Nothing traumatic happened tonight; but I gotta say that Eugene Oregon has this really strong asshole vibe to it. It appears to be a town that combines the worst aspects of being both a “punker” and a “hippie”. What is the difference between these two in this day and age anyway? You tell me. Maybe acting like a drunk, freeloading, smelly, non- bathing, prone to violence dipshit is somehow what ties things together here in Eugene. Pointless and meaningless, both inside and outside of the show. No, I do not have any fucking change, and please take a bath already. IT WAS AS IF THE UNIVERSE HAD STARTED TO ANSWER MY PRAYERS It was a scary thing. Not having a regular straight job that I secretly hate goes against my entire belief system. Not only that, I was tired of giving people the wrong impression. People seem to think (because I have stuff out, and have done all of this super cool and groovy stuff over the years) that I am doing this as my actual living. Why not try and make this a reality instead of something that I politely laugh and squirm a little at when I disclaim the idea? The decision was sudden. Carole (my girlfriend) believed in me and I went for it. I realized soon afterwards that the structure of having a job was something that I seemed to need. It was a bit of a shocking realization. A little while after all of that was decided, I was talking to Buzz about it over the phone. About one minute after we hung up, he called me back. The Melvins were at their practice space rehearsing. Dale made Buzz call me back. It seems that John Raymond (see MANCHILD 3) wasn’t going to be selling merch on the band’s upcoming tour. Would I like to be employed by the band for their upcoming month and a half summer tour? “A job” I thought. Then after a second I said, “let me talk to my girlfriend and I will call you right back”. It turned out that Carole was fine with it. It’s asking a lot of somebody, really. What a gal. I called B u z z back and said that I was in. This time, however, it was a job and it would be three times longer then the last trip I was on. I have never been gone for a month and a half. I wondered if I was going to suddenly freak out three weeks into things. Would I turn into an insufferable nervous wreck and an alcoholic that could barely keep his new found dangerous impulses in check? Would I be sent home? They have sent people home. Would I be next? I decided this wasn’t going to happen and bought a ticket. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe the timing and luck of it all. I was looking forward to it. In early July I got on a plane and flew out to the west coast to see just what I was going to end up doing. I still wasn’t quite sure. Here is a collection of some of the highlights from the trip. Or... at least what I can remember. LOS ANGELES IN STORE APPEARANCE AT AMOEBA RECORDS The first show on the tour was at Amoeba Records in Hollywood. It was certainly the biggest, most overwhelming record store I have ever been in. When I got there I greeted the rest of the folks on this trip: Tim Moss (the tour manager), Toshi (producer of the Melvins last three records and third member of the band Big Business); and straight from Moscow, Idaho (the youngest of all of us), Rikky. I still didn’t know exactly what I was going to be doing, or that I was in fact going to be selling merch. Eventually, I figured out that yes, that is what I would be doing, just not that day. I should also mention that Dan Raymond (John’s older brother) was also on the road with us. He is Buzz’s best friend, and they go way back. It took me a week or so to figure Dan out. He was going to be showing me “the ropes” of selling the merch. So... that makes the total amount of people scattered in two touring vehicles nine. That was a pretty good amount. The place ended up being packed and everything went fine. I saw a couple of old friends of mine-Rob and Carla. I used to be pen pals with Carla when we were kids back in California. I think I had a crush on her through the mail. It was so long ago. Rob and I go way back. In the end I felt bad because I could only give them about five minutes of my personal time. This turned out to be a reality all of the way through the tour. I would see old pals briefly and would have to beg off of really hanging out with them because there was simply no time. Rob slapped my back in an extremely weird and painful sort of way. He seemed like he was almost mad at me for not being able to do anything with him. There wasn’t much I could do, I had a job. Then we were out of there. EUGENE, OREGON So I am starting to personally meet some of the regular Internet posters on “theMelvins.Net” and I must say; as nice as they are, I am still a little creeped out by a few of ‘em. Some of these folks are flying around the friggin’ country to see the band like they are following the Grateful Dead. I always wonder about people being that devoted to someone’s music that they would do that. Almost all of them are polite though. They love posters, too. Good thing I have lots of them.* *NOTE: When I got home from tour, I posted some of this stuff on my blog and was surprised to discover almost a month later that some of the very same people I refereed to as being “weirdos” were not very happy with this characterization. I was bashed about a little on the Internet which made me feel sort of bad. When this happens (which it does once a year or so) I suddenly don’t have the stomach for any of it. Believe it or not, I sometimes want to be thought of as a nice person, because that is basically what I am. I’m really (REALLY) not out to hurt people. As I read on and saw what it had turned into, I felt less bad. One poster commented that they were afraid that all they were doing was proving my point. And the point is? I don’t know anymore. BUFFALO, NEW YORK Buzz and I got to tonight’s venue early. With the help of these three young guys that worked for the club, the five of us unloaded the van in record time. We ended up hanging out with these three guys for a long time while we waited for everyone else to arrive in the other van. We had a really good time talking to them. I think all three of them were in their early to mid twenties, and all three of them were really cool. One of them ended up being the sound man and he was a bit of an SST records fan. Another one was sort of a death metal guitarist with an open mind. Talking to these guys was really nice and it sort of gave me hope for the young kids of the future. It was similar to that unbeatable feeling of turning someone on to some cool shit that they might have never heard of. They seemed pretty interested in what we had to say. We told stories about the eighties music scene that we fell in love with and how it had changed our lives. Buzz explained his guitar set up to the guys and what he used and he let the death metal guy play his guitar through his shit. It was cool. I know all of this might sound kind of stupid, but most of the interactions I have had on the road have been pretty predictable. This was just a nice change of pace. Plus, they brought us coffee. It’s always the little things that stand out. Sorry, no stories here about doing blow off of a stripper’s tits or whatever. WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN Where are the god damned Sweathogs when you need ‘em? I have heard funny stories about this place. You know: how it’s a hipster infested zone or whatever. What does that even mean though? Better question: why should I care? I bet Vinnie, Epstein, Boom Boom and Horseshack would be pissed though. This place IS like... the epicenter of hipster cool. The Sweathogs would gladly kick all of these people’s asses! Judging from the little time I had to walk around here, it means that every dude sports a moustache, wears tight clothing, has lots of tattoos, and has to wear an ironic “heavy metal” T-shirt that is three sizes too small. Sean Livingstone lives here and as I met him for coffee before the show, I was warned. We walked into a coffee shop and sure enough: lousy heavy metal was being blared and we were served by some skinny/ tight pants wearing dude with a Greg Norton moustache. He was wearing a Dokken shirt and was covered in tattoos. Now, I don’t care, but it does make me wonder... Who decides these things? Is there a power meeting in some high rise in Manhattan that understands advertising and decides what the newest thing is going to be, how long it will be cool, and which lifestyle to line up to replace it? It’s monkey see, monkey do I guess. There is also some sort of tattoo that involves getting a moustache tattooed on your finger so you can hold it up to your mouth and... take a wild guess. Again: who decides these things? Is it done in the same office high rise somewhere in Manhattan? I probably have better things to write and to complain about. The show was good, I think. ‘Sold lots of stuff. ‘Sold a lot of my homemade posters. Sean was his usual hilarious self which means that he was nice and drunk. Some of the entourage said he looked like E.T. I am sure he hasn’t heard that one. BEING USED I ended up spending a lot of time with Buzz on this trip. I think it was in New Orleans when it occurred to me just how often the Melvins have been used and discarded over the years. I don’t know what it is, something just clicked inside my brain that day. As some of you know, Buzz pretty much calls it as he sees it. Just read his interviews and you’ll see what I mean. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly and this has resulted in him being sort of an anomaly in the insincere kiss- ass rock and roll world that the band has to exist in. It wouldn’t be totally out of line for me to suggest that Buzz more or less gave Dave Grohl his entire career. Buzz called Dave up years ago and put him in touch with his friends Nirvana after they fired Chad Channing. You could say it. I could say it. I will. I said it... So everything that Mr. Foo Fighter has done could be traced back to that one phone call; his “big break”, by all accounts. Dave Grohl seems like a totally cool dude.
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