Sponge Tour - Part 1

The Cuyahoga River in Ohio is the river that caught on fire because it was so polluted

  • Sept 30 -- Leave Champaign
  • Oct 01 -- Kent OHIO - Sponge Day 1
  • Oct 02 -- Columbus OHIO - Sponge Day 2


September 30, 1995

The Night The Lights Went Out In Champaign

The night before we left for tour, we were just about to start packing and all of the sudden, the power went out in our house, and just stayed out for about 3 hours. No reason, no storm. It made it really hard to pack and wash up all the dishes and stuff. I hope this isn't some sort of omen. Bleah.

October 01, 1995 - Sponge Tour Day 1

What The Little "E" Means On The Gas Gauge

We are starting to see a pattern with our van. Each time the little gas-gauge needle stays on the little "E" (in the red area on the left of the gauge), the van stops working after a while. It starts working again after we put gas in it.

Yes, we ran out of gas today. Twice. And both times, about a block away from a gas station. The first time, Jim and Howie pushed the van down the ramp and we all pushed it out to the gas station, with Rick steering. It's pretty easy to push, actually. The 2nd time, it ran out of gas but miraculously started again to drive us the next block to the gas station. Incredible. Are we a bunch of idiots or what? Doofuses? There is nothing wrong with the gas gauge, just us.

Tinder for the Cuyahoga

So we were late for the first Sponge date. And we were so proud of not having a tour manager or a bus, but we were late. As we drove over the Cuyahoga River, which is the river that caught on fire because it was so polluted, Rick came up with the phrase "Tinder For The Cuyahoga." We were talking about killing people again, and instead of the old "kill 'em and eat 'em" slogan we had before, now we have, "make them Tinder For The Cuyahoga." I think we were starting to feel like Tinder For The Cuyahoga tonight.

Discussions in the Van Today

What Does It Mean When The Cows Are Sitting

  • It's going to rain
  • It's going to rain fire
  • There is extra gravity in the area
  • Aphids will come down from the sky

Did you ever stop to think about the actual name "Burger King?"

The Crocodile, by Doestoevsky.

Rick and Jim were watching the public tv overnight which is the greatest thing ever invented in the history of the world; educational TV, all night long! A couple of nights ago they had short plays and one was a play called The Crocodile. The story was about a man who gets trapped inside a crocodile and wants to stay there, but his friends want to rescue him. There is a German guy in charge of the crocodile who says that the man is on his property now, and wants to charge admission to the crocodile.

The friends do not want to go along with this; they want to save the man, but the man wants to stay inside the crocodile.

So once again, the 4 of us were trapped in the van without a way to get the information we needed; this particular time, we needed info about Russian history so we could figure out what this story was an allegory for.

The Inevitable "OJ: The TV Movie Cast"

  • Susan Sarandon as Marsha Clark
  • Noriyuki "Pat" Morita as Judge Lance Ito
  • Ralph Maccio guest appearance as the bailiff
  • OJ. Simpson as himself (of course)

Entertaining The Audience With Your Spit

  • We could spit
  • We could spit at each other
  • We could spit and catch it
  • We could spit at each other and catch it
  • We could spit at each other; pass it all around the whole band, and then spit it out into the audience to share it with them

October 02, 1995 - Sponge Tour Day 2

4 Dead In Ohio

We went to visit the memorial to the protesters shot in Kent, which happened back in 1970 (info source: Jim). We wondered if the national guardsmen that shot them still lived in the area. There were policemen at the show last night, with guns. I thought it was weird since we were in a college gymnasium; I don't connect college gymnasiums and guns together.

The monument is near the middle of the campus, and made out of a gray granite. There are 4 big boxes at one end, and a bench and a granite patio with inscribed words: "inquire, learn, reflect." There was a woman sitting on the bench, dressed in black, staring at the trees off in the distance while we walked around the monument. The names of the 4 people who died are on a plaque set into the ground, along with the others who were injured. Howie sang a little of "4 Dead In Ohio," the Neil Young song, in remembrance.


We didn't run out of gas today, but Rick had us driving around for an hour, looking for music stores because he left a cable at home. All the music stores in the surrounding counties of Kent were out of business. Then as we were leaving the area, Howie noticed that he had left his wallet in the motel room, so we had to drive all the way back to pick it up, but not as far as we'd have had to drive if we hadn't taken the ex-music-store tour of Ravenna, OH.

After gettting caught in a traffic jam, we made it to Columbus exactly on time to soundcheck, and get this: The stage manager of SPONGE saw us load onto the stage in front of SPONGE's drums and HAD A FIT, screaming that SPONGE's drums HAD to be LOADED OFF THE STAGE!! "ONLY A**HOLES SET UP IN FRONT OF THE STAGE LIKE THIS," he yelled. "WE ARE NO BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE, YOU UNDERSTAND?" he screamed at the roadies. "WE WILL NOT MAKE YOU SET UP IN FRONT!" he yelled at us. Sponge's drums were whisked off the stage and Howie sat right up on the riser.

Not that we like drum risers that much; in fact, if there's room, it's nicer for Howie to be right next to all of us; it's more entertaining that way, we feel. But when there isn't room, it's nice for Howie to be back on the riser. I like the people in charge on this tour. They are being really courteous to us!

Hello, Audience?

The crowd last night was incredible compared to the stone-faces at Columbus Ohio. It's been a while since we played here and I know now why. Really lame crowds. Rick started imitating them on stage, just standing and staring with his mouth open, but I flailed around as hard as I could to try to give them a freak-show. I figure, if they're not understanding the show, give them something to really be confused about. By the end, we were all going nuts on the stage.

Amazing Audience Comments Tonight

2 guys at t-shirt booth: "So, what's that writing on the cover of your CD?"

Rick: "Oh, that's Sanskrit"

2 guys: "So, like, did you just make it up?"(they didn't believe it was a real language)

To me: "Hey, you did good tonight, hun"

From 2 guys I spent a half-hour talking to before I went on stage (about touring, and putting out records): "So, do you work for the club, or are you part of Sponge's road crew?" (they asked me this after our show)