1995

Last Week Of The Tour

  • Wed Jul 12 - Indianapolis - Our Last Lollapalooza!
  • Thu Jul 13 - Day Off??? - driving to Tennessee
  • Fri Jul 14 - "Is NOT Chicago"
  • Sat Jul 15 - Last Official Day Of The Tour

 

Wednesday July 12th - WAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! (Our Last Lollapalooza)

Our Last Lollapalooza Show! - Indianapolis

Before we went on the stage today, I noticed parts of Jesus Lizard, parts of Pavement, and their entire booking agent standing around the stage, and all of the sudden, I felt a huge load of responsibility on my shoulders. You WANT these bands to like you! But knowing that these bands are standing around watching us, all I did to stop myself from worrying was to just turn off my surroundings, like I'm playing in a white room, and absolutely nothing matters except whether or not I'm in tune. That's pretty much what it's like for me anyway most of the time; it's just sometimes I try to remember to pay attention to the audience, because the audience likes that, I think. Sometimes when I actually look out into the crowd though, I can either have a paranoia attack, or I sometimes get really, really angry for no reason, just looking at someone's face; like they transferred all their anger into me or something. This is pretty weird, isn't it. Well, anyway. Can you believe it? Some of the members of Jesus Lizard stuck around afterwards to tell us they enjoyed our set! WOW!

And Speaking Of Looking Out Into The Audience

I put myself on our own Guest List today, SO I WOULD GET A TICKET, so I could go sit and watch the bands on the main stage. Without a "SHED" ticket, which no doubt is much more expensive than a "LAWN" ticket, you CANNOT go up to the stage - EVEN with a Lollapalooza LAMINATE. The Main Stage bands don't seem to know this, and the poor things look out into the audience and it looks blank for them. There were hardly any people sitting in the chairs near the front today as I watched Pavement and Sonic Youth. I can't believe it. I know the bands must have felt terrible, and the audience I'm sure felt terrible, too - the lawn was crowded with people who are used to standing in front of their favorite bands. Lee Renaldo at some point during their set said, "I think you guys can probably come up to the stage now - I'm sure the tickets don't mean anything anymore" but he was wrong. Bouncers were PATROLLING their areas, making sure everyone was in their correct seats, up until the END of the night. On the LAST SONG OF THE NIGHT, Rick saw a kid try to go up to the front, and the bouncer would not let the kid pass; threw him right out.

I feel sorry for these bands, but then again, on this magical day, I stood directly a couple of feet away from Sonic Youth and Pavement as they played their songs on stacks of cabinets bigger than entire clubs I've seen these bands play in once upon a time, songs blaring like the sun at me, with nobody hurting me.

Sonic Youth Report

If Sonic Youth wants to be the "washing machine" that cleans out all the garbage people have been accumulating in their minds, or whatever Thurston said much more eloquently in his tour report, well, they succeeded. They are still completely mesmerizing. Kim Gordon is beautiful. I never got to pay such close attention to Steve Shelley, either - he is fantastic to watch. Of course, Thurston is a force of nature, (I've heard that before, haven't I? ) Lee's singing is wonderful. They have amazing new songs, and when they play their old ones, I can lose myself; like I'm meditating. Everything gets really, really clear. I wish complete and utter happiness on them for what they create, but I think they looked really pissed on the stage today. Yo La Tengo told us that Hole had gone 20 minutes over their set (again) and had the power cut in order to stop them from playing. Weird. I heard that Sinead did that twice - the first time, HER people were too scared to tell her she had gone over, so unknowingly, she did it again, and the Loll. stage manager threatened to cut HER power!

I never did get to see Hole, but today I heard the singer slur from the stage, in a squeaky babyish tone, "Is tht a Strawberry Shortcake? (a doll, I guessed?) C'I have it?" What the hell? Play your damn music and forget about all this other crap; you're a fine musician and singer. But of course, in doing that, you'll forfeit your huge audience. I saw Hole once a long time ago and was duly impressed by their music, and scared by their singer. I thought it was kind of cool that another girl could scare me, though.

DOO RAG!

Doo Rag, I guess, set themselves up later during the day on the ground outside the men's bathrooms and played another set, complete with concession booth. I missed it, but the guys said it was amazing. I danced to their entire first set, like a crazed maniac - I told them "The Music Entered Me." The Milkmen Attendants shouted through their megaphones, "PEOPLE! YOU CAN EITHER BEGIN TO ENJOY WHAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND OR YOU CAN LEAVE!" and all of us laughed. I hear that all the 2nd Stage bands were watching me dance from the t-shirt booth, making bets that I wasn't going to make it through the rest of the day. James from Yo La Tengo told Rick he was going to start learning our songs 'now.'

I Said Goodbye To Beck

I'll tell you, the Rock Star With The Most Charisma Backstage is definitely Beck. He just seems to wander around backstage all the time, and talk to EVERYONE! He'll just stop and listen to whatever you have to say. Tonight I was saying "goodbye" to him because it was our last day of the tour. I told him there is a girl on AOL who I met yesterday who's named "Beck Gerl" and that she wanted to say "hi" to him, and he said, "Wow. Beck Gerl?" and then he thought for a minute, and he was holding this little purple flower and he smelled it, and said thoughtfully, "well, tell her I said hi, and that I just smelled this flower for her." That's pretty damn nice.

Sinead?

I never got to see Sinead O'Connor, but Howie says that the Doo Rag guys SAID that they saw her sitting with a bunch of friends at lunch, singing in a really quiet voice, "Big Bottom," from Spinal Tap. I don't know if I believe this.

 

Thursday July 13th - Drive To Tennessee??

Breakfast With Jesus Lizard

Howie noticed that Jesus Lizard did stay at the same Motel 6 as we did again last night; and they invited us to come eat with them at "Cafe Denye" (Denny's) so we marched over there to bid them farewell this morning. What a cordial bunch of guys.

Now we're driving to Tennessee because we have a show there tomorrow, and it's probably about 140 degrees outside. Still no air conditioning in the van. Who needs it?

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Tennessee

About 3 hours after we passed Cincinnatti, a couple of hours after we had discussed how NICE it would have been to have a show in Cincinnatti tonight, at Sudsy's, especially, since we all have to do our laundry, (Sudsy's is a laundromat/venue, where people can do laundry while they watch bands; it's one of the most amazing places in the world), we stopped at a Pilot/Subway to buy some crap to eat, and Rick decided to call our booking agent, just for the hell of it. I don't know how the conversation went; all I know is I passed Howie on the way back to the car and he was giggling really hard and asking me 'how'd I like to go to Cincinnatti.' It turns out we DO have a show tonight, at Sudsy's.

Complete Bewilderment

I think I was completely bewildered for about the next 10 hours. We drove 3 hours back to Sudsy's and I was walking around in a daze. About 8 net.kids came running up to me with a box, giggling, and said, "We PROMISED you this!!" and I opened it and there was a beautiful cake inside. They had e-promised to bring us a cake if we played in Cincinnatti. Half of them were under 18 so I had to figure out a way to get them into the show; I walked up to a man who looked like a bearded pig guarding the front door of Sudsy's and asked to borrow his "UNDER 21" stamp and he said to me, in front of a bunch of people, "Listen, babe, YOU just worry about playing YOUR LITTLE BASS, That's ALL You have to worry about. Let ME worry about this other stuff, OK Babe?" I'm not used to being treated like this at a venue where we regularly play. I slumped down into the back room of Sudsy's for the next half hour, not even able to move. The guys were all asking me what was wrong, and I didn't even know how to tell them. When I finally broke down and told them, they asked why I didn't just yell back at the guy, and I told them I'd just be another Courtney Love if I stood up for myself. Just another "Bitch."

 

Friday July 14th - Knoxville TN

It's HOT In the Car

We have made up a new movie: It stars Harvey Keitel and it's called "Judge Freeball." It's about a Judge who doesn't wear anything under his robe. We are working on the plot right now.

The Mercury Theater

Upon arrival at the Mercury Theater, (we had to call a record store in order to get directions - no phones were in working or answering order) I descended into one of the worst moods I've ever been in. I just sort of slumped around. The people who ran this club were very, very nice and laid back, and the other bands were fine; the club was actually a really nice club, but I knew that there wouldn't be more than 40 people there that night. And I was right. By the time we went on, (we were the 4th band), it was about 12:30, and there were about 8 people lined up in front of the stage to watch us. They seemed to enjoy the show. Another 20 or so people milled around the club, played foosball, and watched the TVs. If I complain again about having missed Lollapalooza for this, Rick will probably lift the entire van and throw it at me. We CANNOT CANCEL a show. My heart understands this, but my mind doesn't. I am just being stubborn.

 

Saturday July 15th - Memphis TN

West Of Knoxville

A pink tinge to the earth around here gives me nightmares about excess plutonium wafting down rivers outside of Oak Ridge. We stop at a TCBY/Gas Station on our way out of Knoxville - a little southwest of Oak Ridge, and I imagine 3-breasted woman and their leukemia-ridden children ('must run in the family, huh sis?') trading tumor stories here at the fountain. I was very careful not to drink the water here, although I really wished there was time to stop at the Atomic Museum of Tennessee since there has to be some kind of hoo-hah going on - for godsakes, it's 1 day before the 50th Anniversary of the Trinity test! Word has it that the Trinity Site itself, in New Mexico, will be opening an hour earlier than planned today due to requests of visitors who want to be there at The Correct Time. It sounds so exciting to me that if I wasn't out here at Oak Ridge, I would probably find a way to go down to Jornada Del Muerto for the celebration tomorrow; and give myself nightmares for the rest of my life.

Today Is The Last Day

We have spent some hours recounting our tour - there were at least 87 shows, we figured out.

Howie had made a list from memory last night before the show; we counted 85 and realized he had left out Vermont - the coldest outdoor show in history - so we're probably missing another. This has definitely been the longest tour we've ever done, and we are just plain happy. We're happy we did it, and happy it's ending, and happy there are more shows to come. At the beginning of next week, we'll be receiving a rough/final(?) cut of our new video, and we'll be getting ready to play with Tammy And The Amps - that's Kim Deal's new band - in a week, in Dayton.

Kudzu

I woke up on the other side of Tennessee, I-40, staring in confusion at what seemed to be

manicured trees along the highway. I saw a Mickey Mouse and a Pluto before I realized that I was really watching kudzu, the leafy green parasitic plant sucking the life out of these trees; plants suffocating in a horrible Disney death.

Another Terrible Mood

I'm in another terrible mood about this show. It has to be Lollapalooza withdrawal combined with just regular tour withdrawal. It's one thing to know you're almost DONE with touring - what do we do when we get home? and another to be playing shows to 60 people standing around, (probably actually listening to the music), instead of 600 people who just want to dance and have fun while you're playing. We have to get used to it again. Actually, I am the only one in a terrible mood; everyone else is happy and lighthearted. This just makes me angrier!

Home

Well, we played to a very appreciative crowd in a nice little hut in Memphis that reminded me of Chin's, the place we played in Champaign when we first started out. No mics for anything but voices and the kick drum. Who knows what the audience actually heard out there - it could have just been my voice, loud and clear, with Rick's secondary, and a little kick drum. My other nightmare. We never did tell the soundguy who was the lead singer; I am always paranoid they'll think it's me and pump up my voice. Some people clapped and wanted an encore after this show, but we had all escaped; Howie tried in vain to sell shirts but only one person bit; I stood outside staring at our poster; one of the multi-colored huge blue cartoon ones that I spent weeks working on, and that people beg us for; torn in half and lying in the street. We packed into our van and drove home, overnight, as is the tradition after the last show. The tour is officially over!

The Making Of The Atomic Bomb

I stopped driving right after the sun rose in our time zone, 15 minutes before the 50th Anniversary of the Trinity explosion, and contemplated waking the rest of the band up for a celebration, but decided against it. It was Rick's turn to drive, and I stayed up read a little from my Making Of The Atomic Bomb book this Sunday morning like it was some kind of new bible, and I kept making Rick (getting annoyed now) check his watch until it was exactly 6:29:45 Mountain Time. boom. We were somewhere in Southern Illinois, driving through a cornfield. It's nice to be home.

(We Have A Week Off)

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