Up in Houston, and the ghost of Saturday night’s cheap whiskey haunts our mouths:
The stubborn bouquet of the squashed skunk in the gutter.
A shrimp scampi doggy bag left in the backseat over the weekend.
These are the things that come to mind.
Thankfully, Houston is on the cutting edge of drive-thru frozen cocktail dispensaries, so we’re soon back on the road, destination New Orleans, piña coladas in hand!
We’d pulled into Houston still woozy from the long lunch in Austin.
It was an uneventful drive, save a couple hilarious piss stops along the way.
Tacky souvenirs are bought, roadside delicacies sampled:
We check in -late- to the Post Oak Hilton, none too happy about the prospect of another night without our beloved nap.
We are consoled, however, by the sight of brilliant couples loading the elevators for the reception floors:
It’s prom night in Houston baby!
It’s a quick drop off, whore’s bath and lace up the boots before we’re back in the ride and heading over to Walter’s and our date with the Stitches and LCB–one more time…!
We load into a non descript warehouse on the edge of town, all abandoned railroad tracks and the lonesome baying of stray mongrels.
We each breathe out a sigh, for it’s a scene we’ve seen a thousand times before.
The bored look on the kids’ faces, the worried look on the promoter’s.
We silently wonder if we set the DVR for SNL properly, isn’t this the night Mick Jagger is hosting?
It is times like these that you need to remind yourself that it is Saturday Night in America, and some of these kids have waited patiently a month for this gig to arrive.
But soon enough, we’re pulled back into the belly of that familiar monster, and the crew is all in fine spirit:
Tonight it’s the Brats that have to headline, so we do our little act and then adjourn to the plywood bar for many doses of that cheap whiskey we were talking about…..
Upon seeing the lousy selection of booze, a smarter group of chaps might just say
No thanks, I’ll wait til we get back to the Lobby Bar ,
But come on!
If we were a smarter group of chaps, we would’ve started a ska band instead, and comfortably be out on the Warped Tour every Summer and get to wear suits and flat tops…but no!
And then, as always, the night comes to a sloppy end.
We take group photos and group hugs, for we have to say goodbye to the Stitches and Brats for now.
Smart fellas they are, they’ve passed on the extra show in N.O., so we each take to the streets in our separate caravans, on the lookout for that late night greasy food that will only complicate matters in the morning.
Taking to Bourbon Street at a run, we stop only to shoot icy cold doses of Jager and swallow giant Blue Points raw.
We’ve come here straight off of the hellish hungover drive, but suddenly energized by the town, we are unable to sit still more than 5 minutes.
We wear whitefaced grins from too many powdered Beignets….
We are, literally, kids in a candy store.
Beanie has to drag us kicking and crying away from the French Quarter for tonight’s gig.
And then, once again, it’s our turn.
We ask to borrow strange amplifiers, Alf adapts to yet another unfamiliar drum set.
Yet somehow, we pull it all together again, and give the kind people an idea of what we’re all about.
It’s a Sunday night, a couple thousand miles away from familiar beds, and our bowels have been destroyed by the unrelenting onslaught of cheap booze and barbecued meats.
We feel great.
And double checking the itinerary–yep–we’re done!
The day gets light, we hit Bourbon–the street and the beverage! once again, and before you know it, the day starts to darken once more.
We hit a million bars and talk about a million things.
We come up with brilliant ideas for the band, ideas that somehow no one can remember the next day.
And we’re here amongst friends, and feeling finally free.
One by one, we start to leave wordly posessions on bartops, keys and phones, those beeping talismans that connect us to the responsible world.
Drunkenly misplaced or thrown away in disgust of what we’ve become–leashed to the world at all times!–we suddenly see.
We don’t need these things, not anymore.
Maybe we’ll just stay right here, off the grid, living on the banks of the Mississippi.
We’ll sleep under the smoky stars and eat our fill of mudbugs and wild green onions every day.
We get up and leave, onto yet the next joint.
Some of these things we’ve abandoned are brought back out to us, on the shadowy sidewalk, by vigilant bartenders.
Others are lost, forever.
Bourbon Street, the site of hilarity so very recently, unfolds serious and hot before us.
It’s Tuesday afternoon, the shows are done, and I’m walking in front of Kimm, behind Ant and Alf, each of us keeping 5 yards apart:
Apparently, there is nothing left to say.