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> > > 23 Stycznia 2001 < < <

From: Noodles
January 23, 2001
Brussels, Belgium


I just found a Bud in my minibar and, since I hate to drink alone, I decided I'd do this journal type thing. I know that in actuality I am still alone, but thinking about all you lovely readers out there in cyberspace makes me feel like I have company. This Bud reminds me of a joke; How are American beer and making love in a canoe similar? They're both "fucking close to water." But I digress. We've been on the road long enough to play four of the biggest shows we've ever played in the U.K.. The first was in Glasgow last Wednesday. The Scots are always a great audience and this night was no exception. It was a great show except for some slight technical difficulties. First, my whole rig took a shit during a couple of songs. Then Dexter and Greg lost power halfway through "Pay The Man." When you are up on stage in front of thousands of people, these difficulties seem anything but slight. In reality, they only affected a couple of songs and the rest of the set felt great. Feeling worse than us were our techs, Donny and Steve, who had to sort out literally miles of chords and hundreds of connections to get us back up and running. Fortunately these guys were on top of the situation and quickly got us back on our feet, bloodied but unbowed.


On Friday night we played Manchester, which is a tough town to play in because it has a strong musical scene of its own and as given the world a lot of great rock bands in recent years. Knowing all this, the audience was better than we could ever have expected. This was our biggest ever headlining show in the U.K. and the whole audience was on fire, more than thirteen thousand of the geezers. I never thought I'd hear that many people sing along to "One Fine Day." It kind of scared me really.


Saturday and Sunday nights were spent at Wembly Arena in London. Saturday night was taped and recorded for some TV shows or something. One song was recorded for "Top Of The Pops," but I think you'll be able to see other parts of the show all over Europe on various channels. The cool thing about Saturday night was that I didn't let all the cameras and shit affect my performance, which I felt to be one of my strongest ever. Usually I get more self-conscious than usual when I know that there is some taping or recording going on. Self-consciousness is a killer when it comes to performance. On Sunday night we didn't have to deal with any of that crap. It was just a fun show. Sunday night was the first one to sell out, but I didn't need to be told that. The energy and enthusiasm of the audience told us all that this audience was first. This show was just awesome and too fun for words.


I should also mention that Saturday was Greg's birthday, which we celebrated partly on stage, but mostly at Filthy McNasty's later that night. Dexter's birthday was two weeks before we left home, so we celebrated it in Glasgow. I celebrated his birthday a little too much and threw up in the bar. It was okay though, because I kept on celebrating. Ron's birthday will be celebrated in Treviso Italy, in just over a week. I'm hoping to go snowboarding on my birthday, which is three days after Ron's, on one of our days off. So I guess this is The Offspring's European Birthday Tour of 2001.


For all of us, the holidays were a well needed break. Ron went snowboarding up near Lake Tahoe, where he celebrated New Years by taking some money away from the casinos. I think Greg K went to the mountains for New Years with his family. I know that Dexter went to Higgins' new house, where Christopher was bringing in the year 2001 by playing only Eighties compilation CDs. On New Years Eve I surfed some of the biggest waves of my life in Hanalei Bay on the North Shore of Kauai. The set waves were double-overhead+, I mean these beautiful blue-green right-breaking freight trains of water. I haven't been in surf like that for years. I got caught inside on a couple of sets, which always scares me shit-less in anything overhead or better, but I even handled that without any trouble. The only thing that sucked about the whole day was that I couldn't see where the reef was. This may come as a big surprise to many of you, but I have really bad eyesight. I've tried surfing with my glasses on, but that's even worse because they just get covered with salt and drops of seawater. So anyway, when my last wave closed out on me, I prone out on my board and just rode the wave in. Where the waves were breaking was far out on the reef, about a ten-minute paddle from the beach out through the channel. With my bad eyesight I thought I was heading in a safe direction to the right of the shallow part of the reef. Nope! I was way too far off to the left, but I didn't realize it until I'd lost one of the fins on my board, and really chewed up the other two. Fortunately they weren't glassed in and I was able to replace them. All in all, I got in four days of beautiful warm-water surf. It was hard to go out at Huntington, when I got home, in a water temperature somewhere in the fifties.


The second half of the U.S.tour was super fun as we got to know the MXPX and Cypress Hill guys better, and as we got into the rhythm of touring life. I also think that the audiences became more enthusiastic as they became more familiar with "Conspiracy Of One." It was also fun to watch B-Real, who almost every night would break out a bong and smoke out on stage. This caused us to make a beer bong and start representing during intermission. So Cypress Hill were a good influence on us, I think. Greg k, sipping his cognac backstage, said that I was being immature by beer-bonging on stage, and that I should act more my age. I told him that he was a "Poo poo head." On our last night with Cypress, B joined us on stage doing Redman's parts in "Prankster." We had a special surprise for the MXPX guys during their set on our last night with them. A couple of our crew guys climbed up into the rigging and dumped hefty-bags full of popcorn on them. Right before that, Mike, the singer/bassist, brought one of the random fans on stage, asking him if he knew how to play bass. He said yes and then proceded to play the whole of their song flawlessly, allowing Mike to sing and stage-dive at will. This fans name was also Mike. By the songs end he was jumping around and playing like he belonged in the band. It was one of the coolest band/fan interactions that I've ever seen.


Well, its 5:00 am here in Brussels, and the minibar is about empty. I'm trying to remember if there is anything else that I should fill you all in on before I crash out. I guess I should just send this in now. If I remember anything else I'll send it in tomorrow. Until next time, keep coming to the shows, posting on the fan site (we do read them even if we don't always respond), and keep those e-mails coming.



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