Tim Version and Dukes of Hillsborough Tour Diary: Part Two: Written By Russ Van Cleave, With Help By Joe Evans III

We here at Razorcake have decided that these days, there is something notably missing from the punk scene: radio dramas. Now, seeing as we’re a magazine/website, and not actually a radio station (though if anyone wants to change that and donate us an entire functioning radio station, feel free to get in touch), we’re just going to have to do our best. So imagine that while all the normal text is being read by Russ from The Tim Version, everything else in italics like this is being read by some 1920s radio announcer (with some old-timey music in the background for good measure).

(On a slightly less ridiculous note, this is meant to be as a companion to the same Tim Version/Dukes of Hillsborough UK tour journal from issue 33. The original journal was so long that we couldn’t fit it all in the print version, so the bulk of what’s here is what you didn’t get to read originally)

Our story begins as The Tim Version and The Dukes of Hillsborough begin getting ready for their U.K. tour, by packing one whole guitar, and sort of looking into possibly being able to play some shows. As it gets down to the wire, it seems as if there’s plenty more that needs to be done, and we find out what’s eating Russ:

So, I panicked. I stressed. I felt the burden of the impending financial disasters of eight people weighing down on my shoulders like so much unsold Tim Version and Dukes Of Hillsborough merchandise1. I grabbed at straws that looked like they might be attached to equipment, shows and/or transportation of any kind. I exhausted every possible lead that Davey Tiltwheel provided with nothing to show for it. I turned to our helpful UK supporters and tried everything that Buz from Punker Bunker, Mates from Blocko, Andrew from the Dauntless Elite and the folks at The Derby Collective suggested yet still struggled for air.

So, about ten or so days before departure and at the urging of the good friends who had signed up for this thing that was certain to be a complete failure, I let it go. What ever happened would happen. We’d probably survive. Since, most of us had been homeless (or worse) at one time or another and knew that it wasn’t really that bad in small doses, we didn’t see any problem with a few unsheltered days in England. Besides, we had some shows booked and things of this sort had usually worked out for us okay in the past. And, on top of that, what the hell had any of us ever really had to lose? And so it began.

 

Day 1: April 29th and 30th

I’ve only ever been on one other major trip out of the country, but it was enough to learn this iron law of travel: international flights are a bitch. This flight was no exception. In fact, it was probably one of the most miserable flights I’ve ever been on. It was uncharacteristically warm for the entire flight and that coupled with the unavoidable presence of Mike Paul’s big beefy arm, made it almost impossible to sleep. Not only that, but the reading lights weren’t working for some reason, so it was a struggle to even manage any comprehension of the written word without headaches and blindness ensuing. Nonetheless, we made do the best we could with the free drinks and landed umpteen hours later at Gatwick airport south of London.

            At this point, it was really the next day of our trip, but that has something to do with times zones and the earth turning. Boring science stuff. The point was even though we’d been up for 20-some hours, it was now 10 AM and we had a whole day off in England ahead of us! That is, if we got through customs okay, always a challenge when you consider that our group probably couldn’t collectively talk our way out of a horse’s ass. Aside from Mike Paul being told that he couldn’t just “show up in our country with no address or place to stay” and “not to let it happen again,” we slipped through customs unscathed. Our first show was scheduled for Brighton, a coastal city in the middle south of the country whose only association I had prior to this trip was through Queen’s “Brighton Rock”, so it made sense to go there first. Trains to Brighton were cheap enough and they even offered group discounts. So, half an hour later we arrived in Brighton with everything we had with us on our backs and absolutely nothing else to do. So, what’s the first thing eight dudes from FL do after getting off a ten hour plane ride to England? Well, they go to the beach…and start drinking.

After our heroes’ arrival, they set up camp on the beach, debate seeing Isis for free, and enjoy some hooch while being greeted with less than stellar weather conditions.

Day 2: May 1st

When everyone was awake, we gathered up our belongings and wandered off to find someplace we could put them. We found a cheap place to eat, but they wouldn’t serve us (or at least discouraged us from dining there by telling us the kitchen was busy and we’d have to wait a couple hours for our food even though there were only about three people in the restaurant), so we sat outside the restaurant for an hour while we tried to figure out how to use the British telephones in conjunction with our American calling cards from 7-11. We failed at that too, so we called Buz with some pocket change and asked him if we could swing by and finally meet him. He obliged and we made our way down to the Punker Bunker, his small but incredibly well stocked record store. I even came across an Ultraman record I’d been looking for quite some time. Not only that, he let us drop our bags off in the apartment above his shop along with the fifty thousand boxes of shit we sent over beforehand. Needless to say, Buz was a super rad guy.

Just in the knick of time, our heroes actually start playing shows on their tour, after having managed to get on a bill with The Briefs, as well as Spooky, from Japan.

Spooky was highly entertaining and as one might expect, The Briefs put on a killer show. At the end of the show, some weirdo in drag got up to perform with them. One of the locals asked me if I knew who it was and when I said, “No, I didn’t” they informed me it was Captain Sensible of The Damned! Holy shit! I think they did “New Rose,” but I was pretty wasted. Dave Disorder requested that we try and interview The Briefs for the magazine, so we attempted just that. In fact, I meant to include an excerpt from said interview wherein a few trivialities are exchanged with The Briefs and then Captain Sensible! Well at least I got two questions off with the good Captain before he about faced from the conversation after I apparently offended him2. I’ve always been really good at making a jackass out of myself in front of people I admire.

Day 3: May 2nd

The main order of business for the day was to figure out how we were gonna get from Brighton to Liverpool, in the very northwest part of the country, for our next show. On the one hand, we didn’t have a van. On the other hand, since both shows we had between here and Liverpool either fell through or got cancelled, we had two days to figure out how we were gonna get one. So, we wandered around Brighton looking for car rental places that weren’t stupid expensive. Hertz, Avis and whatever other big-time corporate car rental places weren’t offering up much in the way of affordable transportation, so Travis and myself wandered back to the other side of Brighton to investigate some small time car rental place he had seen over by Nick’s place. Choice Vehicle Rentals, as they went by, offered us an 8 seater at almost half the cost of most other places we’d inquired! By tomorrow no less! No doubt high from the adrenaline rush brought on by the tactical genius of our combined financial acumen and still giddy from our stroke of good luck, we stupidly agreed to sign what ever we needed to sign and come back tomorrow to pick up our van. At this point, I could introduce a literary technique known as “foreshadowing” wherein events described serve as an indication or suggestion of things to come, but y’all can probably figure out that something bad is comin’ our way can’t you? Well, we couldn’t at the time but that’s mostly because we’re stupid. More on that later.

            Travis and I wandered back towards the other end of town with our arms held high in triumph and eventually found everyone else hanging out enjoying a picnic lunch3. We ran into Ollie shortly thereafter, en route to his grandma’s house, who gave us a CD he burned with a bunch of obscure hard-to-find Leatherface songs and a documentary on crazy football hooligans! Thanks, Ollie! Afterward we went to another pub to hang out with Big Andy, Buz and Nick to find out what the agenda was for the evening which amounted to not much. Big Andy had plans to crash a poetry reading, Buz was hangin’ at home and Nick had to work the next day and thus planned on hangin’ at home and watchin’ movies. Since Nick was the key to a roof over our heads we decided to stay with him and watch movies: Dodgeball and Frankenhooker4 took up a majority of the rest of the evening.

Day 4: May 3rd

Just in the knick of time, again, our heroes have managed to track themselves down a van, so that they can really “take their show on the road” so to speak.

We got settled in as best we could amongst the tourists, soccer players and club goers there. After a while, this feller and his younger friend introduced themselves to us and started talking to us, asking what we’re doin’ over here in England, etc. We told the older dude the standard band story at which point he asked us if we had a day off and wanted to play in his club. Yea, sure! Then he asked us if we wouldn’t mind playin’ in G-strings. Uh…okay…I guess so. Sure, why not. Things got a little more intense after that. Woz, as he called himself, kept commenting on some of the more attractive physical features of many members of the party and persistently questioned several of us as to our experiences regarding anal sex with women. In between queries, he would show us a picture of his “girlfriend” which actually looked a lot more like a picture cut out of a magazine. Now, I’ll admit that I have what may be the world’s worst instincts when it comes to determining people’s sexual preferences, but that’s mostly because I really don’t give a shit. Furthermore, it’s none of my business how you get your jollies and it usually has little to no bearing on whether or not you’re a fucking asshole, which to date is my only criteria as to deciding whether or not I’ll be hanging out with you. Nonetheless, an amusing assessment of the situation at hand revealed the following. General consensus was that Woz was doing a horrible job of convincing us he was nothing short of a bonafide creeper who was not at all entertaining the idea of having sexual relations with anyone from our party. It was flattering and funny but his methods of getting his point across were also weird and sorta creepy. Thus the creeper part of the equation. As it was, our heterosexuality relegated us to the parking lot and the van for the evening. Woz also seemed to have a strange obsession with hats. He took Dan’s off and started wearing it. At first it was funny, until Dan said he had to ask him a couple times if he could have it back. Eventually, we decided it was time to head back to the van and get some rest. Woz and his buddy said they had some beers and that they’d come hang out with us, so we all headed back to our parking lot. After a bunch of stupid drunken acrobatics, all under the watchful eye of the parking lot security cameras, the operators of which probably had a great time reviewing the recorded footage from that night, I settled down for the night in the passenger seat of the van. Woz stood there talking at me while I drifted in and out of consciousness. Again, sorta creepy, but I was too tired and drunk to really give a fuck. In those few moments between consciousness and dreamland however, I noticed Woz rush off and yell to his friend, “Let’s go!” His friend started some polite good byes but after a few more seconds Woz yelled again, “Come on! We’re going!” Something didn’t quite seem right about all that, but I was too far gone to worry about it at that point.

Day 5: May 4th

It’s around now that our heroes have suspicions that this Woz character is a real rag-a-muffin, which are then confirmed when it turns out he’s gone and stole Russ’s hat! Meanwhile, they continue on…

We had about four hours to Liverpool and since Bath was weird and expensive we skipped town and opted to look for some food on the road. Wouldn’t you know it, food at rest stops is fuckin’ expensive in England! After stopping at two places where plain old burgers and fries went for about $10 American, we decided to pull in town off the beaten path, walk around, play tourist and find something to eat around there. The place we stopped at was an older city called Worcester (pronounced Wooster). In the old towns, it was easy to find the town center because everything was usually built up around the cathedrals—presumably because the cathedrals have been there longer than anything else. We didn’t have much time to wander around and sight see, so unfortunately, we couldn’t tour the cathedral but it was still impressive to wander the streets of a small city that had been inhabited since the 7th century. It also proved a much better and certainly more interesting means of getting a decent cheap meal than the rest stops along the motorways. We found a little shop that made hot pastries, which are sorta like hot pockets that don’t taste like hot processed crap. In fact, they were delicious! I had heard all sorts of stories about how British food was bland and flavorless, but these lil’ buggers were awesome! It was like a nice quick hot self-contained meal. With a little bit of brown sauce (which is sort of a pickled fruit and spice sauce), those things made for a good meal and at about 1 pound each, we couldn’t complain about the price. Worcester was a pretty cool place and as much as I would have loved to wander around, it was still a good ways to Liverpool so we got back on the road, but not before Jeff went into a candy shop to buy some mints for his Mom. Jeff’s Mom is originally from England and she had asked Jeff to pick up some mints that she remembered from her childhood and hadn’t been able to find anywhere in the States. Shawn asked Jeff if he could have a mint and when Jeff responded that these mints were for his Mom and he needed to get his own mints, it sparked one of those running joke arguments that would plague us for the rest of the trip:

            “Hey Brawer, lemme try one of those mints.”

            “These are for my Mom.”

            “Dude…I thought we were friends and you can’t even give me a mint?”

            “I told you these mints are for my Mom. You need to get your own mints.”

            “Well, I just wanna try one to see if I like ‘em before I buy any. Did you try one?”

            “No, these are for my Mom.”

            And so on. 5

Deciding to finish out the day with an attempt at calming their frazzled nerves, our heroes decide to get spifflicated at the local gin mill. Unfortunately, it’s later revealed that they’ve been van-sacked. On the plus side, it seems like the culprit at least left behind the absolute necessities, so all hope is not lost. So, the boys take some solace with some barbeque, bad television, as well as deciding to get spifflicated at the local gin mill.

Day 7: May 6th

            Based on everything I’d ever heard or seen about the weather in England, I must admit I was astonished at how many beautiful days we’d woken up to on the trip. And this day was probably the best of ‘em—a bit cool, but clear and sunny skies all day long. We bid farewell to Matiss and headed out across the island towards the town of Middlesborough for our next show.

We got lost coming into Middlesborough and had to stop and ask for directions a couple times. I had noticed it a little bit up to that point, but this incident made it obvious. The further north one travels in England, the thicker the accents get and I’ll be damned if I understood nine words of what this guy said when we asked him for directions. We called Andrew from The Dauntless Elite and managed to find our way to the venue. This was the first time we got to meet Andrew and it was nice to finally thank him in person for everything he had done for us setting things up. The venue even had an extra set of cymbals lying around and when Shawn asked if he could use them, they told him to keep ‘em! By my calculations, if we had kept this up for a month, we would have had a full backline and some nice guitars by the time we were done!

            The show that night was awesome as we got free pizza and, most importantly, got to see The Dauntless Elite for the first time. The other two bands that played that night, The Mercury League and another band whose name I can’t remember were both totally amazing as well. All in all, I thought it was as good a time as we’d had so far.

            It is also somewhat humorous to note that we introduced the term “bottle chipper” to the good people of the United Kingdom. At some point during our travels, a conversation got started where we were poking fun at all the new British slang words we had learned and even making up our own, i.e., “Oi mate, y’take the dingy up the bing bong, yea?” etc. At some point, and unbeknownst to me, the term “bottle chipper” got made up by Mike Paul and stuck. Then outside before the show, someone was looking to open a beer and asked if there was a bottle chipper around and Andrew said he thought he had one. So, dumb ol’ me thinks it’s a real term. Subsequently, during some in between song banter to fix a broken string or something, I told everyone what a great time we’re having and all the new vocabulary we’re picking up. So, I rattle off a list of words and when I get to “bottle chipper” everyone in the audience looks at me funny and Jeff, Mike, Phil, Dan and the rest of ‘em start laughing.6

            Greg and Dan from The Mercury League offered us some floor space for the night at Greg’s apartment up in Sunderland, about 30 miles to the north. So we said our goodbyes and hopped in the van to follow Greg and Dan. It wasn’t more than halfway to Sunderland before the van died. We managed to pull off along side the Motorway and flag Greg and Dan down. After a few cranks of the engine, it was clear that the Choice Rentals van wasn’t going to be starting so we figured it best to try towing the van up to Sunderland. Greg got a rope and handed it to me I guess figuring that, since we were from FL, did this sort of thing all the time. I tied my best Boy Scout knots to both bumpers and we crammed as many people as we could comfortably fit into Greg’s van. Travis and a few others stayed behind in the dead van to see if there were any laws against drinking and getting towed.

            The rope held all the way to Sunderland and into the apartment complex where Greg lived until the thing busted. We pushed the van into the driveway and there she stayed until…well…we’ll get to that in a minute. In the meantime, we hung out with Greg and Dan and drank until the sun came up.

So at the very least, it looks like things are looking up for our heroes. Or are they? It looks like that van of theirs is a real hay burner…

Day 8: May 7th

            Along with morning came the grim realization that our van was no longer mobile. We called the Choice Rental place to find if they had any locations in or near Sunderland that we could get a new van from. Of course, the only locations they had were in Brighton. They did inform us that we could contact AA to see if they could fix the van. AA is sorta like AAA except that a real honest-to-God mechanic shows up on your doorstep and works on your vehicle in the driveway instead of towing it somewhere. And he got it to work! For about 30 seconds. Then our van died, never again to bless us with the roar of its diesel engine in our presence. The AA guy said that part of the terms of the Choice Rentals AA membership allowed us one cab ride! So, we pondered our option. We had a show this night in Leeds and another one in Derby and then we had to get to London and all that wasn’t adding up to one cab ride. Things were looking bleak until Greg offered us a ride to Leeds. So we asked if we could save our cab ride until the next day to get from Leeds to Derby and they went for it! Then we could get a train from Derby to London! The tour would carry on! That is, if nothing else broke down.

Things start to turn back up a step as the tour continues to go on, as The Tim Version hits on all sixes with not only a show alongside Blocko, Driveway Speeding, and The Swords, but finding out they’ve been added to another show with Chixdiggit, The Griswalds, The Dangerfields and Random Heroes, by none other than Sean Forbes (of Rugger Bugger Records and Wat Tyler) himself! Attaboy, fellows!

The show that night went really well and all the bands were amazing. In fact, it consistently blows my mind how many incredible bands I’ve gotten to see through our feeble attempts at touring. The ridiculous part is that oftentimes circumstances usually dictate that it remains the first and only time I get to see most of them. Unfortunately, such was the case with Blocko. But throughout all my time doing this shit I’ve also learned that at the end of the day, you never can tell. Case in point, I never thought I’d see Leatherface until one day when they just up and got back together and Radon has proven time and again that “last show” doesn’t always mean last show.

            Afterwards, we went outside to figure out what was going on and how we were gonna get to where we were staying. We were pretty wasted and Andrew had something he had to take care of before we left, so he showed up with a case of beer and told us to hang out here, he’d be right back. So we drank that beer. Then we started singing “Skyrockets In Flight” for some reason. Obviously, nothing that happened after that would make any sense to the casual reader. Eventually Andrew showed back up and we headed over to Lee from the Dauntless Elite’s place to crash out for the night.

Day 9: May 8th

            We woke up and took the dingy up the bing-bong to a grocery store with a little café that served a real English breakfast. The Dauntless Elite were playing in Derby as well and were kind enough to haul with them whatever we couldn’t fit in the cabs. After a short while, two cabs pulled up out front and we piled in with our belongings to make the two hour trip to Derby. When we finally got to Derby, I looked at the meter and it was up to something like 150 pounds. I thought about how much that was in US dollars for both cabs and was thankful that we, at the very least, weren’t paying for it.

            We met up with the dudes who ran the Derby collective and figured out the “how’s, where’s and when’s.” Fortunately, the venue was within walking distance from their place, so getting our equipment and merchandise to and from the show was not an issue. All the fellas in the collective were especially friendly and very helpful with everything given our situation. They offered us our place for the evening and cooked up some food for everyone before we headed over to the show.

            The place we played in was a pretty rad bar that for whatever reason had a large Polish patronage. So the crowd was an odd mix of punk lookin’ kids and Polish warehouse and dock workers by the looks of them. It was cool though and everyone seemed to get along well. The Dauntless Elite were all of amazing once again and definitely secured their position as my favorite band of the tour. Afterwards, we exchanged drunken good-byes and walked back over to the Derby Collective house to hang out and drink. It was Travis’ birthday, so Dan and Jeff had gone out and bought him a 2-liter bottle of some sort of god awful cider called White Lightning upon which they carved out “CAKE” in the label. Travis drank all of it and got all “naked handstands” on us before the night was over. Aside from that, I remember playing some really bad versions of some acoustic songs for everyone, watching a Leatherface DVD and leaving something on the order of 20 drunken messages for Davey Tiltwheel at the behest of the English fellers who were insistent that they were not worried about the bill.

Day 10: May 9th

It seems our heroes have started to tucker themselves out a bit, and have decided to go for broke, live like eggs and spring for a hotel room, as well as finishing out the tour by means of public transportation.

I desperately wanted to visit the Tower Of London as well (yep I’m a tourist!), but it was closed when I got there and it was also time for me to start thinking about getting out to the show. Not only that, but the shit I was carrying wasn’t getting any lighter. The tube made it really easy to get around town and before long I was in Brixton trying to figure out where the Windmill was. After a couple trips up and down the street and a couple fruitless inquiries made to other bars in the area, I ran into Scott and Tara who pointed me in the right direction. About fifteen minutes later I found the place. I believe one of the highest compliments I’ve ever been paid by any one person occurred when Mates came out to greet me and said, “You guys made it…I knew you would…any lesser band wouldn’t have, but I knew you guys could do it.” I’m not one to pat my own back or stroke my beard in accomplishment, but I gotta admit that when he said that, it felt really good. I felt like we were really a bunch of tough motherfuckers. A model of perseverance. Cross country runners. Of course, a strong case could be made that we were really just a bunch of Florida-bred imbeciles who didn’t know when to pack it in and go home. A lot of people that we’d met along the way were there including Buz and a bunch of the other fellas from Brighton. The Dukes weren’t playing, but Phil and Travis came out anyway to help us carry all our stuff. We borrowed some equipment from one of the Brighton bands and set up to play our last show on British soil. It went pretty well and we got off about 6 or 7 songs in the 20 minutes we had. Afterwards, we got to meet Sean who was a super nice guy and a funny motherfucker. He kept making fun of Shawn because his name wasn’t spelled the proper Irish way and told us some funny stories about tours he’d been on and whatnot. We thanked him again and promised to send a record when we got back home. As much as we all wanted to stick around and watch the other bands, we were pretty beat and weren’t about to mess around with missing the last tube back to Picadilly Circus, so we said our good byes to everyone, returned what we had borrowed and headed back to the hotel. The rest of the night was pretty quiet and low key with beers from the hotel pub. Some folks were heading out to Ireland the next day and the rest of us (with the exception of Scott and Tara who were hanging around London for the next few days) had to catch a plane back home. And that’s pretty much where the tour ended. All in all, I was glad that’d we’d done it, but I was glad it was over and we’d made it back to London without serious incident or injury.

Day 11: May 10th

So out of everything that could go wrong with a tour, you wouldn’t think that it going on longer than planned would be a problem, would you? That’s what Russ thought too, before realizing he’d missed his flight home! And now, the exciting conclusion:

As much as I wanted to argue the issue, it was useless and she was right. I fucked up. I paid the price for my irresponsibility. A price equal to almost two hundred something dollars to be exact. The cost of changing the ticket and another night at the hotel in London. I’d thought about trying to call up Mates to seek lodging, but after a frustrated call home to my young lady to explain why I wouldn’t be home that night, she helped me put a positive spin on the whole thing. I had a whole day off and I was in London. Shit. Not too bad. So I went to the British Museum where I saw the Rosetta Stone, a bunch of Greek and Egyptian artifacts and then the British Library where I saw an original signed version of the Magna Carta, an early pressing of a Guttenberg Bible, an original copy of Principia Mathematica and some hand written lyrics by John Lennon. All for free sans tube fare. After that, I inexplicably ran into the two people I knew from America who were still in this gargantuan metropolis. Yep. Out of all the restaurants in London, Scott and Tara just happened to be in the same restaurant I walked into in the same random part of city I happened to be walking through on the way back to the room. That was strange. After explaining my situation, I sat down to eat with them before heading back to the room. The day ended early when I fell asleep reading.

Post Tour Epilogue Type Thing

            So, barring a few mundane details, that’s how it all went down. I suppose it’s a small miracle that we didn’t miss any shows. Hell, we even wound up with an extra one! Looking over what I’ve written here, I suppose one might get the impression that this whole escapade was a disaster, but it wasn’t. I’ve read enough stories and talked to enough people to know we coulda had a lot worse of a go of it than we did. Sure, a lot of shit broke and went wrong, but it all went wrong in the best possible way. I mean, we never got stranded anywhere, nobody had a bad time and, most importantly, nobody got hurt. You only have to stop and think of The Exploding Hearts to put all that in perspective. That’s not to say it wasn’t hard at times. I was tired for a couple weeks afterwards and all the family business and grief surrounding the loss of my Grandma didn’t make my recovery any easier. That’s also not to say it wasn’t the most financially devastating tour we’ve been on. In addition to losing hundreds of dollars, Buz ended up getting charges totaling over $1000 in import fees for all the shit we sent over there. We assumed the charges because we couldn’t let Buz get screwed. Travis was able to cover it and we’re still paying him back, but that’s all just money. I can also say that I’ve never had more stolen from me in such a short period of time as I did in England7. Regardless of how bad or good we’ve always had it, I have a foolish, compulsive and ungrateful tendency to complain and whine a lot when things don’t work out just so. But the fucking experience of the whole thing reminds me why I’d do it again in a second. Because when you stop and think about it, I suppose it all just comes down where you set your expectations (one could infer that are expectations must’ve been set pretty low!). So, true. We may be a bunch of unorganized, alcoholic, stubborn idiots, but it doesn’t change the fact that all of us good friends, spent almost two weeks in a place we’d never been to before, saw bands we would have otherwise never seen, had some amazing experiences and met and hung out with some downright incredible people, the likes of which could only serve to bolster one’s faith in humanity.

FOOTNOTES:

1 – There was a lot of it. We foolishly assumed that the sale of said merchandise would help finance our trip.

2 – I borrowed two tapes from Dan. He was fairly certain that one of the tapes contained the interview. But one of them just had someone talking about the beach and the other was audio of us singing “Turn Around Bright Eyes” and “Skyrockets In Flight”, so there you have it. It just may be for the best that the tape is MIA. I mean, it was a bad interview.

3 – Cheapest way we’ve found to eat on tour unless you’re good at stealing things. We aren’t.

4 – A highly recommended totally rad movie. Here’s a plot summary. A medical school dropout loses his fiancée in a tragic lawnmower incident, and decides to bring her back. Unfortunately, he was only able to save her head, so he goes to the red light district in the city and lures prostitutes into a hotel room so he can get parts for his girlfriend.

5 – I know that doesn’t sound a like a significant part of our trip, but you gotta understand here. For the rest of the trip, you couldn’t go more than two waking hours without some sort of exchange between Shawn and Jeff about the god damned mints. I still hear them talk about it from time to time. It actually became somewhat amusing when and all manner of tactics were employed to show favoritism over the sharing of the mints. Shawn buying his own and not sharing with Jeff, Jeff giving one to Dan and not Shawn, certain factions of mint owners refusing mints from other factions and so forth.

6 – I probably didn’t do a very good job explaining this. So, if you don’t understand what I’m talking about here, just chalk it up to me being an idiot (which is what it all really boils down to), and move on. If it’s still bothering you later, ask me about it in person sometime because if you’re reading this, then I probably know you and we’ve probably hung out before.

7 – List of things stolen: my hat by the creeper, my camera by the nicest thieves ever and a soccer jersey I bought for my friend Jeff that disappeared from my bag while I was at the airport.