The Summer doldrums have begun to set in: Angels and Dodgers are both sucking, the kids are sleeping in til 1pm after staying up on Facebook til 3, and there’s enough goddamn sunlight left when ya get home from work that you feel guilty for not cleaning out the garage.
Meh—let’s get the fuck outta here!
First touchdown in New York to play the gala Big Takeover anniversary show for ol chum Jack Rabid.
Well, we’ve been watching Bourdain and Man vs Food with a notepad open and pen poised for these last few months, jotting down any joints that look appealing….
Oh right. We gotta play some gigs too, eh?
What better way than a little warmup at the local Puka Bar…….
Question: Can we never again play a local show without the dicknose clown stealing away our spotlight?
NYC to the Jersey Shore to meet up with our ol pals in Kraut @ Brighton Bar…
….haul ass up to Boston for a matinee:
And back to the wilds of Albany for Monday Punk night @ Valentine’s!
Tuesday night in New Haven for a gig @ Café 9, and then a Yanks daygame vs Toronto on Wed before hoppin over to UK….
Land @ Heathrow and get over to Bath with ol pals Valdez…
..and then the sparkling Rebellion Fest in dear old Blackpool!
End it up with a proper pub gig @ Camden’s Dublin castle , and then make our way back to where they all know your name….
Check back soon for exclusive road updates from yer ol pals @ CH3!
As the man in row 17 kicks off his shoes–no socks!–and lays full out across 3 seats with his toddler kids on his ample belly, the squat troll beside me shifts in his sleep and emits a luxurious fart.
Somewhere behind me a baby screams, and the Korean couple across the aisle decide now is the time to open the jar of kimchi they’ve been saving for lunch.
I have to remind myself that I am not on the Mumbai Rajdhani Express.
No, this is Southwest Airlines, people!
Alright, enough with the bitching about air travel, we got work to do!
I eventually end up on the East Coast, a night before the fellas, and check into the swanky Holiday Inn Express in Brooklyn.
Did I say Holiday Inn Express? phfft…believe me, this joint is on par with the finest Holiday Inns, period!
Had just enough time to drop the bags and grab a drink or 2 at the Cherry Tree before the effects of pressurized cabin atmosphere and gravity itself threatened to bring me to my knees. A bite to eat and bed, but what to eat?
Ya know, I had grand visions of late night dining in the big city, perhaps meeting up with Eric Ripert after his shift and eating roasted bone marrow off the eyelids of a supermodel….
But no. What do I find open in the city that never sleeps, hmm?
How about a Citgo station where the kindly Nigerian attendant let me use the microwave…….
Ah well. Backup arrives soon enough and off into the night we go.
The usual first night shenanigans, Cherry Tree and Trash Bar, etc etc—-
Kimm takes a header walkin out of the bar, but we prefer to tell people he got wounded stopping 3 Muslim terrorists from raping a nun……
Cleveland action man Beenie drives in to take over merch chores, and the cast of characters is complete!
As noon breaks on Friday, day one of tour, it all comes back to me now. The hangovers and cramped rooms, irate maids knocking on the door and demanding if we wants our room did…..
Back on the road, and we take our positions as obedient and resigned as a prostitute strapping on the platform heels on Friday night, ready to sell herself all over again!
Out on the turnpike at 10 am, no time to bitch about lack of sleep or molding clothes, it’s the matinée day!
If you know anything about yer ol pals here at CH3, if there’s anything we love more than a fine cigar or an elegantly tailored waistcoat, it’s the rest areas of Connecticut!
After we exhaust our dozen blowjob and glory hole gags, we get back on the road and head into Boston proper….
The Middle East club on Massachusetts Avenue, home to a glorious lamb shank that rests on its final dignified nest of turmeric beans and couscous……
After we strip meat off femurs we wander into the upstairs lounge, sucking the marrow out of the bones that we will later sharpen into arrowheads that shall in turn kill the next animal to be braised!
Now yer talkin good old fashioned Sunday Punk Matinee action!! Nothing But Enemies kicked things off with in yer face action,
and then Boston legends the F.U.’s took the stage and demolished the place!
The veteran Boston crowd graciously put up with our shenanigans:
We then took to the storied streets on a fine Summer evening, literally skipping across the cobblestones like giddy Catholic schoolgirls fresh out of Confession, souls light as feathers and ready to be blackened by the sins to come!
Ah, Boston—ya spoil us!
We sip our cognacs as a blissful moon floats over the Charles River, breathing in the last precious molecules of a Summer Sunday: We toast the town we gotta leave all too soon……
Get the van loaded and make sure all phones are charged, because in this day a band can’t survive more than 15 goddamn minutes without Facebook or Twitter!
Oh, how we long for the days of stolen phone card pin codes and Yugoslavian manufactured 2 stroke caravans!
Have to leave this town, but not before a lunch stop at McGreevys–pub and baseball museum….
We reluctantly say goodbye and head toward the turnpike again, but-what? we spot a bar across the way with the audacious name–Bukowski’s!
We storm in, ready to defend Chuck’s honor and destroy the joint if we spot a single appletini or red bull mixer on the chalkboard!
Turns out to be a proper dive after all though, so we once again make our final toast to the city and its gracious hosts.
End up in Albany a few hours later, and make a beeline out to Voorheesville and the sprawling McGuire compound out in the country!
Big sis Barbara Ann and her dashing hubby Larry offer us for a welcome break from the hectic city pace of the last few days.
We immediately each walk in different directions, an acre out into the silent woods, and luxuriate in the absence of people with strange accents!
Back into Albany and meet up with pals for pregame tuneup!
We wake up with the closing strains of Purple Rain still ringing in the ears, ironic and fitting as we each also have purple stained tongues from too many pomegranate Dirty Wheels—–specialty cocktail of the Palais Royale in Albany!
We load back into the van wordlessly, avoiding each others eyes, each of us thinking to ourselves that perhaps we’ve gone too far……..
We each say a silent prayer, promising God above no more fruity drinks at 3am and no dancing in front of strangers!!!
Heh—-hittin the road for New Haven today, and pleasantly surprised to find out the new tour bus has GPS with Zagat guide installed!
We scroll through the dozens of fry houses on the Hudson, searching for an acceptable lunch stop, when—whoa—off to the right!
It’s the fuckin Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield Mass— Pull this buggy over!
After touring the facility and being disappointed that they didn’t have Wilt Chamberlain’s embalmed cock on display, we head next door for a little lunch……
New Haven Hotel, home to that most glorious of all things, the laundry room!!!
Also, 42 inch plasma screens, just the ticket as it’s Shark Week…
Or, over in the rhythm section room, the boys are catching up with Carrie and the gals…!
Strolled the town streets in the evening, taking in this great town:
Just around the block and we’re at Cafe 9, which immediately becomes our new favorite club in the world!
And then once again your old chums take to the stage, knees creaking and stray hairs gleaming gray underneath the cruel stage lights….
A great night, lots of time after to catch up with old chums.
We load out and head back to the hotel, as Connecticut has a mercifully early closing time…..No leg splits and prancing out of the club at 4am for us on this night!
We’ve finished up the first leg of the trip in the states, onto the UK next, and fall asleep under puffy quilted comforters:
Bathed in the blue light of sharks swimming the flat screen, dreaming of England and adventures to come.
Said farewell to New Haven and headed back to NYC, regretfully to drop off Beenie as he does not have the proper papers to make it across the pond with us this time around.
Who knew having a brief past in porn would keep you within borders?!
Into the city for a last burger with Dermott at the Paris House:
Then a fond farewell to Bean Boy and family, before we all head out to our prospective airports.
Kimm and I prefer JFK with their new dining options, heading into the night sky on American and Virgin Atlantic respectively,
But the fellas will have nothing but Continental and good ol Newark as their stepping off point….don’t ask me why!
We make plans to meet up at the Heathrow Express Terminal in the morning, and also solemn pinky promises not to rat out on each other if someone gets caught without those pesky work permits!
It’s a quick flight over, as we are used to those 11 hour marathons from LAX.
Turns out it’s only, what? like six fuckin hours from New York?? How’s that work?
Barely enough time to sip a smart martini at the Virgin Upper Class Lounge and read the Journal and yer already there!
Turns out the brief flight works against us, as we each meet at Paddington Station and discover no one got any sleep on the flight over either!
Ah well, we’ve been here before. Cat Naps in the station and in the pub and in the train and in the club, and we’re fresh as daisies again!
Travel over complete, all members accounted for, finger and toes intact, and ready to continue a long day into night with a show in Bath…..
“Peter! Hey, Pete–look at this!”
“What’ve ya there? What’s that shit?”
“Dunno. Smell it though”
I hear the kid called Peter take a sniff, then there’s a moment of awed silence.
“Fuck all—it’s booze! That old geezer left half a drink sittin here!”
I am trying to get some merciful sleep, slouched on an express seat on the 14:00 First Western going toward Bristol Temple Meads. Haven’t slept in about 36 hours, and there is a show tonight.
Ipod out of charge, I try to block out the conversation going on behind me.
I cram my neck against the window as the English countryside glides past, but sleep doesn’t come. Behind me I hear Alf and Ant’s comforting snores, as they have somehow adapted the ability to fall asleep whenever they are allowed to be motionless for over 90 seconds.
Kimm taps away on his laptop, working again, but I cannot get any rest for my jet lagged soul as the conversation continues.
“Booze,” whispers Pete, and they go silent again. I squeeze eyelids tight and pray for sleep, ignore their chatter, but I know Goddamn well what’s coming next.
“Let’s try it,” the other one says.
I open an eye and take a peek. Peter and his chum are 12 year old schoolboys on holiday it looks, sitting just in back of me on the train and away from their daycamp group, who are in the carriage in front.
Apparently the rumpled business man who got off at Swindon left a half filled plastic tumbler on his tray.
“What you suppose it is?” Pete asks his chum.
“Mmmm, I’d say Whiskey and water?”
“What? Whiskey Water? You’re a fuckin moron! What makes you say Whisky and water?
“I dunno. That’s what my Dad has. God, he likes his fuckin Whiskey Water, doesn’t he? Says he needs it just to put it in Mum!”
It’s like listening to Harry Potter and Ron Weasley readin a Guy Ritchie script.
“That’s brown ya fuckin idiot. This stuff is clear, gotta be vodka…”
“Vodka.” Pause. “Try it, it’s vodka!”
“Not me, smells awful!”
“You cunt. Gimmee that, I’ll try it.”
“Nah man, I found it!”
The speaker overhead cakles to life. Bath Spa next stop. All passengers for Bath Spa please gather your belongings.
“Hurry up, man. They’ll be coming to get us soon!”
The next sound is Pete taking a sip. There is an explosive spit, and then I am babtized by Peter’s first taste of alcohol. I feel the mix of Brit school boy saliva and stale booze sprinkling down on my face.
“God, that’s awful,” gasps Pete, as his chum howls in laughter.
I take off my Wayfarers, wipe my face with the back of my hand and sit up, fully awake and my last chance for any sleep vanished.
Peter and his friend look at me, terrified as I put my sunglasses back on.
“It was gin, Pete,” I say to them. “Good stuff too.”
The boys turn and run into the other car cackling as we pull into Bath, ready to start this never ending day yet again.
And this is our life as you sleep in your beds a half world away.
Bath on a beautiful day, we head over to the lovely Green Park Tavern and met with fantastic hosts Mo and his Mum.
Time to chill a bit before meeting up with the fellas from Valdez, so we hop a city tour bus and fight off the jet lag with touristy good fun.
Turns out Bath was named so because they have Baths there! Who knew? Makes you wonder why Long Beach isn’t named Bad Tattoo–Hey0!
Back to the Tavern, and Mo has put out a great spread.
We descend on the chow like ravenous hyenas, and then head upstairs to our apartment to change into our elaborate stage costumes.
Yeah, you heard right–Mo actually puts up the bands as well as feeding them, and if there’s not a better idea than having CH3 stay overnight in a bar, I ‘d like to hear it!
Back downstairs to catch Lone Sharks kickin things off, and then Valdez hit the stage.
We are delighted to find out they have a built in smoke machine onstage and demand its use every song. And get this—LASERS!
Unfortunately, they don’t get a lot of 6’5″ Japanese singers in here, and the lasers are right in level with my head. No need for that Lasik surgery any more, ma!
My God, what fun we had! Jet lag vanished into the evening air as we chat away the rest of night—and bring down the dogs for God sake!
We could’ve been in any lovely parlor in this beautiful town, but we are steps away from the stage we just played on, and 5 tiny meters underneath the beds we will soon slip into, snoring in syncopated unison like a Three Stooges reel.
We drift off to the sweetest of all sleep, that after a long day across an ocean.
As we lay there we can still hear the pub awake downstairs.
There’s muffled laughter and chatter going on just below our beds.
We fall off to sleep smiling like children sent up after saying good night, while their parents continue the dinner party downstairs.
Awake with a snort, the final note in our Symphony of Snores, totter downstairs and it hits us—we’re still in the pub! Foreheads are smacked as no one had the foresight to set cell phone alarms @ 5am to get up and lay under the taps in our bathrobes. Ah well, the bucket list grows….
Mo and Mum set us off with proper breakfast baguettes in hand:
But before Blackpool it’s back to dear old Bristol to get new stix for Alfie.
And so we hit M6 to Blackpool. As usual, Euro road construction is our familiar old enemy, and our 3 hour jaunt turns into an 8 hour ordeal. Never a problem though, as it gives us a lot of time to braid each other’s hair, tell ghost stories, and come up with nicknames for physically improbable and disgusting sexual acts!
Also, Chris fills us in on Dogging, the latest craze for adventurous couples in the UK. Has nothing to do with canines or public dog parks, trust us!
The Tower comes into view, and we are Back in Blackpool!
Ah, city of fried foods and garish casinos: where the stags and hens circle eachother in a drunken sexual courting dance each Saturday night, where the cobblestones tell the sordid tale Sunday morning with their scattered Morse code of vomit and used condoms….
We check into the lovely Gresham just steps from the back load in bay of Wintergardens. Thankfully, we each have single rooms for the weekend, and while the accomodations may not even rate a stateside Motel 6 level in niceties, the sight of a single bed and toilet, not to be shared with another farting and snoring machine, leads us to each in turn break out in the happy Snoopy dance!
We check into Wintergardens and walk through.
The sticky floors, blasting PA systems, fried foods and carnival lights. Shouting hellos and hugging friends not seen for a year. No time to take advantage of that quiet bed, we’ve made it back to Rebellion again!