming he was St. Patrick. The suspect described as an older white male, with a long beard and dressed only in a robe appeared to be drunk and caused approximately $2000 in damages with a large wooden pole he was carrying. The suspect escaped on foot before police arrived and witness’ say the suspect was followed by 10 to 15 snakes.

A man listed as “John Doe” was found unconscious at Heron Leg Park late Tuesday Evening. The man an older white male wearing only a robe is believed to be suffering from numerous snake bites and is in intensive care at Bonaparte Hospital.

I Hate Me, part 367,042

Yeah, I know it’s trite and really obvious and everybody and their brother has beaten it like a dead horse. I hate people who use their cell-phones on line…near me. It annoys the hell out of me. I’m on line for coffee this morning and this assbag in front of me is yappin’ full volume into his phone. The line is slow and I’m wishin’ I could beat him with tree branches until he pissed blood. He finally gets off the phone when mine rings and instinctively like the king of all hypocritical assholes, I answer it. It’s my wife and I realize what a douche-nozzle I am and I’m wishing that I could beat myself with tree branches until I pissed blood. So I talk real low, barely above a whisper and she can’t hear a goddamn word I’m saying. “Speak up, I can’t hear you.” “(mumbling) I can’t speak up I’m on line and it’s rude” “What? I can’t hear you, speak up.” “I CAN”T SPEAK UP.” “Well don’t yell, just call me back.” I hate me.

Spring (almost)

 

Robin (robot version)

Robin (robot version)

It’s just starting to get a little warmer and I’ve been noticing the Robins starting to come out in force. They’re standing around on the ground like little bird sentries. Worms should be scared.

Notes From Das Boot 4

5/13/02 Providence
We played Albany or I should say just outside Albany in a strip mall. Shitty club, shitty crowd, pretty much a mind numbing show. Local openers Pleasure Crush sucked out what little life there was in the crowd by doing horrible, ponderous versions of Beastie Boys songs while leaping about the stage. “WE NEVER DO WELL IN THE NORTHEAST” became kind of a nervous mantra as most of the shows up here sucked. Our next show was at another strip mall this time “just outside of “ Manchester, New Hampshire and was more of the same. The house lighting guy was an hour late and then told me that the lights and the lighting board were fucked and he thought I could fix it. I thought he was joking until I looked into his dead uncomprehending eyes and realized that he wasn’t capable of joking and then I wanted to kill him. Cooler heads prevailed and they got a new lighting board, something along the lines of “My First Lighting Board” but fuck it, it worked. The crowd was sparse but into it, so it wasn’t a total wash.
9/7/98 Springfield Mo.
The last of four radio sponsored shows this was by far the worst. The dump (30 minutes from Branson) we played at was an abandoned drive-in, with two stages set up. Production and catering were shitty, the field was real dusty with a lot of scrub brush and every step seemed to cause a bunch of locusts to fly up. Ten or twelve B-level bands played (ie: Brother Cane, Local H, Stabbing Westward). Anyhow we played at 3pm so there was no lights and I was on stage. This girl, skinny, toothy, Midwestern, washed out looking is pressed up against the barricade with a bunch of drunken idiots. She tries to get (the singer) Dave’s eye by tugging at her black bikini top. Dave’s not noticing as he’s working the 5,000 potential fans. Halfway thru the set, the girl in a last ditch effort to get noticed gets on somebody’s shoulders to crowd surf. As she was right in front to of Dave, she took off her top and with Laurel & Hardy like timing she was immediately tossed, handed thirty feet stage right over to the barricade and security. She was covering up in a mummy like fashion, and I didn’t see her again