PNW

Again?

Sheesh. I think by now you good people could write yer own goddamn CH3 weekend roundups, couldn’t ya??

Oh, go on…… It’s easy!
All ya gotta do is throw up a few photos— (mostly baskets of greasy food and Alf flippin off my camera)– jot down some wiseass cracks about growing old and drinking in airport bars.
Throw in a few Gaaaaas! and yer all done!

Hell, when ya think about it, we don’t even have to take these trips anymore, really.

Send out the cardboard cutouts like Flat Stanley, have the locals take a few snaps of us in the local dives, and presto: instant road trip!
Genius!

Rare photo of the band in the locker room as the Babe signs on to Coach 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers..

Oh, alright then. One more time.
But you kids are on your own after this one!

We push off from the new Terminal 4 lounge at Long Beach Airport and take to the cloudy skies again!

Alfie waves g'bye to LBC. Did I fuckin' tell you?

Loitering, Sea-Tac

Easy hop to Seattle, rent a pimped out Dodge Caravan and it’s 5 South toward Portland for us.

Oh. Excuse me, Your Majesty!
Has it really been 3 paragraphs without a picture of goddamn food????

A light lunch in Olympia

Quick stop at the 4th Avenue Tavern in Olympia, they of the three dollar Stellas and kitchen sink cheeseburgers.
They have to drag us out clutching to barstools and throw us back on the road again.


Pull into PDX on the way into town to pick up Mr. Robinson.
It’s been far too long, a fact we are reminded of by Chris’ shockingly gray beard.

But a few pints down in The Annex’s cozy cellar, and it’s apparent that none of us has matured beyond the state of 14 year old hillbillies.
The fart jokes are appreciatively more vivid, however.

Into Plan B on a Friday night, in time to see Rum Rebellion workin the crowd into a frenzy!

RumRebellion

Manning the Manson Merch Booth!

Gee, haven't changed a bit since Jr. High!

We love this place!
Next up is Clackamass baby Killers, and then it’s that time.
We get up there and do our schtick.

Clackamas Baby Killers

Onto the glorious Slow Bar for after gig wind down, late night snacks of the pig variety and call it a night.

All your essential food groups in one easy serving!

Saturday morning comes all too fast.
Amidst the usual a.m. sounds, coughing and farting, cell phones chirping and maids knocking far too loudly, we stir.

We make plans to meet locals Jeff and Wendy at a fine dining establishment on the outskirts of town before heading once again North.

Now, now. We just go where the locals tell us to eat......

The drive is easy, but the clouds hang low.
Chris is not feeling quite his usual sunny self, and only precious hours will reveal his funk to be either a friendly hangover or a contagious virus.

Ah well. Breathe deep!

...if you look closely, you can see all seven stages of grief in the expressions here!

We hit Seattle early, only to discover our beloved Dome Tavern has been shuttered!

Outside Safeco Field at game time. We easily resist the urge to beat the shit out of the guy in the Indians hat......ahem!

Heartbroken, we drive onto the Ferry pier and load onto the 4:35 for Bremerton.

The hour long float across Puget Sound is invigorating!
It’s our same dear Pacific, yes.
But the verdant land masses, the cathedrals of pine around us—-all foreign and beautiful.

We stare out at cozy cottages on the loamy banks.
Stone chimneys send lazy wisps of woodsmoke into the sky: carelessly serpentine as the signature on a drunken businessman’s tab after a long afternoon in a strip club.

Updating Facebook while the magnificient Northwest scenery goes by unnoticed.

Alright then, it’s back on terra firma and over to the very cool Charleston to check things out.

Beer cap artwork.

Our gracious host Andy welcomes us into the converted movie theatre, which hosts all ages shows as well as a well-stocked bar.
Are we in heaven??

The only guy in the club that saw us play in the 80's!

Alf meets up with family. Immediately asks for a loan.

It’s a loose Saturday night crowd.
And though I know we are actually on a connected land mass just miles across from Seattle, it feels as though we are trapped with these jolly souls on our own island!

After The Assasinators destroy the joint, it’s yer old pals that climb the stage stairs.

Assasinators throwin down...


In the old days, they'd show a cartoon before the feature. Now? Aging punk rockers!


See what happens when Maria doesn't come along to sing?? Chaos onstage!

Ah geeez. It’s all going by too quick now.
We get off stage and chat away what’s left of the night with a great crew.


huh? huh? Ya thought I was joking, didn't ya?

We’re sent back into the night once again, grinning like idiots.

As we pull into the Super 8, we see a Denny’s sign across the parking lot.
No.
God no.

Yes?

We justify a light late night snack in a half dozen ways:
Helps absorb the alcohol!
We’ll eat tonight and then nothing tomorrow!
I already barfed once tonight, I’m primed!

We head in and tuck napkin to chin.

Gaaaa! I said wheat toast dry, I'm on a diet for Chissake!

Sunday it is.

Chris feels no better.
He’s actually sick, it seems, and though we all now feel bad for calling him a pussy and cry baby, we don’t apologize.
C’mon—we’re guys!

He feels like hell, but selfishly, it was grand having him along. Just like old times.

Back to the boat toward Seattle fellas!

The Big Ferry

We put Chris on his plane and make our way onto ours.
We take to the stratosphere again, and we each pull on headphones as soon as Sportscenter flickers on the screen in front of our knees.

It’s a gradual decompression, this auditory separation from the dear knuckleheads sitting within elbow distance.
We’re getting ready for re-entry into reality.

Hey hey! I'm gettin' pretty good at sneaking a picture before the finger unfurls!

We’re on the ground in Long Beach with plenty of daylight left.
And though Kimm protests, I persuade him into a quick stop at Alex’s, where they’re hosting an all day Benefit Show For Japan.
Hell, we got the guitars, maybe we can even do a few songs, hmmmm?

But we get there and it’s a different crowd, after all.
Younger, hipper.
Cleaner.

But it was worth a shot, if only to make another grand weekend last that much longer.

...sorry bub, even for free drinks, there's no room for ya on the bill....now beat it!
Like this at Facebook!

Stretchmarks!

Sittin here, Long Beach Airport, cloudy Friday morning.
Waiting on the 11:40 non stop to Seattle.
Thank God they’ve let Legends come in and give us a curved blonde bar with a view of the runway– although the dark little hallway you used to sink Bloody Marys was pretty fun too.
Nothing like drinking overpriced cocktails at a rudely early hour with other drunks and nervous travelers!
I mean, where else can you go through three 22 oz Sam Adams at this hour without feeling like the lush you really are, hmmm?

Maybe the trips aren’t quite as arduous or often as they once were, but we do alright.
Nowdays, a long weekend qualifies as a tour. Jet Blue out of LB for a leisurely lunch and soundcheck. Maybe a show in another town Saturday, eat where the locals tell us, drink where they tell us not to.
Home Sunday evening in time to watch the East Coast feed of Californication before turning in for the night.
Easy.

But there was a time when we were true road animals, just itching to be out there in the wilds of America.
We’d count the days til the next jaunt with a wild gleam in our eyes, like landlocked sailors whiling away each dry day in a dockside pub: one eye on the glistening ocean, feeling the rough caress of tackle and block even as they pawed at the moist crotch of the shanty whore.

Of course, you wouldn’t always face the road by yourselves.
Besides taking the roadie and merch guy, often you were joined by another band for a tour, or maybe just for a week- long stretch.

Anyway, you get stuck, by promoter or booking agent, with another band for a stretch, and sometimes it goes well, other times…meh.
We onced played through Texas with Husker Du, this was at the very earliest stages of both our bands.
Serious musicians with a strong work ethic—them, not us, silly! —they seemed bewildered, and not in the least amused by our antics.

CH3 and Huskers crowd around a Dallas condom machine. Hilarity ensues.
Surely we should’ve known, even then, that certain bands have the outlook of Blackwater operatives, solemnly showing up to do the job, get paid, and get out of town in the cover of night.

Other bands? Well, let’s just say they treat a jaunt out of town as a free vacation, and they behave accordingly:

Gaaa! Wrestling with Kraut. Match called when Holland gets an awkward erection.

We have favorite bands to play with, yeh!
Our pals Kraut on the East coast, Doormats in the Bay area, maybe Youth Brigade— as long as Shawn is quiet, which means sucking face with a skank in the corner.

But it was Stretchmarks, those fearsome men out of the frozen North, that beared witness to some of our finest hours, as well as our most shameful, and yet still miraculously! count us as friends to this day.

Sssstretcchhhh!

The Stretchers first came into view on the BYO Comp, and somehow, it was decided that they would accompany us as for a bit on the loooong 1983 Lights Out tour.

Lunch break in Oklahoma

Our shyness with the new guys faded quickly, by about the second piss stop on the way out of town halfway to Tucson, when I pulled the ol Knock Knock-Who’s There?-John-John Who?-John the Baptist! joke on manger Matt, and sprayed a full beer up his nose.

Matt hard at work booking the next gig....

By Dallas, Mark, the maniacal bass player (fittingly dubbed Terror by then), was convinced him to shave off his eyebrows.
No problem, really, as we would apply electrical tape to his brow each evening–inverted for angry, or at an obtuse angle for bewildered!

The whole damn crew!

We traipsed through the Southwest like brothers, spending a long weekend in Austin with the Big Boys.

Hangin with the Boys!

And then it was off to the natural wilds of Woodshock Festival, an anarchistic collective of clattering generators and burnt out malcontents.
The highlight of the day was when I jumped off a 80 ft cliff, hand in hand with Mark, into the murky green quarry water below.

OK, maybe 50 feet. But still!

Of course, we were there to play music, not just braid each others’ hair and tell ghost stories. Though there was a lot of that!

A great team—They’d set em up, and we’d knock em down, The Stretchmarks coming out each night and roaring through their Hardcore manifesto!
Unfortunately, we never got a chance to actually see them play, as we were always out in the van listening to Prince or sneaking cases of beer out the back door of the club….

Jay shows how it's done!

They’d come out, sweaty and winded, as we’d be trying to learn the chords to Little Red Corvette in the Blue and White.
Oh well–we’ll catch ya next gig, promise!
heh.

Canadian Punker soup...mmm mmm!

In the years that followed, we met again for a few shows.
They cheerfully put up with our growing hair, and just shook their heads with a wistful smile when I’d pull a harmonica out of a cowboy boot in front of a crowd of spitting punkers.
And though they probably thought, what the fuck are these guys doing?, they still bought us a beer when they sold all their merch and we forgot to bring any!

The hair gets bigger, the heart grows fonder!

Punk Rock Bowling has become the high school reunion for aging punkers, and I can’t wait for the day that they start to include seminars on Medi-Cal for the punker or demonstrations on how to remove bad Social D Skeletons from your sagging triceps.

But it was here that we finally reconnected with our chums. They looked great, to a man, just great.
We all reconnected, marveled at times past and present situations.
We told them how we were a serious band now. This punk was a business afterall!

And then they just smiled and shook their heads as we proceeded to get blasted in front of them once again, and they’d wheel us to our rooms and tuck us in.
Just like ol times!

But the following year, a monumental event, they reunited to actually play at the Festival!!

On stage again!

I hear they were great, but I think we were in the circle bar when they played …..
We’ll catch ya next time though, promise!