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 > > > Summer Europe Road Journal 2001 < < <

   
 
2001 Summer Europe Road Journal - Part 1

From: Noodles


July 6, 2001
Orange County

 

Below are some of the entries I made during the last leg of the tour. I don't know if any of them make any sense. Europe was brutal because of the routing and the amount of travel we had to endure. I was drunk more on this tour than any other I've ever been on. It's the only way I know to deal with the more stressful aspects of touring. The shows were all great and the only time we were consistently having any real kind of fun. I tried to edit out most of my whining and complaining (who wants to hear that shit?), but I decided to leave some in so you can get an honest idea about what touring can be sometimes. I hope you can make sense out of these entries, and please forgive my whining.

 

June 2, 2001
Lyon, France

 

Alright! I've already got my first hangover of the tour, and we just got here last night. We haven't even played one show yet. I figure that before we actually begin this tour, I better get you all brought up to date. Too late! This hangover definitely means that this tour has officially begun. And it began with a bang, let me tell you. Our flight from L.A. to London went fine, but we arrived to find out that our flight to Lyon had been cancelled. We were then booked on a flight to De Gaulle airport in Paris where we had to collect our bags, get on a bus for an hour-plus ride to Orly airport, then finally catch another flight to Lyon. Of course our bags never made it to either Paris or Lyon until early this morning. It's all good now though; We are here and raring to go.

The only thing I must mention before I go is that I went to my first prom during the break. We actually played at it. It was a special show we did for KROQ, the local alternative radio station, and it was held at Six Flag's Magic Mountain, with our friends Weezer also putting in a performance. A bunch of local high Schools competed for the honor of having KROQ host their prom. Two schools actually won, so both Weezer and ourselves had to play two sets. We weren't sure what to expect, but it ended up being a fucking blast. We learned how to play "Babe" by Styx, you know, because it was for a prom and stuff, not because we wanted to play that song for years and years, and the audience seemed to love this. Rob Schneider from the movie "Animal" joined us for the "you can do it" line. Rob is one of the funniest guys I've ever met. He's even funnier than Pauly Shore. Weezer was great and we were stoked to be sharing a stage with them again. Their new song "Hash Pipe" is one of the best songs on the radio right now. There was only one downside to the whole evening; I'm supposedly some sort of rock-star, it was my first prom, and I still didn't get laid.

 

Later,
Noodles

 


 

2001 Summer Europe Road Journal - Part 2

 

June 5, 2001
London

 

I haven't slept all night. We just got here. Overnight drive from Holland. Great crowd. Played Pinkpop festival last night. Tool played. They fucking RULE! Hard to see from side of stage. Limp Bizkit surprised me. Great show and Fred was a cool guy. Talked about skating and stuff. Met Wes who's playing I like a lot. Lots of explosions in their set. Very cool! Tool Rule! New record rules! Live they RULE! Met Maynard. Doesn't just look like a freak! Really nice guy! Have you seen the new Fatboy Slim video? The one with Cristopher Walken in it? Fucking hysterical! Must sleep.

 

June 9, 2001


London, England

Two nights ago we played in Leeds at a small club in front of only about 150 people. Last night we played in front of 40,000 people when we opened up for AC/DC. That is one of the things that is very important to all of us in this band; That we get to play both big venues, as well as the smaller, more intimate clubs. I hope that for as long as we are a band that we continue to get to do both.

The Leeds show was just plain fun! There was no stress involved at all and we got to tweak the set-list around to suit the smaller venue. We could actually hear what the people in the back of the venue are yelling at us. We could see everybody's faces. The only fucked part of the whole evening was that we couldn't just hang out and have a drink afterwards. We had interviews to do both before and after the show, then we had to drive back to London.

The AC/DC show was fucking awesome. What a big-time Rock spectacle that was. It was our first time experiencing anything like that. We were afraid that an AC/DC crowd might not get what we were about, but they were great for us and we really had a good time on that stage. Then we went out to watch the legends do their thing. Fucking-A! (Spell-check just accepted the word fucking-a) I thought I worked hard on stage every night, Hah! Angus is a fucking MADMAN! The guy never stops, and the rest of the band is right there with him. They have statues, blow-up dolls, cannons, fire works, huge TV screens, and one big ass bell. I felt like that Chris Farley character from Saturday Night Live, the one who interviews Paul McCartney, "Sooo Aaawwsome!" We've got two more shows with them. I can't wait!

 

Later,
Noodles

 


 

2001 Summer Europe Road Journal - Part 3

 

June 14, 2001
Helsinki, Finland

 

Hell-sink-I! Hell sink I. I'm sinking into Hell. Dexter flew home for a couple of days for some family business. I'm not sure if I pity him for having to travel more, or envy him for being able to leave the circus for a short respite. The rest of us ended up with a couple of days off, but I always find it so hard to switch gears from work to pleasure. Maybe that's because I find my work to be so pleasing. I can't handle more than one day off in the middle of a tour. The only reason I go on tour is because I love the work, i.e. playing shows. Here we are with one travel day and then two days of nothing. Non-existence.

With all of this time off a bunch of us wanted to go to St. Petersburg, only we were told that, "You can't get there from here." So we decided to go to Estonia, which is a former Soviet republic. We ended up taking a ferry to the city of Talinn. It was a pretty enough city, and we got to see this really old wall. The antique shops all had a bunch of Soviet and Nazi memorabilia, which we decided we didn't need, especially if it came with any kind of karma attached. After a while it just started to feel like a travel day, and I started to deal with it as such.

We found our first bar nestled inside a tower that was part of the old wall. The tower and the rest of the wall were built in the 1300's. The beer was of a more recent vintage. From there we went to Molly Malone's in the "old" part of town for a couple of Guinnesses. From there it all starts to get hazy. I know that we left Fitzjoy asleep at Molly's, but I don't know what happened to everyone else. We all just kind of got separated. Luckily I found the really nice taxi driver who first picked us up at the ferry terminal. He asked me when I needed to be back at the terminal, so I told him I had an hour before my ship left. He showed me a flier for a "Burlesque Club" and told me about his friend who apparently owned and operated it. I figured what the Hell, I didn't have much time left in Estonia, what kind of trouble could I possibly get into?

Now, if you've read my last tour journal, then you know that I'm not new to these types of establishments. I don't frequent them often (honestly, Honey, I don't) but I have experienced them more than once or twice. It is also important for you all to understand the difficulty with which I had communicating with this Estonian cab-driver. About the only thing I think I understood him saying was when he kept pointing to the aforementioned flier and saying, "Yeah! Fuckie-fuckie okay." Of course I understood that to mean, "Yeah! Right! There is NO sex in the Champagne Room." So I just let him drive.

After about fifteen minutes of watching the city disappear into suburbs, I started to wonder where the hell this guy was taking me. By now even I could tell that we were way off the beaten path. Finally, as we're heading down this dirt alleyway, he turns into what looks like the parking area of some sort of condominium. I'm wondering where the neon lights are. Where's the painting of a big old set of red lips, or at least a broken-heart with an arrow through the pieces? Instead of some club, we pulled into the driveway of some apartment building. The cabbie runs to the door and knocks on it. One of those little barred peepholes opens up and he whispers into it while frantically waving his hands about. When the door opens a couple of the cabbie's friends rush out and usher me into what looks like some Huntington Beach duplex. It costs me the equivalent of about five US dollars to get in, before they take me upstairs and charge me another five for a beer. All the while that this is going on, I'm wondering "What kind of weird underworld shit have I gotten myself into?"

From the small bar area in the upstairs hallway I can see through a doorway into a room that appears to be set up for "exotic dancing." As I'm finally being served my $10 beer, doors start opening all over the apartment complex. Some doors are only covered by curtains, and some of the rooms behind actual doors have curtained off sections behind them. From behind all these doors and curtains emerge women who look nothing like the women on my new friend's flier. Beer in hand, I'm now quickly ushered into the "dancing" room. This room is lined with sofas on each wall, and has an incredibly small stage and pole in one corner. I smile, say hello, and just generally act polite toward a couple of the women who are all sitting on the sofas, smoking cigarettes, and looking very bored. More women emerge from the shadows like cockroaches into a kitchen after the lights are shut off. I have to admit it, at this point I'm just plain scared.

Like I said, none of these women were the ones I saw on the flier. These women all looked like they'd just gone ten rounds with Tyson, and Kicked His ASS! It is finally dawning on me just exactly where I am. This is not what I thought it was. There are no Champagne Rooms here. These girls are not here to dance for dollars. This is the Real Deal. I am in a Whorehouse! My first instinct is to simply head for the door, but that would be rude. Nor did I want to be perceived as a wuss. Besides, I've never been to a House of Ill Repute before, and I have to admit, I was intrigued. Okay, in all honesty, I was afraid that these women, along with their male cohorts, would kill me if I didn't at least spend some of my money there.

While I was contemplating my chances of escaping alive, music began to blare out of somewhere as the only passable-looking "dancer" took the stage. I tried to feign interest, but mostly I tried to get rid of all my Estonian money, all the while smiling at the "ladies" like I didn't have a care in the world. As the song ended I stood up, probably a bit too quickly, and walked out into the bar area. My taxi-driving friend was arguing with one of the men of the establishment, probably about the type of clientele, or lack thereof, being brought to such an esteemed place. I looked at the driver and pointed to my watch, trying to convey that I was needed elsewhere immediately. They tried to get me to stay a while longer, but I think they sensed that I was having none of the business that they had to offer. When I finally got out of there, My friend the taxi driver only charged me a $100 for the fifteen minute ride back to the ferry. I paid it gladly.

Ah yes! The glamorous lifestyle that is rock and roll, but I'm also reminded of the joke about the guy who couldn't even get laid in a whorehouse. I'm somehow proud of the fact that I'll never be confused with Charlie Sheen.

 

Later,
Noodles

 


 

2001 Summer Europe Road Journal - Part 4

 

June 18, 2001
Bologna, Italy

 

I woke up this morning only to find that my head had split apart like the two halves of an overstuffed suitcase, and all its contents lay strewn around my room like an impossible assortment of laundry, books, magazines, videos, CDs, empty bottles and overflowing ashtrays. My first thought was,"Not Again," followed by the realization that all this crap I'm lugging around in there is becoming increasingly more difficult to organize in a way so that it all fits. I'm learning to pack a light suitcase, but my head is pretty fucking full right now, and I never can seem to find in it what I need, when I need it. What time is it? 3:00 am or pm (they look the same in the arctic circle, where we were yesterday)? What day is it? Where are we today? Tomorrow? Yesterday? Just put us on an airplane and get us to the show! You better fucking hurry!

We are starting to Really feel at home on the stage. We are starting to joke around and fuck with each other during our set more often. As for me, I know where all my shit is, and I can get to it when I need it. I am starting to feel confident there. We all are. Its like every show is a chance to just get better and better at what we do. And we are getting better at it, I think. I still love playing the guitar and learning new ways of doing it. And there is no feeling in the world like the buzz we get when our playing is strong and the audience is into it. We've had some of the best audiences of our career lately. which makes all the travelling worth the while.

 

July 9, 2001
Orange County, CA

 

Two nights ago we played our last show with AC/DC in front of 70,000 screaming Frenchmen and Frenchwomen. It was quite a big show for us, even if we were just a support act. It was so cool just to be asked to open for such a great rock band, then playing in front of their audiences was better than we could have ever hoped for. What struck me the most about it all is that on one hand these guys are one of the biggest rock bands of all time, and they have this huge set and a huge spectacle of a show, yet they are really a pretty normal bunch of geezers. Brian Johnson came back-stage one night to say hi before their set. He is really funny and was telling us some pretty nasty jokes. Their music is all pretty straight-forward, no-frills, rock and roll. On stage they all looked like a bunch of punkers. Angus does for sure, and Malcome kept reminding me of Iggy Pop. As for the big-ROCK trappings, It was just fun being a part of all of that.

Our last two shows on this tour were German festivals, and were among the most fun of any we've ever played in Germany. Die Toten Hosen were headlining the shows and we were on right before them both nights. They are the biggest German punk band and the crowds they brought to the shows were awesome. It felt really good to end the tour with two of the best audiences we've ever had. On top of that, I got to meet Blaine and Ruyter from Nashville Pussy. We got to both shows too late to catch their set, but It was cool to meet them. They are a great band, really heavy sound, and Ruyter is not only a great guitarist, she is also quite a looker, in that ever popular (with me at least) trailer-chic vein.

Among other shows that stand out, was the festival in Tornava, Finland, where we played again with Weezer. It was cool to see another band that we know, who were also as far away from home as we were. It was a fun show out in the middle of the woods, up near the arctic circle. Another fun show, for me at least, was the one in Katowice, Poland. About an hour and a half before our set, Greg bet me that I couldn't drink seven beers before we took the stage. As he began with the opening notes to "Bad Habit," I walked up and placed my seventh empty beer bottle on his amp, hit my first note, then promptly ran into Dexter's mike stand. I recovered fairly quickly though, played about as well as I usually do, and had one of my most enjoyable shows ever.

Since we've been home, I've been spending as much time in the surf as possible. We had a really nice swell hit these parts a week ago and, when the wind complied, the waves were great. When the waves are small, I've been working on my old-school long-board maneuvers on my new 10' single-fin. Superfuckingfun!

Last Wednesday we all went to Dexter's for a Fourth of July party. Dexter has some of the best parties. I got to see much of the crew there, as well as many old friends that I haven't seen too much lately. Even Solange, who does a Spanish web-site about us was there. The TSOL guys were all there for a short while but I missed them. We are really looking forward to touring with them.

The next tour is shaping up nicely and we are all ready to get back out there. I'm going to try and do the whole tour driving myself in my camper. Normally I reserve the camper for surf trips, but I think it'd be nice to wake up on our off days in the woods or next to a river somewhere. I'm definitely surfing the day of the San Diego show, and maybe even two days in Ventura. After that there won't be much surf where we're heading.

That's all for now. I'd better send this in before I start getting hate-mail again. Until next time, I'll leave you with some of the CDs I've been listening to:

The Dickies; "All This And Puppet Stew." This has been in my stereo since I got it. The best new record I've heard in a long time.
Nashville Pussy; "Let Them Eat Pussy." Trailer punk metal RAWK!
The Dicks; 1980-1086. Cool, old-school shit!
VAST; "Visual Audio Sensory Theatre."
Dead Kennedys; "Bedtime For Democracy."
X; "Los Angeles" and "Wild Gift."
Minutemen; "Double Nickels on the Dime." A Classic, must-have record!

Oh yeah, we ran into Oxygene, whom many of you know, and he gave us a demo of his band, the Deadbeats. Not bad. Keep it up, Oxygene, just don't quit your day job yet.

 

Later,
Noodles

 

 
   
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