Monday, April 23, 2007

coping with off tour uselessness

“Portland is a real sex industry town,” the cocktail waitress informed me at Dante’s, taking a shot with me backstage on one of her breaks. It was a real end-of-the-tour sort of night, and Rocky was still playing, though he was probably a few drinks deeper than me. Her comment was a nice prelude to the filthy dive bar/strip-club-with-no-stripper-pole that the soundman led the entire tour, wives, friends and girlfriends to, after the show. Its touching to see a dancer wiping smudges off of the mirror behind the tiny stage as she prepares…

Needless to say, I knew waking up that I would be too tired to drive on friday night. But after receiving a handful of drive carefully!’s, we loaded the van, said our goodbyes, found I-5 and charged south. Two months away from the bay area now. I sat shotgun and rambled to Joey about the future as he powered down through Washington. Somewhere between three and four AM I looked up and we were high atop one of the many bridges back in Portland, the river deep and dark below, the city shimmering before us in that vacant early morning way – that post-nuclear-fall-out feeling with everyone but the drifters and cokeheads and strippers and whores tucked away in their little compartments. Lights out.

Soon Will took over and I allowed exhaustion to take me away.

I think it was around nine AM when I woke and we were on the side of the road, someone at our window talking about a flat tire. I sat up, attempting to get out and help, but all of a sudden it was noon and I was waking again somewhere north of Sacramento. Bryce was driving, and I was humbled by that creeping sensation of home, of familiarity. I hate that feeling. Its so hard for me to come down from the constant high of tour, to the soberness of home – especially when you have no claim to solitude. Traveling like we do, we find paying rent for an apartment pretty uneconomic. You’ll find me for the next week or so on friend’s couches in San Francisco or at my folks place in Oakland, then I’m heading back east.

At home I try to be a bit of a businessman. I spent the afternoon today at our management’s office brainstorming about our new street team – [if you want to help us promote in your town keep posted when we announce the next tour. If you want to help online and get exclusives, join our private myspace profile. – email me for the secret last name] – I have song lyrics to refine, a new amp to shop for, I want new pickups in my guitar. All good and productive ways to fight the feeling of uselessness that comes with being off the road.

I do have to say that it is nice to sleep on something other than a van bench, vibrating with the highway.

Strange how life just rambles on.