*The following chronicles the two weeks I spent on the road with Masakari, spanning August 1-August 14, 2009. The experience changed my life for the better and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to hit the road with my friends. I hope we do this again, sooner than later!
Masakari, Mad Minds, Dave, Jason, Anthony, and I. Cincinnati, OH.
*The list of cities played in order: New York, NY, S. Burlington VT, Hartford, CT, Pittsburgh, PA, Richmond, VA, Parkersburg, W. VA, Columbus, OH, Cincinnati, OH, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Milwaukee, WI, Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH
*Photos courtesy of Jason Frank, unless otherwise noted. More photos available.
It's raining, I'm in my room, and all that I can think about is how depressed I am that tour is over, and I'm not enjoying the open road and good company of friends any longer. Let's do this again... soon!
Wait! That's not all! I want to tell you more, but I have so many thoughts jumbled in my head about this tour, that organizing them into a traditional article for you feels impossible. So I'm going to share my memories of tour with you... in the jumbled order that they came to my head, so you can enjoy the memories as they came to me. Promise to never forget them, because I sure as hell won't!
I can't even begin to describe the late night front and back porch conversations, the getting slap-happy every fucking night and cracking up at nothing. The front porch jam sessions in Pittsburgh, the driving to Vermont in the rain to play for 10 people, getting paid $10, telling a drunk man out front that this was the biggest crowd draw we'd ever gotten, and that we usually play barns and carry our equipment on horseback. Maybe you want to hear how 10 minutes later we were threatened to get off the property or the owner was going to get his gun.
Masakari. Cincinnati, OH. Photo: Jason Frank
I can't begin to tell you about how Bat damon changed our lives, Dr. Rainbows was crazy, he offered us a banana. The pizza was good, and how I decided to stay on the whole tour. I can't imagine describing the hi-jinks that went into every gas station stop, getting called "faggots," in West Virginia. Beating the shit out of drunk asshoes in Columbus with Mad Minds, having the same drunk assholes tear my Yoda shirt I bought the night before in Richmond, Virginia. Wearing my Yoda shirt as I write this, because it was sewn back up for me, and I haven't washed because it still smells like tour!
What about the show in Lexington, Kentucky with Mad Minds, where we made $1.50 each, and Mike and Kellar stripped to their underwear during the set. How Masakari was only allowed to play a five minute set that night, and how it seemed like a waste of time going there, but turned out to be really fun! What about Joe's crazy roommate, shit there were a couple, scratch that. Fuck, I forgot to tell you about white Richard Pryor, or the guy with hair plugs in New Jersey, who didn't know where the fuck he was. What about the water hose fights in Columbus, Jason thinking that "Krumsville," was hilarious, and Nick telling him it wasn't. Jon almost wrecking the van within five minutes of driving. Credit or debit?
Masakari playing my favorite set at Abc No Rio. Jason's rock hard nips. Joe making shoes out of tan hide. Jon doing the worm in a circle on the streets of Pittsburgh. Jason and Jon having a worm race in Mr. Robotos. The singer of Bludwulf getting out of the van in sweatpants and a t-shirt, and immediatley putting on leather pants, catchers pads, and eyeliner in the van mirror. The same dude putting a Chaotic Alliance 7" on our merch table to spite us, and us selling it two minutes later! Yeah, fuck you, brah! The singer of Bludwulf mispronouncing the name of his own song, and being corrected by an audience member, and him talking about smoking a bong in the graveyard!
Jason claiming Vermont was famous for cheese. Us not believing him, and finding out little by little on tour that he was right. Holy shit! How could I forget the guy in Pittsburgh walking down the street selling and saying, Incense, Oils, Movies, and Music! And Nick's touch down dance to go with the song. Or Dirty Dave in Cincinnati.
Masakari. Pittsburgh, PA. Photo: Jason Frank
Me sucking at rolling Buglers. Listening to "Whatever (Folk Song in C)," almost every day. Black ladies asking Greg and I if we knew where we were in Kentucky. Mad Minds tour van breaking down in Cincinnati and it fucking sucking:( Dagmar playing in West Virginia! Coney's at Skyline Chili not being that great. Euclid as fuck with Anthony. Asking Anthony if he remembers back in the day.
Mad Minds tour van after breaking down. Cincinnati, OH. Photo. Jason Frank
Writing songs about Bat Damon. Singing Doo-Wop songs at the top of our lungs on our way back to Cincinnati from Lexington. Tony, and I, and Edwin Bohr! Talking about Boy Meets World until 4 in the morning. The Brass Rail, and other crazy events in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Preying Hands ruling. Watching Star Wars a million times. Vegan Jumbalaya in Milwaukee. Jason drunk on wine in Pittsburgh, and him being hilarious. Record shopping everywhere, the birdman game with Mad Minds. Jon starting every sentence with "I'm not going to lie." The back window of the van leaking every time it rained. Around the world and Horse in Pittsburgh. And playing around the world until 5 am with Jason and Joe. Joe being terrible, and Jason eventually winning!
Group photo with Preying Hands. Chicago, IL. Photo: ?
Mad Minds being the most fun band ever-- on and off stage! The creepy dude in Columbus that tried to get us to go out with him at 5 in the morning, while sitting on his bike, and asking us through a window. The spider in Tony's sleeping bag. Nick yelling "Kevin," at the kid in Vermont, when talking about Home Alone. Greg giving Jason a "Fuck Italy," tattoo. Joe didn't break any strings on tour (I think.) Kellar saying "No sleep 'til Brooklyn," to Joe when he was trying to sleep. Me asking Jon to pick a color in the rainbow, saying "choose from Roy G Biv," him saying pink and me telling him it's not Poy G Biv. Anthony asking Jon if he believes in Angels, right after my question.
Using three flannels as my blanket, and my bookbag as a pillow. Following Jason for two miles barefoot into Fort Wayne, with Tony and Nick to see if he would make a move... at 5 am! Gas crisis '09 (Nick and Tony will get that.) Greg doing De Niro. Did somebody say wood? Joe doing Louis Armstrong and saying "I'm over here, Elmo!" Being so glad I stayed on the whole tour, every day!
Holy fuck! Cleveland Snake Squad! Fake Star Wars tats. Bench press competitions in Sears. The Yellow Wallpaper convo with Tony. The pushy bum in Kentucky, who wouldn't give up. Listening to Surcease in Columbus. Joe parking in Chicago. Staying up all night in the van talking about Zodiac, with Greg and Joe and talking about how Elliott Smith was murdered.
Tony, and I waiting to be paid. Cincinnati, OH. Photo: Jason Frank
Jon seeing "Insurrect. Thanks for having us!" written on a wall at the house show in Fort Wayne, and saying "I wonder if Insurrect played here." Greg impersonating Daniel Day-Lewis to a tee in There Will Be Blood, as well as the girl in VA counting to 10, and talking about potatoes and ivory in an Irish accent. Seeing the singer of Municipal Waste at Aladdin's.
Finding a crazy character in every city. Skating the Indiana skate park with Jason, Greg, and Jon. Joe buying six snapples at one time. Watching 'Return of the Jedi,' on a projector in Richmond, VA. The parking ticket in Chicago. Yinz in Pittsburgh. Anthony asking if "Running with the Devil," was actually running with the Devil, or having a run-in with the Devil. Jon seeing how many M&M's he could stuff in his mouth.
Tony, and Jon with the M&M's. Cincinnati, OH. Photo: Jason Frank
Getting on the freeway going the wrong way the first minute of tour. Jon wanting Taco Bell all the time. Me punching Greg's guitar on accident and getting a bloody hand. Floor stomping with Masakari every night, bruising my heels because of it. Being the hype man in the crowd every night. Only bringing one shirt on tour, and having to borrow other people's for the remainder. Getting to shower now and then. Sleeping in the van with Nick and Tony in Richmond and the mother fucker doing construction next to our car at 6:30 am. The Yoda bookbag idea with Tony. Being obsessed with Yoda in general. Bonding with friends. The fossil shirt in CT (Greg.)
Wishing this was my Star Wars collection. Milwaukee, WI. Photo: Jason Frank
Skating with that crazy dude in CT. Not knowing the lyrics to Masakari songs, but screaming along with them anyways. The kid throwing up while I tried to sleep in NYC. Wanting to see the U.S. Waiting in the hospital in Cleveland to see if Nick was OK. Jon buying 13 LP's on tour. Jon losing his cigarettes every day. Doing the death metal voice the first few nights of tour, losing my voice and never getting the death metal voice fully back. The house show in CT ruled! Masakari played really well in Milwaukee and Chicago. The end to the last song of Masakari's set blowing my mind every night!
Masakari. Chicago, IL. Photo: Jason Frank
Tony getting complimented on his lyrics by a kid in Chicago. Stacking shit on Jason while he slept in the van, and Greg writing on him. Doing all of the tape inserts on the way to NYC. Not being able to sleep/breathe in the dungeon. The boring ass kid in the Columbus backyard. Unloading, and loading/organizing the trailer every night. Only having one day off. Being pissed that we had to spend the day off in Pittsburgh. The kids at Travis' being wasted off of one 40 oz. each. Wanting to go swimming every day, but never doing it. Joe playing the song from Dennis the Menace. Seeing new faces every day. Trying to find parking with Tony in Richmond. Almost getting Mad Minds to get in the Masakari van for the rest of tour from Cincinnati. Group photos in Cincinnati.
The arguement between Jon, and Tony about The Clash. Joe getting the car keys stuck in a telephone wire. Jon surviving on skittles. Throwing Skittles, and bread at the van while Tony slept in it. Being jealous that Mad Minds went to a water park, and we didn't. Kellar having blood on his Vans. Trying to write with Tony. Staten Island (I have no words!) The subway to my apartment running slower then fuck when we had no sleep. Jason and Jon reminding me of The 3 Stooges, especially when Tony was moving the van to the hitch in Milwaukee. Burritos at Fuel. Nick walking down the street in Pittsburgh, when I didn't know he went on the car ride with us, and saying that dude looks like Nick, and realizing it was actually him! The Blood Clots playing entirely too long in Chicago. Waking up on the car ride from Chicago FREEZING AS HELL! No one giving up a seat to Greg in the middle of the night. He had to sit shotgun the whole drive. Sorry, Greg! Having the best two weeks of my entire life!
Well, that should be long enough, and keep your brains occupied with plenty of thoughts. I just want you to know I had a lot of fun, and hope I get the chance to do this again!
I leave you with this...
Are you serious Jones? You must be seriously stoned! You fuck with Stevie T, and you get seroiusly owned. Are you a computer geek? You'll get seriously pwned. The rap battle and kingdom has become my throne.