Des Moines -Show Day

Wake up to Kenny (our drum tech) trying to crawl in the bunk with me. Seems he got turned around coming back from the bathroom (our bunks are adjacent to each other). I turn him in the right direction and we get a big laugh about it later.

The venue is brand new as we are the 4th show in the place. Set-up and change the acoustic pickup yet again, as it went wonky during the set last night. I end up modifying the original bridge and putting that back in. Show goes well, no smashing tonight.

After load-out we fire up the bus 3 grill and cook hamburgers and brats for the crew. The other buses leave earlier than we do (we have to wait for the merch guys to count out), so we're left with some extra food. I'm stuffed and go off to the bunk to read and fall asleep.

St. Paul -Show Day

Sleep in as I was up to 3am reading. Leave hotel for the 20min drive to St. Paul. Arrive at the gig, set-up and change the acoustic bridge pickup in one of my 335's. Wait for line check to test it, it's busted too, so I change it again. This one works. Cool.

During the show the band does their usual 'kid' jam, where they pull 3 fans out of the audience to play a song. Tonight after the song ends, the 'kid' bass player decides to smash the bass he's playing. He gets three good whacks before someone gets to him. The bass is trashed (this is one of our touring basses, not some cheap knockoff). All the kid can say for himself is "You guys can afford another one". Wow. You know what, that's not the point, the point is that it wasn't his to smash in the first place. How would he have liked it if we took his glasses and smashed them, he can afford a new pair. That bass had been played by over 100 kids before him and was kinda special to the artist.

Load-out and stop by the dressing room to hang with the band for a moment. Then out to the bus and off to Des Moines.

Napolean Dynamite Commercials

My buddy Derek sent me this video of a couple of Napolean Dynamite commercials for the Utah State Fair. Flippin' funny. Thanks D.

Arrive at the hotel around 11:30am. Rooms are ready. Up to the room for a shower/shave and a call to my buddy Shaun who's meeting me for lunch. Shaun and I go way back, we were both on the Verve Pipe crew in '99. We haven't seen each other in a few years (last time we ran onto each other in an airport).

Call Shaun and leave a message. He calls back in a few minutes, I woke him as he was out late on a rare drinking night. He's gonna swing by and pick me up in an hour or so. This turns into an hour and a half as he forgot he took a cab home and must retrieve his truck. He arrives and we ask the guy at the hotel where some good Indian might be. He says there's some right around the corner. Cool. Due to all the one way streets it takes us 10 minutes to get to the place. Turns out to be right behind the hotel, we should have just parked there and walked. Oh well.

Enter the restaurant around 1:50pm, they have a buffet, but we ask to order off the menu. Seems the kitchen is closed. Much conferring ensues, after checking with 2 or 3 people the waiter says OK. He asks us what we want, never showing a menu. We both order Vindaloo and we're off.

We have a good chat over our Vindaloo's and soon it's almost 3:30pm and I think the restaurant closed at 2pm. We're the only souls in the place. We make a hasty exit and I'm back to the hotel, while Shaun goes home to prepare to go back on tour with The Mars Volta tomorrow.

Hang out in the room most of the afternoon, then hit the Barnes and Noble for a Chai tea and a magazine. Then more internet time...

Moline, IL -Show Day

Up early, but still get in the shower late and just make bus call. No worries, the gig is just next door. Go in and get my new powerbook battery from FedEx. My old battery would only hold 33% of a charge and that's just not cutting it out here anymore.

Set-up my stuff and begin changing the acoustic bridge on JW's main 335. The old one has been snapping D strings and I decided to replace the whole bridge instead of just the D saddle. Get it done and wait for the stage to be wired so I can test it. Don't get to test the bridge till linecheck and its buggered. Good thing I have another one in my workbox. Spend even more time changing the bridge for the second time. Get it done in time for soundcheck and everything looks (sounds) good.

Quick dinner and talk a Mondo and Micah into a bike ride over to Rock Island, which is across the river from the gig. Big Kevin told me there were lots of dirt trails over there, so I want to investigate. The island is rocking!! Lots of trails that weave in and out of the woods, some of them narrow with man-made jumps. We ride down one trail and come upon a homeless man reading a newspaper on a bench surrounded by all his belongings. It's like we just rode through his living room. Sorry dude!

Micah peels off to grab dinner and Mondo and I try some of the more difficult trails and after almost crashing, we decide to play it safe and head back. We stop at a large info center that tells of the history of the island, it used to be a big steel mill in the 30's and 40's then held an ice house at one point. Pretty cool.

Back to the gig in time to chill on the bus for a bit, then it's showtime.

Aftershow the whole crew barbecues as it's Roadie Friday and we can't get into our rooms tomorrow in Minneapolis until after 11am.

Wake up in the parking lot of the hotel in Moline. Notice a bike path just outside the bus beside the river. Out come my bike and I ride down the path almost to Davenport, IA. I ride for at least 30min in one direction and it shows no signs of ending. I find out later the path is 90 miles long. Whew!! More riding around the small downtown, note Thai, Mexican and Vietnamese restaurants for later.

Back to the room for free internet and some business calls. End up watching the World Superbike races from Germany. An Italian rider named Lorenzo Lanzi, on his first ride for the Ducati Factory Team, wins the second race. He probably would have won the first race, but he incurred a penalty for running off the track. Go Ducati!! Our monitor engineer Beau calls me and I head downstairs to check out his new DK bike, it's killer and we add another rider to the crew. If the bus wasn't gone for service I could have grabbed my bike and gone riding.

The thunderstorms roll in and I decide to take a short nap. When I wake up it is clear and the bus is back, so I head out for some dinner, decide on Thai, as there are alot of people in the restaurant, so it must be good. I'm not dissappointed, the Basil Chicken is delicious (and spicy) and I can't even finish it. I'm stuffed as I ride back to the hotel. Talk to Paige on the phone and try to keep track of Ophelia and her effect on our house at Oak Island. Hope the damage isn't too bad. Start a new book and fall asleep reading it.

Indianapolis -Show Day

Wake up on the bus outside the venue. Get my bike out and ride into the venue for a shower and internet time. I don't realize till lunch time that it is an hour earlier than I thought. You see, Indy is one of those weird cities that half the year they use central time and the other half eastern time. I can never figure out when it changes. Oh well, I guess I got a head start on the day.

Go for a ride outside the venue, see a mall, but decide not to go shopping. Hit the Starbuck's attached to the gig (Bobzilla would love that) for a Green Tea Frap. Make some phone calls, then back inside for line check.

One of our guitar rig power amps is on the fritz, and by coincedence I have an amp repair guy coming to the show tonight. I give him a quick call and we send the amp over to his shop. He shows up right on time at 6pm and I take him and his group of three 15yr olds into the gig and give them a quick tour. They're off to get something to eat, I do the same, then its time for the show. Load out is quick and we depart around 1:30am for Moline, IL and an actual full day off.

Detroit -Show Day

Sleep in, as I stayed up late watching a DVD and reading. The gig is about 30 minutes away on the interstate, except the interstate is closed, we take many detours, and end up getting there after 45 minutes. My back is knotted up from sleeping in the bus for a week straight, I get a massage in the afternoon, it helps but I'm still in pain. Show goes well, they don't call it Detroit Rock City for nothing. We grill out by the bus afterwards then it's off to Indy.

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