November 30, 1999
Orange County, CA.
Boy have I been lazy, or what? Sorry about not doing this sooner. I
don't even know where to start this entry, so I'll just arbitrarily pick an
event. Oh yeah, we played at the European MTV Awards. That was a big deal for us
because we've never really done anything like that before. We've certainly never
won such an award before. That was kind of cool. All this happened about three
weeks ago. First we flew to Dublin where MTV put us up in a castle just outside
of city. This place was fucking amazing.
It was huge and fully staffed so that we had anything we wanted. There were
hidden doors and staircases which led to such places as the billiards room and
liquor cellars. Everyone, both band and crew, had their own room, and when we
first got there we were all running through the place like a bunch of cartoon
characters. My room was the same room where "Posh Spice" consummated her recent
marriage. I'm sending along some pictures.
The awards themselves were pretty stressful, but ultimately pretty cool. We got
to sit right in front of Blur, who were making some very funny comments
throughout the ceremony. Right in front of me was Alicia Silverstone, and a
couple of the guys from Boyzone.
I didn't know who the Boyzone guys were, but we started making fun of one of
them when he started waving his arms and dancing in his seat like he was rapping
along to Whitney Houston (who was really one of the best performers that night,
and completely live). He was wearing a Fubu sweatshirt and looked like he was
trying to throw gang signs. He was the pretty-flyest guy I ever saw. Getting the
award was cool, although they cut out my part of our acceptance speech because I
used "the F word." I did get to hug Carmen Electra though. Carmen Electra, is
that a pornographic name or what? I also got to compare penises with one of the
Jukka Brothers. They are recurring characters on Euro-MTV, and I took a piss
next to the taller brother. Not much of a dick on that guy, and he gave me a
very mean look so I got out of there pretty quick. That was about the extent of
my brushing with celebrities that day. Some of the guys got to meet Brittney
Spears. Ron was very excited to have his picture taken with her. I wanted to
meet her because I wanted to see what she thought about my wife and I being able
to adopt her. I know that my daughter would love to have Brittney for a sister,
but my wife is not real keen on the idea.
It was interesting to find out how these shows work on a performance level.
Few of the performers play entirely live, some add their live vocals to an
instrumental playback, and some lip-sync entirely to a recorded playback. If you
watch closely enough you can tell who is doing what, and I don't want to give up
anyone's secrets, but we played everything live. When I watched the show on TV
later I was surprised by how different we sounded compared to how we sounded on
I was a little disappointed with how our guitars sounded in the broadcast
mix. We work really hard at making our guitars sound powerful, but on TV they
weren't as thick as I'm used to hearing them. On TV I realized that the few
bands that played live had similar problems with their broadcast mix, although
some sounded better than others. I think we learned a lot about how these shows
work and if we ever do another one we'll be a lot more prepared to deal with the
translation from live sound to TV sound. I still strongly feel that playing live
is the only way to go. I'm not a big Whitney Houston fan, but she was great that
night and her performance was entirely live.
After the show we were whisked off to a big party that was crowded, noisy, and
really lame. So we decided to go see Iggy Pop play at a small club called The
Headquarters. We got there early and made our way to the bar to try and ease
some of the days stress away.
The drinks were flowing in excess, and I was afraid I was going to get
trashed, but then Iggy took the stage and Higgins and I went to watch the show.
We started watching from the balcony, but soon decided that we needed to get
closer. By the third song I was in the second row of the pit and it was awesome.
I was getting as smashed and trampled and beat-up as I can ever remember. A
couple of times Iggy was
literally on top of me as he was crowd surfing. So were all the other crowd
surfers and stage divers. The band and Mr. Pop played most of my favorite songs
like "Search And Destroy" and "I Want To Be Your Dog." At one point somebody
behind me was grabbing my shirt and ripping it off me, so I just took it off and
threw it up on stage. The pit was brutal and just so much fun. Everyone was
having a great time. This all went on for over an hour when Iggy said that
they were going to take a break and see if there were any "special guests"
who might help out with the encore. I must admit that I got a little nervous
wondering whether or not he meant me, and I kind of ducked down in the pit a
little. Thankfully he was referring to Bono of U2, and Marilyn and Twiggy of
Marilyn Manson. As the band kicked into "Louie Louie" Bono climbed down to the
stage from the Balcony. Then they played "Johnny Be Good." I was still in the
pit, jumping up and down and moshing and just loving the whole show. I was
having at least as much fun as anyone up there onstage. The best thing about it
was that I was able to get rid of all that stress without getting totally fucked
up, which is how I usually deal with it. They ended with "TV Eye" which has
always been one of my favorite songs.
After the show Higgins and I snuck backstage to hob-nob with all the celebs.
Mick Jagger was hanging out and so were Marilyn, Twiggy, Bono, Sinead Oconnor,
and Joe Elliot of Def Leopard. Their were other celebs there that I didn't know
too well like the chick from the Corrs. I did talk with Joe a little and thanked
him for letting us use their sample at the beginning of "Pretty Fly." He was a
very nice guy, really normal and down to earth. I also talked with a couple of
guys in the band about guitars and stuff. After that we went back to the bar to
see Greg K. getting his picture taken with Alicia Silverstone. Then we went back
to our own private castle. Some of the single crew guys were joking about what a
great pickup line that would be, "So, would you like to come back to my castle?"
Two days later we played our own small club show at The Garage in London. It
was cool to watch the crowd and remember that I was in a similar position to
them just two days before. I only hoped that they were having as much fun as I
did. I love the smaller shows, they are a lot more relaxed and informal. They
are just plain fun! The next day I woke up pretty sick and stayed that way
throughout the South American part of the tour. Its really difficult to shake an
illness when your on a plane everyday and traveling as much as we have been. The
only thing that I really remember about the SA tour was that the crowds were
fucking incredible, especially in Rio and Sao Paulo. It was also a thrill to be
able to watch The Vandals play every night, a great band and so funny.
Well that will have to do it for now. The next time I write I'll be in Canada.
Until then, take care of yourselves.