The Sights Tour Diary Entry No. 5: Pasty Detroiters Burn! Plus, PBR Flows Free but Baranek and Schanta Stay Sober (!?) and Sexy Tartaglia Graduates From College ...

Dude here, walked 2.5 hours on Mission Beach yesterday. I don't know how many miles that is (get on that Shades), but I do know how badly the sunburn feels. We had to band-fund some aloe at Rite-Aid today. We've since added that to our backstage rider.

So we loaded into San Diego's Til-Two Club and the bartender Marshall gave us 25 free plays on the juke. First up? Some MC5, then Flamin' Groovies, Sam Cooke, and Otis. It's feeling like home -- not home 'cos I am some Detroit guy in a Detroit band wearing a leather jacket talking about how sweet the MC5 are, but home 'cos those are the records I play at home. In my house. Just ask Maria. She tires of my "old man music," but I'll never tire of her saying that to me.

Anyway, the most I can muster in my mouth post-beach walk/sunburn is an endless supply of water. Skip? He's already loving that free PBR in a 24 oz. can. Yup, sunburned Skippy is getting shitfaced and it's barely 9 o'clock.

We play to a mostly empty room, and the other bands on the bill include the Bloodflowers and Band Droidz. Band Droidz were added to the bill around 11 p.m. that night, and it was a humbling experience. They were insanely good -- songs, jamming, perfect blend of riding a wave of riffs and songs.The drummer Ramsey is a sweet dude, and comes up after our set saying our song "Hello to Everybody" reminded him of Big Star. I should note that a few members of the Bloodflowers (what's up Rey Hoover) and all the members of Band Droidz are black, or half-black (or according to Hoover, half whatever somebody thinks he is: half-Chinese, half-Japanese, half-whatever fits someone's narrow scope). I note their skin color 'cos here we are, five white dudes with red skin -- not even red, just some ugly-ass color you never want to see again (like a fruit turning a nasty shade of expired). I made some comment into the mic: "we didn't plan on trying for a tan to match you guys" or something lame to that effect. I don't know, sometimes I don't have much faith in my microphone speech crap. I hate when people tell you their views in a mic. Really? Who cares what I think, I just want my music heard.

The night ends, we all make goody-goody with the bands (Skip and Jarrod enjoying some Jaeger Bombs with the Bloodflowers drummer Albert), and we soon depart. The gig was a good chance for Jarrod to test whether he should use the Wurlitzer electric piano, or the Hammond, and therefore tonight's show served its purpose. We all pile into the van. Me and Kyle skip the  booze but Skip and Jarrod are feelin' pretty good. It's an interesting experience  to be sober and watch them slur their way through conversation en route to Los Angeles. It's also interesting for me to play 100% sober, and interesting for me to see them feeling it. I still don't know how I feel about it, really.

Our tour manager Shades gets huge props for driving us from the San Diego gig directly to the hotey in the bowels of Hollywood.  During the drive, Skip talked of how he and I met, etc. It was cool for me to hear his perspective on things and all the shit the two of us have been through in the last few years.

Next day: This afternoon we link up with our sexy sax man, Dean Tartaglia. The guy had to graduate from college (congrats) and so flew out to meet us today. Dean and the other dudes split for Amoeba Records while Shades and I are back at the hotey fine-tuning tour details. The details never stop, only get more transparent.

Dinner tonight's with old friends Rick Fusco and Chris Turner --  Rick promises chicken fajitas and an amp repair (badly needed), so I'm geeked. Then we play Burger Records at 9 p.m., our first show of this tour as a fully operating five-fingered hand. I am more geeked for that.


All the best,


Current tour weight: unknown (but I will weigh myself before the fajitas at Rick's tonight. Stay tuned.)


Photos by Shades


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