The end of days


9:35 am on Thursday, already black up to my elbows with metal flecked machine grease.

The Whitney’s sprung a leak in clamp 2 again, and I’m under the goddamn thing now, trying to get an allen to gain purchase on the rounded bolt, squinting against a fine mist of hydraulic fluid baptizing my face.
And the phone is ringing.

The ringing stops after seven, there is a beat of silence, then the ringing starts again.

The wrench flies out of hex, my knuckles slam against the mill sharpened edge of the ball screw.
And, naturally, the hose gives way, and an imperial pint of DTE40 flows onto my face.

Bleeding at hand, drenched in oil, I stomp over to the phone and yell what into the receiver.
But there is only a recorded voice on the line:
Would you like to update your listing on Google search network?
Press one to connect with a specialist that will be in your area…….

The cordless, it now takes thrilling flight.
It arcs high across the shop’s corrugated ceiling, hits one conduit and smashes down amid the scrap bins, a satisfying burst of polycarbonate and circuit board, then silence.

There is a square of #8 mirror finish stainless propped up at the shop sink.
I catch a glimpse of myself now, sleeved in grease, dripping light weight oil from hair and Type A Rh Negative from my paw.

For this I came back?

The Rebellion Fest 2013
The Rebellion Fest 2013

After our fanboy adventures of Saturday in the Wintergardens, it’s up and back to it for an early set Sunday…..1:40pm downbeat!
It’s a new one for us, this early slot, but we are in the lovely Empress Ballroom today on a stellar lineup of all our chums from So Ca.

God love the black cabs of the UK!
Guitars, bags and bodies in one car.
God love the black cabs of the UK!





We crack Red Stripe #1 at the first chime of noon, trying to settle our stomachs against last night’s cider fest and GravySausageChips gluttony.
We pretend it’s 10pm since we play in an hour, and watch the other bands straggle in, already a 4 hour drive under their belts on this day–suckers!

Andy DMob
Andy DMob
...alright kids, you got Kimm's autograph.  Now beat it!
…alright kids, you got Kimm’s autograph. Now beat it!


IMG_0600 more to go baby.  Hang in there!
…one more to go baby. Hang in there!
Setting up in the Empress
Setting up in the Empress

We’re backstage now and worried about this time slot–who the hell is gonna wake up this early for a set?
Ears still ringing from the chanting crowd at Cocksparrer last night, not to mention the pub crawling along the vomit soaked streets of Blackpool, and I’d rather still be in bed myself, brother.
Couldn’t blame ya for sleeping in!

But we hit the stage and the lights come up on the opening chords of I Wanna Know Why.
And there is an actual crowd of people there: watching, listening!





I guess it's not so bad,this early slot.  Our only competition was the bingo tourney!
I guess it’s not so bad,this early slot. Our only competition was the bingo tourney!

It comes back quickly, why we love this fest.

The RebellionFest brings it all together, the music and culture, the intellect and sleaze.
The people here love their punk without shame, and point to its’ accomplishment and dignity in the face of so much phoniness swirling about.

Alex Ogg reading at the literary salon.
Alex Ogg reading at the literary salon.


Original paintings, Charlie Harper
Original paintings, Charlie Harper
Sid by Those Who Knew Him in the Punk Cinema
Sid by Those Who Knew Him in the Punk Cinema

Sensory overload at its finest!
We have time to towel off and wade back into the crowd to catch up with old chums and catch The Stitches frenzied set!

Buzzcocks sweets!
Buzzcocks sweets!


And then the yucks continue until the Adolescents & TSOL hit stage!

With madman booking agent Benny
With madman booking agent Benny
Ant slingin' merch.   Still no clean clothes.
Ant slingin’ merch.
Still no clean clothes.


JW brushes off the shoplifting skills...
JW brushes off the shoplifting skills…






Sonic Reducer with Texas Terri
Sonic Reducer with Texas Terri


It’s all too fine.

We meet all the chums once more before we all go off on our own ways.
The other bands are going on, and even now I read their Facebook posts with a wistful tinge of envy.

Ah, but it’s that time for us to wrap it up.
No more hostel (hostile?) wake up calls of us, no more midnight wanderings along cobblestoned alleys, perfectly happy to be lost.

Kimm is heading straight back to the States, back to the real world: a world without curry sausage breakfasts and daily soundchecks.

I’m hopping a train for Glasgow at dusk.
Alfie jets on to Barcelona and the South of France, the fucker.

And Anthony?
Oh, he’s is still out there, chasing his luggage from airport to airport, his soiled t-shirt and socks giving him the funk and earthiness of a true European!

One last loop around the midway
One last lap around the midway

I wipe a few more drops of oil out of my hair with a bandaged hand.
There is a haiku bleat of airhorn, la cucaracha , the lunch wagon pulling up outside right on time.

The daily beats of the day, they are back now.
I go out to the Roach Coach, order up a green chile burrito from Rosa Maria.
She asks where I’ve been, what? last 2 weeks?

And as I pull out the cash to pay her, there in a handful of change I catch the glimpse of an odd coin, hole punched in its’ center:
Danish Kroner.

I hold it up, up to the California Sun that’s hovered above me my whole life.

And the light piercing it’s center, that spot of bright in the belly of its dark shadow?
It’s the same old sun, seen in a different way.

And we're back.
And we’re back.

The scrapbook Blackpool

Charleroi, Brussels to Manchester on the world's shittiest airline, Ryanair!
Charleroi, Brussels to Manchester on the world’s shittiest airline, Ryanair!
Where the guitars need to buy their own seats. Inhaling free, exhales 5 pence per!
Where the guitars need to buy their own seats.
Where inhaling free, exhalations 5 pence per!


Immigration holding tank, Manchester
Immigration holding tank, Manchester

Blackpool Hilton
Blackpool Hilton

Back to the Wintergardens!
Back to the Wintergardens!


Corporate Anarchy!
Corporate Anarchy!


Ant photobomb: Kimm and Jerry
Ant photobomb: Kimm and Jerry

Punk Mall!
Punk Mall!

UK Subs---still doing it!
UK Subs—still doing it!

w/ Jet Storm and Uncle Charlie!
w/ Jet Storm and Uncle Charlie!






HBD Nick Cash!
HBD Nick Cash!

Uly & Leah


w/ Oggy!
w/ Oggy!

Late night chippy
Late night chippy

..and that's a wrap!
..and that’s a wrap!

The kindness of strangers


So if you look through the last few entries, you’ll find the usual features:
Snarky commentary, a drink or two, glamour photos of sausages being inhaled.

But there is one thing missing, these past few days, yeh?

10am Thursday: We go back and forth through the baggage claim in Brussels airport before finally admitting defeat in claiming Ant’s luggage.
That Anthony’s bags don’t catch up to us in Belgium, (and not Blackpool or even London as we speak)—this is another story.
We can only hope they are giving Ant’s worn dufflebag the mileage incurred on her roundabout journey—perhaps it can get that free Hawaiian vacation she’s always dreamed of!

..last sighting: dirty laundry and clean socks!
..last sighting: dirty laundry and clean socks!

We ask to have the stuff shipped ahead to the smaller Charleroi airport and head out to the curb where we said our goodbyes to Frank not 20 hours earlier.

So now, a funny thing, this leg of the journey.
Frank had obligations to pick up another band for yet another loop around the continent, leaving us to our own devices between Sweden and Blackpool.

Listen, you can bitch about Facebook all ya want, but on this journey it has saved our ass a few times at least. The last minute gigs, a plea for a decent Tikka Masala in Hamburg—it is through the vast web of faceless friends that the answer is found.

And so when a friend with Belgian roots hears our dilemma—need to get to the countryside festival gig from the airport for an afternoon set, then back to a different area of Brussels for tomorrow’s flight to UK—he chimes in with informed options:

..this place is out there!
..this place is out there!

Train? Car rental? Hitchhike by side of road with guitar in hand and weepy eyes or flashing calves?

Tim puts us in contact with Luc, who assures us via email that he will handle everything and be at the curb: a dozen correspondences compressed through the binary code and translated at the other end….done!

I suppose this whole thing, I mean, the relationships of the internet—-they require if not a bit of a suspension of belief, then maybe a blind trust, no?
Yeah, I know you people must know what I’m talking about here, but really, how do you know I’m not just posting this shit from Alex’s Bar the last week, simply photo shopping pictures of Ant eating a sausage in front of the Danube, hmmm?

So the thought crosses our minds as we stand curbside in the wan Brussels light, waiting for a stranger in a van, with set time not 98 minutes to go, that perhaps we’ve been had.
Maybe this Luc is really just a 12 year old brat from Chino Hills, fucking with us through his Xbox account a world away.

But a clean rental appears on the horizon, and we meet Luc, a proper gent and well humored man of the world.

There are angels out there people!

..back in a van, back home.
..back in a van, back home.

Ieper is on the out-outskirts of the countryside, with only a few circus tents and the smell of braising tofu to guide us backstage.
We set up quickly, no time for the usual primping & preening in front of the full lengths this day, as it’s on in 10 and away we go!

..we do our darkness impersonation for the brunch crowd.
..we do our Darkness impersonation for the brunch crowd.

The set is fine if a bit rushed, and then we are out in the Summer sunshine, waiting for the rest of the crew to arrive.

Soundchecking with Adolescents
Soundchecking with Adolescents

We sit on long benches, vegan snacks in hand and free range beers before us, and chat the afternoon away with Luc. He is a swell fellow, and it’s not long before we are introducing him to the royalty of So Ca Punk!

Tiny goes vegan!
Tiny goes vegan!


Beard envy with VT!
Beard envy with VT!


It’s high school reunion backstage once again, class of 19-eighty mumble mumble, and we are caught in a blizzard of bro hugs and grandchildren photos , as the crew compares battle scars and blood pressure medications!

View from back---Kids of the Black Hole!
View from back—Kids of the Black Hole!
Piss party CH3-photobomb Ron Reyes!
Piss party CH3-photobomb Ron Reyes!



Fashion Faux Pas: Jack wears same outfit 2 days in a row.
Fashion Faux Pas: Jack wears same outfit 2 days in a row.


...don't call him Chavo yo!
…don’t call him Chavo yo!

Cali roll call: TSOL, CH3, Adolescents, Face to Face, Black Flag...
Cali roll call: TSOL, CH3, Adolescents, Face to Face, Black Flag…

Another grand fest we have to leave all too early, as Anthony’s bags have refused to touch down, and circle our innocent heads as silent and uncaring as enemy drones.

Luc drives us out to the Charleroi Airport area as we all crash hard, the days finally getting to us.

We calculate Tuesday was the last full night of sleep in a bed, but that must be little comfort to Luc, as he drives 4 sleeping, farting men across the country yet again.

Sundown, we rouse to go inside the lounge for one last toast to our new friend.


But earlier, out on the highway we sleep with smiles, comforted and cradled as babies.

As a gentleman we’ve met but 8 hours earlier stands guard over us far better than we could ever guard ourselves.

Farewell Luc!
Farewell Luc!

The Swede life

I stumble into a truckstop bathroom, it’s Luxembourg: 5am.

They’ve got me trained, the Germans, to fumble for .70 euro every time I need to answer the call.

And there’s been plenty of close calls at the WC turnstile, brother, as I pat every pocket and go through backpack, desperately searching for suitable coinage, clenching orifice tight against the threat of messy disaster.

But it’s a rich country, this Luxembourg, as the luxury of a toilet and sink is free!
And soon I am brushing my teeth next to a portly Belgian trucker, he naked from waist up and lathering his furry body at the sink.
His attention shifts from his underarms inversely reflected in the mirror to my bleary eyes and he gives me a sly wink.
We’ve shared this same dawn stretch of road and both have a long day ahead of us.


Brussels Zaventem airport at 8am.
It’s a bittersweet goodbye to Frank ‘le Tank, as fine a gent and handler as we’ve met over here.

We’ve bonded these last few days, and the long stretches of road allow for the ease of brotherhood that allows for both tearful confession and competitive farting, the true payoff of traveling in a box.

Goodbye Frankie---see ya on the other side!
Goodbye Frankie—see ya on the other side!

We’re through security with an hour to spare, and it’s time to consider the Belgian version of sausage for breakfast.


Hmmmm...shall we?
Hmmmm…shall we?

We change flights in Copenhagen, and our heads are swimming at the currency change when we hit the lounge bar.

Euros can be used, yes, but change given in Danish Krone.
Shall we exchange some Euros at the desk, since they use these Kronen in Sweden, right?
Well no, as they use a Swedish Krona, worth slightly less.

Alf’s delirium tremors start to kick in as I thrust handfuls of dollars and euros and pounds at the bemused bartender, all the while pointing at the taps and making the universal drinky-drinky sign.

Listen pal, all we want is a goddamn pint of beer, not a lesson on global economics.
Next time we vow to get paid in only Krugerrand and hollow point bullets, the only currencies that know no border!

Touchdown Göteborg, and this is where the tourbook gets a little hazy.
Benny the booker only gives us a few cryptic notes about venue and hotel, and we see a festival poster that baffles us:'s about time you can see Neil Young, Alicia Keys and CH3 all at  the same venue!’s about time you can see Neil Young, Alicia Keys and CH3 all at the same venue!

There’s little info about transportation and, well, what the hell we’re doing here—but there is a cheerful driver waiting for us at the gate with our names on chalkboard, and soon we are rolling through a beautiful countryside in a whispery quiet Volvo efficiency van.



And soon we are checked into the swanky Scandic Crown, and the hospitality and kindness of the en-blazered reception staff baffles us–what’s the catch?

Beers and chips on arrival--the dream comes true!
Beers and chips on arrival–the dream comes true!

It feels, for lack of a better term, really expensive here.
But the promoters have handled every single thing, and we’re soon in cheerful blonde bedrooms that are ripped straight out of an Ikea catalog.


A catnap and it’s back to the lobby and another smiling, impeccably groomed driver.
They take guitars out of our hands and hand us water bottles for the drive to the venue along the lovely evening streets.

We think perhaps we died on that last bumpy flight out of Copenhagen and we’re experiencing that Twilight Zone episode where the dead hood gets everything he wants without question.

...ah, but Mr. Valentine--who ever said this was heaven? Bwahahahah!
…ah, but Mr. Valentine–who ever said this was heaven?




We meet up with TSOL, and they are all fresh and chipper as this is their tour start date.
It’s a quiet backstage and even quieter onstage, as they have a 100db sound limit—in the club!!

Hey!   We eat fruit too ya know....
Hey! We eat fruit too ya know….

I finally get to meet up with our internet pal Pete, maybe the only guy here who knows who we are!



We don’t know what to expect, what with our loopy lack of sleep, the library-hush of the place, the bizareness of us getting onto the tiny stage.

But guess what? It turns out to be a rockin night, we do an encore, and they call out for more, but it is a tight schedule and this place is nothing but on time!


Jack come out in his latest breezy summer ensemble from Olvera Street, and the TSOL fellas rip it up for their night one:



We have time for the usual laughs and drinks with the locals.
The polite chaps come up and tell us the show was great, struggling with the Nordic reserve they admit to–
really, I am very excited right now! they tell us with straight faces.



And soon it is back into another van, with another cheerful, prompt driver, who lets us know his replacement will be back in 90 minutes.


There is a brief debate on sleep or power through, but soon enough it is back in a van, back to the airport.

The tiny Scandinavian Air mini jet is struggling for liftoff, with all of TSOL and CH3 aboard, not a man under six foot one, only a couple of us admitting to being under the 200lb mark.




Layover Copenhagen, version 2.1
Layover Copenhagen, version 2.1

We hurdle back towards Brussels, where it’s going to be a tight touchdown and 90 minute drive out to Ieper for a 12:40–pm!!!! —–downbeat.

And as we skid across the fourth tarmac in 18 hours, Anthony’s luggage rests comfortably back in Copenhagen, refusing to go on any further.

The home on the highway


Any Euro tour is defined by the ease of wifi access and the luxuriousness of the Sprinter van in which you roll.

These rolling Legos are the workhorses of the continent, and they become the familiar clubhouse over the course of a few long drives.
You learn which seats suck, and which prized ones afford the extra five degrees of recline tilt, allowing your back to uncoil just enough to welcome a 10 minute nap.

Get off my lawn!
Get off my lawn!

When we load in to the clubs, we check the other bands’ rides out of curiosity.

There are larger boats, sure. Some have bunks built atop the gear storage, seen some with x-boxes and personal screens onboard.

But we are perfectly happy campers in Frankie’s van, stretched out across a couple rows of seats and a hot spot gently beeping in the usb port as we pass in the shadow’s of the Wurzburg castle.


It is a short drive over to Karlsruhe, plenty of time to stop for a Greekish meal of souvlaki and gyros on a sunny patio.




And then a quick stop at the local music store to stock up on supplies, as Alfie has left a trail of broken sticks in our wake: each stage littered with enough splintered wood to resemble a hamster’s spongy cage.


We get to Karlsruhe, a check into the hotel but there is no sign of Adolescents.
It seems just as they roll into town, the Sprinter they had picked up back in Poland has called it quits.

The relentless schedule those chaps insist on was apparently too much for the old girl, and at this stop the differential threw up it’s ground down guts in protest.

We work it out with our van and Frank the Tank to get the gear to the club as we trip around the whimsical beer garden under the hotel grounds.




It’s a cross between a beer garden and Pee Wee’s playhouse down there, just the place for childish drunks–ahem!

Oh my....
Oh my….

Another grand night in Germnay, amd we’re greeted by a few fans who actually know us!

And then perhaps the nicest treat, gettting to see the Adolescents play two nights in a row!






There’s time for a few yucks after the gig, but all too soon it’s back to the hotel and back to business.






Dan Root and the duct tape Hulkster costume
Dan Root and the duct tape Hulkster costume

The Ads camp out in the WiFi zone of the lobby, trying to get a replacement van in time for their gig Thursday night in the Netherlands.
We only have time for a quick rinse and it’s back in the van for us, as it’s a night long drive to the Brussels airport.

We say our goodbyes til Ieperfest Friday and hit the darkened Autobahn at 3 am.
And as Frank outs on a Creedence CD and we roll on through the dark, we slouch across the seats, backpack pillows under head and merch duffels as quilts.

Just another Sprinter rolling on towards the next dot on the map, and as close to home as we can claim this far away.

The adolescents at the grown ups table….


It’s a winding drive down to the Bavarian region, stopping only to top off our fuel tank with diesel and bellies with sausage, as it had been a dangerous 8 hours since last we ate the tubular essential!

We pull into Würzburg during a refreshing Summer shower, and we immediately jump out of the Sprinter and let Mother Nature rinse the sticky grime from our skin.

They tell us Germany has been a balmy 38 Celsius the last couple days, which we calculate with humidity levels to be, what? 145 Fahrenheit?

Don’t quote me here, you know us and Math……

Then it’s over to that gritty little rascal of a venue, Immerhim club down the street, a wacky little space down two flights of concrete stairs in what looks like a Eastern Bloc train station.

And then it’s a pleasure to run into happy faces from home!!

We pass off urgent care item to the weary travelers.
We pass off urgent care item to the weary travelers.

The Adolescents have been out a long time, and in fact Steve tells us he locked his front door sometime back around Memorial Day….you go man!

Adolescents Christmas card shoot.
Adolescents Christmas card shoot.

There is a photo shoot set up post-dinner, and we all go through the poses that have served our portfolios so well through the years:

.....I call this one Blue Steel....
…..I call this one Blue Steel….

We had no show booked for this night just a week ago, and neither did they.
2 days off would be a mere annoyance for us, as we would just tend to drink the day away and then try to break into the local zoo at night.

But The Adolescents are truly road machines now, and they only pace like caged cats in their stuffy hostel rooms without a show to play.

So Tony put out the word across Social media, and we find ourselves on this night playing to a truly great last ninute crowd, selling a load of merch and then getting to stand back and watch dear old chums rip up the joint!



Inevitably, we end up chatting, Steve and Tony, me and Kimm, of the days and years that have passed between us.
We’ve known these guys a long time, since we stood in wonder at them at the Starwood back in ’80, to the days when we could unbelievably share the stage with them.

And yeah, we’ve all put on a year or two.
We know how it goes: that the morning conversation between us punker AARP types the night after gigs is no longer, hey man, did you get laid? but, did you take your pills?


A combined bicentennial right there!
A combined bicentennial right there!

Our generous hosts bid us to try the local wines and craft brews.

We learn of the local hills and the climbing vineyards, and taste brisk wines that dance on palate.
They bring out serious looking bottles, and we taste the smoky flavors thanks to the toated hops.

Alf declares he will move here..tonight!



Alf finds the new family crest.
Alf finds the new family crest.

the Adolescents crew packs it in and heads to hotel, but we are not done with the night just yet!


So it’s up to us to cavort with the locals at the local dive, a lot of really great people in this town-

We’re gpnna feel this one tomorrow, brother!


First and second tallest men in Wurzburg
First and second tallest men in Wurzburg


And we call it a night once again.
A happy thing: to see pals from home so far away from home.

The End, as it were.   Good Night!
The End, as it were.
Good Night!

The wash, the dry


A day off, that luxury of the road.

Oh, i know, I know…it’s only been what? 3 shows?
Meanwhile, the Adolescents are going on week nine, or something like that.

But you know us, we can’t stay out that long, especially out here where every meal is offered with delicious mushroom gravy, where every beer is poured minimally at 1.25 liter!
What would become of our girlish figures?

Breakfast is served.
Breakfast is served.

So it’s a jolly farewell to the Hafenklang dorm, after leaving some witty graffiti to be found by the Stitches next week!

We traipse along cobblestone alleys, delighted to have a off day in this breezy port town.
And of course, that means Wash day–yay!


Now here’s another one of those subtle but noteworthy differences from home–why can’t we do laundry at a smart little cafe and drink fine Pilsners during the spin cycle?

We take our time doing the darks and the lights, ordering yet another round as we decide to splurge on an extra 25 minutes of dryer time.


...this is what I call doing the laundry!!
…this is what I call doing the laundry!!

And then we do the tourist thing, stopping at every sidewalk cafe and bakery we see.

And though we lack fuel to grill or pan to sear, we stop into the high end butcher shop to salivate over the racks of cow and pig—time to eat!





We see a passing water taxi and make a run for it, jumping onboard just as gangplank clanks behind us.

The cruise is lovely, and we toast the mansions and hovels as we float past.




It’s a warm evening on the water, and we pop the ceramic cap of another fine lager as a lone sea bird dips into the water and emerges with a silvery prize in beak.

Another victory for the day.

On a fuckin boat, yo!
On a fuckin boat, yo!

We treat ourselves to a corporate chain hotel (oh shut up, you crusties….we have the miles to cash in!)
Then we cap our day of leisure in the serviceable lobby bar.



Behind the bar, Hamburg.
Behind the bar, Hamburg.

We crank down the first thermostat we’ve seen on a European wall, and crawl in bed to the comforting tones of a CNN anchor telling us things are going to be ok.

Not a single distorted chord played this day, not a cd or tee shirt sold.

No Miles added to our body odometer.

But with a pillow mint resting on tongue and piles of clean clothes folded in bag, we drift off satisfied with this day of nothing.

The forbidden meal

The morning after, Berlin
The morning after, Berlin

Long days in a van.

You think about it– or actually, you try not to:

All those jaunts up and down the rippled back of California.
The endless miles through Texas on shimmering highway. A smoking ribbon that just barely connects bastions of civilization across a cruel wasteland.
Prague to Vienna in a rusted service vehicle, back wedged so long against an Anvil flight case that you can still count the imprinted dimples of rivets across your poor shoulders.

Those miles, those hours-they add up.


But ya know, what else affords you the chance to sit and talk to your mates the day long, each of ya sitting within spitting and hitting distance?
It’s like being kids in a fort made of a refrigerator box, taking turns holding the flashlight, telling scary stories.
A 6 hour conversation, paused only for the occasional piss break or Anthony’s reassuring snore, off again on yet another one of his catnaps.
And the topics!
Serious conversations about Family and future. Religion, politics.

Superhero debates that go on for hours, the failure of Lucas and the criminal desecration of the Star Wars legacy.

And food.
Oh brother, do these guys like to talk about food!
Meals past and those anticipated, we share recipes and gross out stories about things we’ve put in our mouths out of dare or just drunken hunger.

So on yesterday’s jaunt, Berlin to Hamburg, with the warm German breeze thrumming cross open windows, the talk turns once again to food.

Ramones Museum!
Ramones Museum!


We leave the Ramones Museum misty eyed, hiding our sentimental tears from the lads of Top Buzzer, who are with us tonight as well.

We went to this show.  Seriously.
We went to this show. Seriously.


The autobahn beckons, and soon we are rolling again, and we are all in agreeance in our hatred for corporate Fast Food.
But I admit to a recent trip through Jollibee, a bizarre Pinoy fast food joint that caters to the Filipino taste for grease and meat!

The sampling of both the Spam and Corned Beef sliders were, ya know—not so bad after all.


A van conversation starts like this, a simple statement, but soon it bisects and veers off course, an organism that cleaves and mutates into something else altogether.

For we are soon talking of the virtues of Spam and its’ popularity among the Pacific Islanders.
And then someone volunteers-of course! that this SpamFan club, spread from Kauai to Samoa, is based on the cannibal past of the islanders and Spam’s sweet gamy taste—like nothing more than human flesh!!

And away we go!!-we have today’s—hell, this whole week’s ! topic at hand:
The Forbidden meal, the meat of the human!

Soon the miles are melting away as we are shouting to be heard.
Would you, hmmm? Dare to taste of human flesh if it was offered?
Is there moral dilemma at play here?
Or are we simply wasting perfectly fine protein with each passing funeral parade.

Ant shrugs and says why the hell not? I’d try it!
Kimm keeps judgement to himself, not sure just yet where this one is going.

Will he awake in tomorrow’s hostel bed, missing a toe or earlobe, only to find Alf and Anthony already flossing their fangs, sated?!?!

Frank, the German handler and all around good guy, is of course Vegan.
He listens to our heated debate with growing disgust, and soon I can see him scanning the side-view mirrors and calculating the severity of injuries in a mid highway leap—surely a small inconvenience to escape these lunatics.

We size each other up, considering where to start…. Leg meat or breast?
It is soon agreed that the twin loins hugging the spine will be the prize at this year’s Labor day cookout.

And then we wonder–do we eat enemy or friend?
Surely, the meat shall be that much more savory, dining upon the braised thigh of a girl you once held as dear!

And what of the chance of amputated limb?
So you lose a forearm in a wind torn regatta, what do you do?? I say you throw a grand dinner party, (left handed) and there your once mangled wing is dignified on a bed of risotto with roasted pearl onions, a treat for your friends to enjoy one last time—-whoever gets the serving with the Misfits tattoo gets to take home the centerpiece!

We are feverish now, bursting with ideas:
A quick text is sent to a friend of an intern at Food network.
A chain of tasteful and locally decorated theme restaurants?

Cookbook recipes are pulled from thin air.



And as we pull up at the fine Hafenklang club to meet up with fellow Cali gourmands Face to Face, our discussion spills into the cobblestone streets of Hamburg.
Frank runs into the night looking for a block of tofu to cleanse his violated palate and mind.


We are served dinner upstairs after soundcheck, and we inspect each piece of mystery fajita for the telltale sign of life: Hickey or freckle-either would thrill us!




The gig is great, a last few moments with the Buzzer before sending them back to UK with bags of unsold CH3 tees loading down the Volvo. thanks guys!
Face to Face slays it, and we wrap things up chatting it up and seeing them off as well, for we will be staying in the vast dormitory flat behind the club–by ourselves!!




It’s off to the Reeperbahn for a nite cap, meeting up with the Turbonegro chapter camping out at Lunacy.






It is a Sunday though and quiet out, and even the Mediterranean prostitutes parading the boulevard seem tired and bored.
One skinny Polish exchange student sidles up to Alf and offers him anything for 50 euro—-you better watch what yer offering there, sister!!

It is stewable tendon that he hungers for, not erotica!

After brushing teeth and donning pajamas, we each grab a bunk–there’s gotta be 16 beds in that room–but leave the lights on for a few moments more.


Home for the night.
Home for the night.

Frank announces he will be sleeping in the van tonight, muttering something about watching the gear as he bolts for the door.

And then it is just the 4 of us, and someone hits the lights.

But I can see those eyes glowing in the dark, and catch a flash of incisor and molar when someone coughs across the room. somewhere in the night a canine howl bays low, waiting for the answer, but we all hold our tongues.

The conversation, it seems is finally over.

The sleep takes a long time coming, each of us knowing the tastes, if not taste, of fellow man.

The wine of youth


You wouldn’t think they’d let us cranky old bastards to stay in a Youth Hostel, huh?

I mean, really.
Left to our own devices, we’d be cashing in those Hilton Honors points to upgrade to the suite.
It would be the Wellness Spa after High Tea if we had our choice, but that just isn’t done in the world of Euro punk touring.

Keepin’ it real, as they say.

Shady characters, Kiel.
Shady characters, Kiel.

And so once again we wake in our efficiency room , all bleached towels and body wash canisters upon shared shower stall tile.

We pile into the elevator, en route back to the gig after a fitful nap, and wordlessly wonder at the vibrance of youth surrounding us as we read the bulletins posted up:

HackySack Tourney East Lawn tonight! Bring your own sacks!

Sisters for Celibacy drum circle has been moved from Activity Lounge 3 to Cafeteria Sunday. No men please—this means you Kevin!

As we move past the shadowy figures lougning in the warm Summer evening, their faces illuminated by the azure twinkle of Iphone or pad, we think this might be perfect:

After all, these kids seem to be doing nothing on a Saturday night, so wouldn’t they be interested in coming out to the club hmm?

But we are met with only blank stares when we try to explain just what we are trying to achieve here.
What? You want us to see 4 men on a cramped stage, sweating trough a setlist of 30 year old songs?

And for a 6 euro cover charge? Pffft.
Yeh, right gramps.

Ah, but tomorrow’s electro fest, (90 euro for 2 day pass), and they are all in.
This generation is right there when it comes to dancing to a beat only they can extract from the lone Swede Dj, hopped up on cut rate Ecstasy and toxic glow sticks.

It seems to us , this DJ business, it’s about as exciting as watching somebody onstage typing.
But that’s just us.

Look at this guy rock the qwerty!
Look at this guy rock the qwerty!

But what do we know? We are clearly the suckers here, lugging Marshall and Ampeg across the steaming continent, while ‘ol Dane up there has his set list for the night on a Macbook pro, private jet purring patiently upon tarmac to whisk him to Ibiza for the late night set.

This concludes today’s grumpy old fart rant.
Join us tomorrow for a discourse on baggy pants and Aviator shades.


We get outside of Kiel before pulling into that beloved German institution, the roadhouse.
We top off not only with diesel, but also a sensible lunch of Schnitzel and Spaetzel, all commodities surely bonded by the same petroleum based mushroom gravy!


I axe ya, why can’t we have this kind of stuff at home?
Oh, you can keep your Chevron Quik-Marts with the Subway kiosks brother!


I’m talking hearty German delicacies and Frosty Hefeweisens to go, not to mention the charming Euro porn displayed eye level, right next to the latest Game of Thrones paperbacks—what’s not to like!?


It is not long before the ominous tower of Berlin comes into view, it’s globed peak rumored to be either a rotating restaurant or a ward for the criminally insane.

And then it’s back to one of the truly great clubs of the world—we’re talking Wild at Heart, with convivial hosts Uly and Lea!!



We meet up with our new besties, the lads in Top Buzzer, and run through some quick soundchecks before a generous meal.

Top Buzzer tour van.  You win.
Top Buzzer tour van. You win.

And then the night begins and time starts flying, as it does.
The long Berlin dusk finally gives into the dark, and the sinister shadows of the gray architecture are held at bay by the sparkling chums and chuckles that fill the night!

The Buzzers buzzin!
The Buzzers buzzin!
Frank the tank.
Frank the tank.


Texas T!
Texas T!

We get up there and do the damn thing, and the crowd is fantastic.
A mixture of actual fans and depraved citizens of the streets, they urge us on every song.
We play an encore, then 3, our guitar strings already rusting over with the sweat that has rained upon them.
We love ya Berlin!


And then it’s wacky time, the dj starts in with the early Jam tracks and those tiny frozen blocks of Jagermeister soon accompany every pilsner!


Uh oh...Gardener behind the bar.....
Uh oh…Gardener behind the bar…..

And so it goes, another night in the books.
We come back to the Hostel exhausted, happy, ready to lay down upon those tweedy thin pillows without a care about how many dreadlocked nogggins have lay there before.

The first light of dawn comes through the curtains as we finally fall to sleep, and we hear the first ponks of the early bird table tennis tournament getting started.
Some wise guy fires up the Daft Punk in the courtyard.

And we smile.

Ah, you kids–

The longest day

Dear seat 36 C:
It’s me, 37 C.

Oh, you know….those 2 pesky lumps that have been lodged against your back the entire flight?
That’s me.
Those are my goddamned knees.

Away we go.
Away we go.

Yes, I know it’s a long flight. I’m on the same plane, remember?

Oh 36 C, you rascal.

I sized you up the moment you boarded, all Juicy sweats and Sharper Image neck pillow, a warrior ready to take on this eleven hour descent into hell.
It must be torture, you being all of 4 foot 10 inch tall, being wedged into these business class seats.


Bring it back sweetheart.
Oh—- that crunch and crackle you hear? Just kneecap and ligament, hon.
Don’t mind me.

Touchdown Heathrow.
Touchdown Heathrow.

And when you first slammed your full weight back into my abused legs, and you just couldn’t figure out why you couldn’t achieve that extra 2 inches of recline?

And then you turned fully around and gave me the dirty look and bitched me out in Tagalog?

Good Times….


Atlantic crossing, it’s one of those necessary evils, like having major dental work or painting the inside of a vaulted living room.

You will somehow get it done, but that doesn’t calm the dread you feel for days prior.
And you can’t quite believe you’re going to do it once again, not until the cabin doors shut with the finality of the hanging judge’s gavel coming down upon the last syllable of the word: GUILTY.

Oh 36C, what are we gonna do with you?

Now what are you doing up there, some sort of bikram yoga?

Or are you just bouncing back in your seat to see if you can compress my femurs another millimeter?

You go, lady!


When we hit the ground at Heathrow, the day is not even half done, as we are connecting to Hamburg, then it’s off to Kiel for show one.
Oh, I know, trey-six, I usually get there a day early and drown the jet lag away with pints of Guiness a day or 2 before show one.


But time is tight this year, you see, and so it’s a hella long day of travel and then onto stage. We can do it.
The usual hi jinks, flight delays at Heathrow, the British Airways flight idling on tarmac a full 40 minutes before the welcomed throaty thrill of acceleration.

What’s that 36C? How was the legroom on that flight?
Oh, couldn’t say, as the feeling hasn’t returned to my nether regions, but thanks for asking!

We’re through Customs and baggage in no time and we meet up with our man Frank the Tank and the Euro van version 2013!

And then it’s a short drive along the Autobahn on a sultry Summer evening.

It’s all coming back to us now. The lush green of the fields, the outrageous bloom of sunflowers along the road. It is not 10 minutes before someone cracks the first Ausfarht joke, and we know we’re back.

Always hilarious.
Always hilarious.

Scuabude is the swinging club for the night, and it’s there we are reconnected with madman Booker Benny.
Benny’s been a busy bee, booking not just us, but TSOL and the Stitches for this Summer.
And yet he still finds time to sit us down for a homecooked meal!



The show is just great, all sweat and stupid jokes, the four of us acting like the clueless yanks we are, pleading for someone with a bottle opener to rescue us every other song.


How do we rock so hard?
How do we rock so hard?

And just like that we’re out in the warm night, gulping down breaths of the sweet Summer air and peeling off clothes that are stuck to body with the glue of honest sweat.

Wet as if we’d spent the night frolicking in the fountains in front of Gatsby’s manicured lawns.



Oh 36C, you should have seen us!

With a second wind that surprised us, we toasted the night again and again with our Euro pals. And when we finally lay our head down upon suspect Hostel pillows, we are still not sleepy.

It’s been days—days!– since we last slept, but the adrenaline buzz of the night, the pressurized cabin air in our bowels and the syrupy Jagermeister swimming our veins keeps us awake for a few moments more.

Just enough time to jot this note to you, ol 36C, ol buddy.


And I wonder where you are now and what you are doing, and how you can possibly recline easily in the comfort of your hotel room— without the familiar pressure of my knees against your back.

Yours, 37C.