Our buddy Pete Schreiner (Thousand Arrows, The Coke Dares, Magnolia Electric Company, Sam Lowry & The Circumstance) is adding a new gig to his resume as he plays sideman to Scout Niblett on her current tour. Pete is keeping us in the loop of the ups and downs of the road with this tour diary.
I slept in today. Until ten. Couldn’t make it past then. Woke up in my spot on the floor. Slept well, I wasn’t cold. Nothin’ to do, no internet. Band mates were still asleep in the same room so I couldn’t be too rowdy. I worked at the computer for a while. Walked around the yard. Played a guitar in the basement. We rolled off around noon, got coffee at the most country-craft coffee shop in Seattle. Actually it’s probably the only country-craft anything in Seattle. Show was in Eugene, OR that night but we were gonna hit Portland on the way for some business and an oil change.
On the way the “check engine” light came on. Not cool. Tried not to freak, van seemed fine—no smoke, no rattling, We pulled off the freeway into an RV park to check the oil and under the hood. Nothin’ seemed amiss. There was a little guard house so I went in to tell the lady what we were up to. She had an old smelly dog in an old smelly sweater. She was unperturbed & just wanted to finish re-weaving the dog sweater (?). We determined that the warning light was related to the tire-replacement that occurred yesterday. The oil change place could probably suss it out. Kept on to Portland. Got in around 4:15. My wife met me for dinner which was a nice treat. We went to Por Que No–awesome taco place in the Mississippi ‘hood. Strong margarita too. Scout took care of the van. Dan did his thing. We were outta there at 6:30 as planned.
Load-in was slated for 7:30 with sound check at 8:30. That generally means if the band gets there at 7:30, they will wait an hour+ for the sound person. So we figured we could arrive at 8:30. We made it and sound check consisted of loading in only, no check. Oh yeah the club is Sam Bond’s Garage, a restaurant/bar/venue that I’d played a couple times in the past and remembered good experiences at overall. Met the guy we were staying with—a friend of a friend named Dan. Cool guy and musician in many bands; he had a nice house just a block away. Uber-hospitable—he gave us a key and carte-blanche to come and go.
First band was from Eugene & called Ferns. Quality power trio with some stoner-qualities. Played well to good response. Last show with Chris Brokaw tonight and he was up. He played great. There was a fair amount of talking going on and I brought that up to him after the set. He had a good attitude about it, focusing on the folks who were listening. Then we set up and Scout started out solo, bringing Dan up for a couple, then me too for the full three-piece. We were playing well. Good sound on stage was helping the vibe. Best set so far I thought. It was late. The sound woman and bar staff were all great. We had a last round of pizza slices and salad, beers, then back to the house.
We needed to leave early the next morning for an eleven hour drive to make a 6 pm load. it was around 2:30 I guess. We had two beds and a couch available. I took the couch. I stayed up ’til 4 getting yesterday’s installment done. Finally laid down in a stupor with the phone alarm set for 6 am.
There was a lot of waiting today. There’s a lot of that on tour. Lots of other unglamorous stuff too. Lugging gear, driving on no sleep, living in filth, trying to have a normal life via truck stop options. Two bananas for 99 cents! There’s piss all over the only toilet seat for 50 miles and you’re pokin’-cotton—are you gonna hold it or clean it up? Hurry-up-and-wait. Drive all day and wait. Do sound check and wait… The show is the payoff, if it goes well the other crap is easier to ignore. If all day was an uphill battle and the show blows it gets depressing. I love touring despite it all. It’s a disease I guess, or an addiction, or a way of life. Point is the show was good and that means something. Success. Sleep happy. Sleep fast. Morning’s half way here.
12/4/2011, Santa Monica, CA, Sanctuary
12/5/2011, San Diego, CA, Soda Bar
12/6/2011, Los Angeles, CA, handbag factory
12/7/2011, Oakland, CA, Vitus
12/8/2011, San Francisco, CA, Hemlock Tavern
12/10/2011, Portland, OR, Mississippi Studios