Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On The Buses

freakin' bus driver turned up 3 hours late to pick us up at the practice space. having been up since 5.30am, fighting the jetlag all night, i was ready to pile into the bus at the appointed hour....8.30am. The United vs City match was due to kick-off then and I had planned to be watching it on the satellite telly (no tranny van tour this time...oh dear!). But he was L.A.T.E.!
Bill (driver) finally leads us outta Brooklyn. Takes wrong turning. Has to reverse. Turns trailer to a 90 degree angle and carves bus into side of it. Damage to trailer side and roof....hole in there now. Great for equipment and merch if it rains.
Satellite telly doesn't work! Bill's waiting for company to send him the card to put in the receiver.
Try to charge up phone in plugs in my bed "coffin". Doesn't work. Bill says he needs to work on generator which is broken....he'll do it in a couple of days.
Think of going online to send messages to loved ones at home. Doesn't work. Bill says he needs to get a dongle to put into transmitter.
Arrive in Baltimore late for load-in, but everyone pulls together to get the first Washington DC is a 2, maximum 2.5 hour drive
from Baltimore. I wake up early and try to get out of the bus. The door is jammed, and the bolt of the lock falls off. Other people crawl out of their slumber, and bounce like drunk marionettes through the partition door to see me fumbling and cursing around the door. New brains and brawn are brought into the equation to solve the mystery of the locked door. This is our only exit off the bus....woe behold if there was a fire! i summon some construction workers I see nearby to help us from the outside. One of these burly knights in steel helmets casually strolls over and attempts to open it from the outside. After 5 minutes, he returns to his truck and fetches some large tools! Uh-oh this is serious. After 15 minutes he gives up. The bus driver returns an hour later, and after grappling with the mechanism from outside, manages to open the door. We flee like wailing banshees proclaiming freedom and relief.
The journey to DC invokes cabin fever. We had plans to spend a nice day in DC, but instead the journey takes nearly 4.5 hours. The bus' GPS is fucked, and Bill is lead out of the city with the help of Google Maps on somebody's Blackberry. Then Bill insists he knows the way there. Half way through the journey he tells us he is short of diesel and needs to get to a filling station fast. He comes off the highway and we drive 20 minutes through backwaters until we find somewhere. We hit DC and manage to see all the sights due to him driving down the wrong streets. He's never been to the 930 club before and we are left to lead him eventually down the holy road to Damascus.
This morning I woke up at 7am, and was pleasantly surprised to see Bill up as well. I immediately had hopes of arriving early in Philadelphia and having a few hours downtime. We eventually left at 830am, and by 10am I noticed that cars were honking at us as they drove past us. I quizzed Bill about this and he informed me that we had a flat tyre. After crawling through the next turnpike, Bill pulled over and we piled out of the bus to examine the damage. Turns out that the axle on one of the wheels on the trailer was rubbing against the wheel and burning it up. large plumes of smoke filtered out as if a nervous Indian was sending out SOS signals. We drove to the next Flying J, where Bill got information about where he could get it fixed. From there it was another 40 minute drive to a small country town by the name of Rising Sun, where in a garage that resembled a junkyard, the bus trailer was met with expert caring hands attached to a grumpy body of a mechanic. We sat in the sun for 2.5 hours and got to know each other a little bit better.
And finally on leaving Rising Sun, we headed towards Philly. Only to see signs for it pass by. Bill had typed in the wrong address to the GPS. Cursing his luck as he spoke to my friends, he failed to see a car pull up sharply at lights. and yup...you guessed it...he bumped into the back of the car! The driver of the car failed to make a song and dance about it....isn't that written in the American Constitution: "Ye must sue at all costs"....which led us to think he had no insurance. So Bill paid him some cash out of his own pocket, and drove on.

we have just arrived in Philly, 2.5 hours late.

One of our light guys fornd a 4 leafed clover whilst we sat in the gras under the sun at the garage...this is where our bus curse ends!!!!

Or does it??????

stay tuned folks.....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

mother's day

Happy Mother's day to y'all. That Hitler wasn't all that bad really....reaching out to the mothers of the world and making them feel special for one day. It was the one day they didn't have to think about reproduction, cooking, cleaning, and cleaning up the mess that Adolf left behind.
Arrived in New York (well Newark actually) and sailed through customs. Was most happy not to see that gimp Bush's mug on photos at custom. Was always a real downer entering the States in that manner. As I exited the arrival lounge, was accosted by a brash New Yorker who asked me if I needed a taxi. Normally I try and avoid the sharks hanging outside arrivals and head straight for the proper taxi rank, but his price for a ride to Brooklyn appealed most greatly. On taking his bait, the chap began to pound me with intimate private details about how his girlfriend had left him, and she had problems which related back to the time her uncle abused her as a child!!!! Whoa tiger....take a step back!!!! I was tired and fuzzy in my brain, and then got jackhammered with his personal life within 10 seconds. i asked him what this particular information had to do with where I was going, and our business arrangement, but he continued on his "too much information" blitz. A sharp dressed guy, in his late 30s, with dandruff and psoriasis behind his ears, with a bundle of cash in his hands which he kept counting as we drove down the highway, he began to ask me what I did for a living and how much money I earned. At this point I told him it was none of his business and the conversation was terminated.
I hit Eat Records in Brooklyn in the early evening for a night of food, buying records and listening to music. Ah hipster Brooklyn. Coolness dripping off the young 'uns like treacle and embalming all those around in their sickly entente. You can't help feeding off it and staring at those bright buttons in their instantly thrown-on apparels (which are just....well...cool), seeing them flick through the records and pull out an obscure slab of drone vinyl and watch them peer at the home made covers as if every brush stroke was a spell of genius, and see them thinking that the grooves within held magic for them to caress their earlobes back at their appartment, and hear them declare in loud and brash vocies how great it was to see the next person they embraced. You have the feeling the kids know each other, but don't really "know" each other.
Bought a bunch of great records, and heard fab performances from my friend Tom Carter (on fire this particular evening....check out his solo stuff and his other project Charlambides), Purple Haze, and Brother Raven. Drone heaven!