SPONGE TOUR!

  • Oct 18 -- Drive to El Paso
  • Oct 19 -- Welcome to El Paso
  • Oct 20 -- Cops, Cops, Cops

October 18, 1995 - Driving to El Paso

This drive takes forever, especially since we've just driven it. I am starting to like Arizona more than New Mexico now, for some reason. I think it might be nicer.

We passed an Ostrich Farm on I-10. I guess people are starting to eat ostriches now because they are healthy. That's what our manager says. His dad just invested in a bunch of ostriches. Man, they are silly looking birds.

Video update?

Hm.. I just saw part of some tv show on MTV about a bunch of people driving around the country, I guess? (We don't have cable at home.) These people were in Wall Drug, South Dakota, where we once ran out of gas, a couple of months ago. Then all the sudden, I heard a loop of "If You See Kay," one of our songs, in the background. MTV always uses our music and videos in their little clips. It's so nice to hear that stuff, even if they don't play our videos very often. I think we have resubmitted our new "He's My Star" video again - they turned it down already once, but they said it's because they had too many new adds that week. I see it's number 4 or something like that on some CMJ chart. What does this mean? We never pay attention to that stuff. I guess it must be playing on local video shows!

Driving Through New Mexico

All of the sudden the guys started screaming "Rose! Rose!" and pointing out the window. I looked outside and saw us passing a huge truck. Then I saw it was carrying 2 huge, grey missiles!! I started screaming and tried to grab my camera in time, but we had already passed it, it was driving really, really slow. We stopped for a while, for a Dairy Queen (with a huge cotton field in back of it!) but we never did see the missile truck again - I think it might have gone down to Mexico.

Days Inns Suck

We're staying at the same motel as Sponge for these two days; I thought we'd take it easy, stay in a "real" motel with a nice pool and jacuzzi, but once again, we find out that everything advertised in this motel is totally false - there was supposed to be a "hot breakfast bar" but the cafe is closed, the Jacuzzi is being "remodeled" and I didn't go out to the pool because some of the Sponge guys said it was not worth it. Plus, we are sleeping next to a sewage treatment plant, and everything literally smells like crap. I once saw an ad for Motel 6 - it was just a black square, and it said, "when the lights are out, our rooms look the same as all the others" and they're right. The only difference I've seen between Motel 6s and Days Inns are that Motel 6s are much cheaper and the local calls are always free. I even stayed at a $100 a night Hilton once in Springfield IL and the rooms looked exactly like the Motel 6s we stay at for $30 a night.

When you're driving on I-10 through El Paso, one side of the highway is Mexico and the other is the USA. The USA side looks like a strip mall and a city. The other side looks like slums. This is Mexico, Ciudad Juarez.

October 19, 1995 - Welcome to El Paso

I don't know about this show

We had a great show tonight, I thought. We all enjoyed ourselves, and Rick's voice almost held out the entire show. People screamed and clapped, and people danced, and watched. But afterwards, I ran out to the t-shirt booth and it was completely empty except for the club-hired guy who was selling t-shirts for Sponge (Justin, the kid, is back in Illinois, in school) and the guy started apologizing to me. He looked totally smug. He said, "Hey, don't feel bad - even Candlebox got booed off the stage a bunch of times. And look at them now!" (I wanted to say, "yeah, they still suck" but that's not fair; I've never even heard them. Then I said, "Slow night, huh?" and he said, "well, NO, actually, I've sold over $500 worth of stuff.." and looked even smugger, which I thought was impossible. Then a friend of his came by, grabbed one of our tapes and slid it over to the a**hole and said, "hey, buddy, I'll sell you this for half price! HAHAHAHA" and I just stared at him but he never looked at me. What the HELL? So I guess the people in the back of the room were having a pretty good laugh as we played.

The only thing I remember besides a bunch of people clapping, yelling, and requesting songs from our first record, was someone yelling "NO LESBIANS ALLOWED ON STAGE," but there weren't any lesbians on stage, so I didn't know what they were talking about. Someone later threw a bottle sort of at me, at a garbage can I was standing near and poked its friend and they both pointed at me and had a good laugh, but then a bunch of kids came up and asked me for my autograph. Afterwards, the guy who threw the bottle came up and asked me for my autograph, and you know what I said? I said, "Well, you wouldn't believe this, but my PEN just ran out of ink. Imagine that." Man. I hope he was laughing at me.

Jim said that the guy who helped load stuff in said, "Well, I like Country 'N Western, but I liked you guys!" and Howie said "the rapist by the door liked us."

We are staying at a Days INN and across the street is a bar called "The Prince Machiavelli Gentleman's Showcase Lounge"

Tomorrow is Lubbock

I have tried to convince the guys to allow us to drive through the backroads of New Mexico, but they really don't seem to want to. Look on a map and you'll see, you can either go all the way around Texas on I-10 to get from El Paso to Lubbock (boring!!) or you can go straight across Alamogordo, on a smaller highway. Everyone thinks I just want to drive through the desert because I'm on some sort of nuke fantasy, but I even have one of the Sponge Bus Drivers on my side - he's going through Carlsbad, New Mexico, and he's lived here all his life. If we break down somewhere along the road though, you'll never, ever hear from us again. I'm not sure what we're going to do.

October 20, 1995 - Cops, Cops,Cops!

"Smell THIS, Dog!"

I won!! We took route 62/180 just like the bus driver told us to today, through Carlsbad, New Mexico and much smaller towns - it was gorgeous! Except we got stopped by police every five minutes. Well, ok, it wasn't that bad, but we were searched, for the first time, at the border patrol! Anytime you drive east of El Paso, you always get stopped at a gate and you are asked if you have any illegal aliens in your van. But this time, they were looking for drugs! They even brought out the Drug-Sniffing Dog! Rick said he would fart really bad (and he did) as he was leaving the van - he said, "Smell THIS, dog!" I was all excited because I wanted to take pictures of the search, but they wouldn't let me. I was also worried that the dog would pee in our van, but Rick said, "Those dogs are professionals. They don't do that. They get severely beaten each time they pee in someone's van." The police asked us over and over again what we do - we kept telling them we are musicians, but I think all the computer equipment (s rial cables, connectix quickcam, etc.) in the van had them wondering. The dog looked a little haggard as he left the van.

The second time we got pulled over in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and I was upset this time, because it wasn't a border patrol or anything. It was just some policeman who knew we were from out of town. He pulled over Howie in the Wal-Mart parking lot and told us our license plates didn't show anything on their computer (which I think is a load of bull, because he let us go without any warning) and also told Howie that he had driven a bit over the median (also totally untrue) so he pulled us over because he thought Howie might be intoxicated. It was 11 in the morning. He hassled us for a while and then was going to leave, but I had to get him to look me in the eye and tell me our license didn't come up on his computer, because I thought he was lying, so I said, "Our license really didn't show up on the computer? In response to my question, he asked us if anyone smoked in the van. We said, "No." Then he said, "Can I check the ashtray?" and also told us we could refuse him checking but Howie said, "Go right ahead." Howie was so polite. Howie gets a kick out of having nothing to hide. I always was looking forward to the day they'd search us and find nothing, but today I was in a bad mood and we were already late.

Plus I already have an attitude problem about police. When the policeman asked what we do, I was sitting in the back and I grunted under my breath, "We sell drugs. No, we kill people. No, we're spies." Howie just said, "We're musicians." I have this terrible attitude problem when it comes to policemen because they scare me. I think it is only because I have only ever been hassled by them; none have ever saved me from anything. This policeman just let us go and said, "Have a Nice Day."

Lubbock

So when we finally got on the stage tonight, after the 1st band (a local act) the audience looked alarmed and then started booing. I heard a girl yell, "A Female?? Oh NOOOOOoooo" and a bunch of people started yelling, "Sponge! Sponge!" Then the Sponge Stage Crew told us we had to wait for 15 more minutes before we started playing. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN?" I screamed, "These people will be rabid by the time 15 minutes rolls around!" and they explained that if we went on early than there'd be 45 minutes changeover between Sponge and us, and that would be bad. They were right. People were still sort of booing intermittently. I was shaking. On top of it all, Rick is starting to look really sick now, and I feel like I've been poisoned - all shakey and sick, and the first thing we really want to do is go up on a stage with a bunch of angry Texans, yelling for their Sponge.

So for the next 10 minutes, I layed on the stage, while people yelled "Play! Play! Come ON!!!" and then I sat up once and a while and stared at them. The eternity passed, and Chris said we could go on. I got up to the mic and people actually started clapping, but I didn't want to hear any more complaining, so this is what I said:

Rose's Patronizing Dialogue With The Audience In Lubbock

Me: "Two months ago, we got a call from our booking agent. She asked us if we'd like to play some shows with Sponge. She said Sponge had agreed to take us on tour with them! We said, 'Wow, that's pretty cool! We like Sponge, we'll DO it!' What do you guys think, do you like Sponge?"

Audience: "yay!!!!"

Me: "Well then, for the next 40 minutes, we are going to be playing some songs. Then after we finish, Sponge (I pause here for more clapping) will go on!! Yay!!

Then I threw out a bunch of free tapes, and I think all the complaining stopped, as people smashed into each other to get at the free stuff.

*whew*

There was plenty of moshing. I think it went fine. An added bonus: Someone from the crowd yelled, "I WANT TO JUMP YOU". I think it was "jump." I hope it was.

30 Miles From Nowhere

We are now driving, 30 miles from Nowhere, Texas, it is 2:20am and the headlights are starting to blink. The voltage meter on the van flickers along with the headlights. This is very, very bad. We think our alternator is going to die very soon. We are supposed to sleep at the Abilene Motel 6 tonight, and I don't know if we'll make it. We are pretty scared.

NEXT