Notes From Das Boot 2

12/4/03 London

A short two show, six day (including flight days) trek to England. A lot of tension. For me it’ll be over when the show starts Sunday night and hopefully all my shit will work. The band although playing well hasn’t gelled into an actual band yet, right now it’s just five guys playing songs instead of one band. Oh well, so far so good (I’m knocking on wood).

I found a candy today by Nestle and it’s called “Drifter” which is a somewhat dark name for a candy bar. What’s next? “Stalker!, the snack that stays with you all day…even if you don’t want it to.”

6/20/04 Weisbaden

Drunk german guy ogling Phil’s girlfriend, Tara. Ed told the german that she was dating someone from the band. His reply, “Oh well, she is cute but she belongs to the team”

4/19/01 Springfield (home of the Simpsons)

We’ve been on tour for a little more than a week and the bus has become a plague ship.  A few days ago Arnold (aka: Goggles Piasano) got deathly ill, some kind of cold augmented with some horrible swollen gland thing.  He was appropriately treated like a leper and everyone was scared they’d be next, even though we were assured that is was viral in nature and no-one would catch it.  Three days ago Jon and Dave both got the cold.  Jon has been coughing on everyone on purpose and Dave his face red and puffy is communicating in a series of grunts.  This morning I woke up coughing as did Ian or as Dan calls him E-Dog or Ian Pee’n (Ian’s childhood taunting name). We’re all doomed.

I Like Records 4

humble1Steely Don
Steely Don is a lanky middle aged rock guy with long hair and a serious mustache. We first became aware of him when we caught him on our security camera playing insane air guitar to another guy looking at records. It was great, a lot of leaping and crouching were involved. The whole thing lasted about 3 minutes and we replayed it a lot for a few weeks. It was one of the high points of working there. A few weeks after that he came in looking for a CD and announced, “The year, 1973…The band, Humble Pie…The album, Thunder Box. It didn’t have any hits on it but it real good songs. Do you have it? ‘cause even the Japanese haven’t put it out yet on CD.” “No, sorry man it’s not even listed.” And with barely a whisper, “yeah…I know.”

Movie Chat

lucas2This month Movie Lab (PBS network) digs up a seldom seen oddity, George Lucas’s Attack of the 60 Foot Woman.
In 1967 while attending film school and making short films, Lucas was approached by a representative from Dr. Scholl’s foot products. The late sixties were a hard time for Dr. Scholl’s. The hippie movement besides espousing free love and anarchy also went barefoot. Less shoes meant less foot care products and business was down substantially. Dr. Scholl’s wanted Lucas to make an hour long movie/commercial in which foot care products more specifically Dr. Scholl’s foot care products were prominently featured and shown to be “cool”. The movie was to be screened at high schools, vocational schools and junior colleges. Lucas seeing an opportunity to further his craft signed on immediately.
Six months later “The Attack of the 60 Foot Woman” was finished. The movie featured a young Linda Purl as Diane a free spirited “hippie”. While dancing barefoot during a protest at a chemical factory Diane gets caught in a thunderstorm and finds shelter in an empty chemical drum. The next day she wakes up to find she’s been transformed into a giant centipede. Mayhem ensues when Diane trundles about the countryside looking for help while being pursued by the army. Enter Dr. Professor “Click” Davis (James Franciscus) who is working with the army and is a trained podiatrist. Davis finds the distraught centipede woman and using nothing but Dr. Scholl’s foot products calms her down by soothing and healing all sixty of her feet. The final scene finds Diane now human again waking up in a field and realizing it was all a dream. She vows to take better care of her feet using only Dr. Scholl’s foot products.
The Attack of the 60 Foot Woman was a failure as a movie and as a Dr. Scholl’s commercial. It was only shown in a few school districts in the Midwest and was protested against by both hippies and church groups. The only thing successful was a soundtrack album by The Lovin’ Shoehorn which now fetches high prices on the internet.
In his book “Out of the Film Can, Into the Trash Can” Leonard Maltin describes 60 foot Woman as an early watershed moment in Lucas’s career and compares it favorably to the early Spielberg failure “Dik-Bot: Adventures of a lustful robot”. Lucas for his part refuses to talk about the movie and it appears nowhere on his film biography.

Movie Lab (PBS): Check local listings for time and date

I Like Records 3

Domain
Matt and I were just hanging out at the back counter one morning shooting the shit when Danny came up. One of Danny’s superpowers is the power of interruption. He’ll interrupt anybody at anytime for anything. He doesn’t really have conversations, he just makes statements. “I did something last night I never did before.” The responses could have been endless but I settled on “Did you have sex with a goat?” “I went to Go Daddy.com and bought a domain name for the internet, and I’m gonna auction it off.” Seconds tick off and neither Matt nor I wanted to ask what the name was and we went back to talking.  Danny got fidgety and, “Eat My Jello.”   “Eat My Jello?, why the hell would you pick that?” “It’s a cool thing, ya know…Eat My Jello. You could use it for anything.” “I guess, it’s kind of dumb though.” “You could use it for anything, Eat..My..Jello.” A few hours later Danny steams up to the back counter, looks me in the eye and says “Sexy Midget” and another domain name is born.

Notes From Das Boot 1

I have been doing concert lighting and touring on and off for about twenty years, I’ve kept journals for a bunch of it. I hope these make sense. The context doesn’t really matter.
3/18/04 Berlin
I’m fucking hating this. This tour feels like I’m falling down a flight of stairs in slow motion. Gluecifer* got their bus back today which meant they got their bus driver Theo back as well. He’s kind of psychotic and looks like A) he’s waiting for Ghengis Khan and his Mongol Hordes or B) he could be a futuristic villain from the original Star Trek series. He’s always awake and the only interaction I’ve had with him was during a shitty load-in in Glasgow. I was dragging a particularly heavy case and Theo looked at me (he was standing idly by) and said “I almost helped you, hahahahaha.” Just like a Star Trek Villain would.

*A great band from Norway

I Like Records 2

I Hate Hippies
Mark is a middle aged hippie who embodies none of the original hippie ethic except liking shitty music and looking homeless. He’s like a hippie robot programmed by Fox News and he has a sense of entitlement that would choke a horse (if horses ate such things). He spouts off in a laconic folksy way, which is usually offensive and always annoying. “Ya know man, most of the Mexicans are criminals. I’m all for sending them back, ya know.” “It’s no secret ya know that jews control everything ya know. Who do you think controls all the money? Jews.” He’s some kind of lawncare guy and comes in on rainy days, rarely buys anything and complains about our prices. “yeah, I was looking for the new Bob CD, I know you guys don’t got it. He’s just selling it online, Bob’s selling it himself ya know ‘cause stores take too much money and Bob got ripped off man.” The “Bob” in question is Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Mark’s on a first name basis with all the artists he likes; Dave (Matthews), Gregg (Allman), and Derek (Trucks). He also won’t suffer sub par stereo equipment, “yeah, I won’t listen to shit ya know, I got MacIntosh Amps and a Cambridge CD player.” “Why listen to shit, man? Ya know my ears are tuned, tuned man. I can tell a shitty stereo just by listening.” He’s a gift that just keeps giving.

The Bob

It’s already established that I’m middle aged and fairly boring. So it’ll be no surprise that I’m a fan of Bob Ross. Not so much the paintings as the man and the show itself. Bob is a human narcotic and the show is a warm bath (to slit your wrists in), from the opening with him and baby woodland creatures to the joy he takes cleaning his brushes “beating the devil out of them”. When I was in high school there was a rumor going around that he was a marine in Viet Nam and did a lot of killing, something snapped and he became what you see on T.V. I don’t know if that’s true but I kind of hope it is. Anyhow, we’ll watch it every so often and when we do we’ll imbue it with a drama that isn’t there.
“It’s done, the painting is done. Stop it.” “he better stop, it’s gonna be too crowded.” “Not another goddamn happy tree, stop it already.” “Is that a stream? What the hell is that?” “Christ, it’s mess, how many goddamn tree’s is he gonna put in.” “Well, that actually works, well done.” “Why did we ever doubt him.” “The Bob is good, the Bob is great.”     

bob