ARCHERS OF LOAF TOUR - the last week
Monday Nov 13, 1995 - Los Angeles - The Troubadour
I am actually beginning to hate this place. I was pretty mean to the guy who counted in our t-shirts - even though the club was only taking 10% of the merchandise, they were so militant about counting in the shirts, and I saw kids outside watching. All I could think was that now we had to sell our shirts for $12 instead of $10; at the end, we had to pay the club around $21. What is the point? On top of it, there seems to be some kind of odd discrepancy between the amount of people who may have paid to get in and the amount of people who actually did pay to get in. For some reason, our numbers seem to differ with Archers'. I think the promoter may have screwed with us, and the club just wasn't very nice. Next time we'll have to play somewhere better.
Tuesday Nov 14 - UCLA - The Cooperage Cafeteria in the University
We had a great time again at Warner Brothers Compound. We got to walk around the studio lot - we didn't see any stars up close though, but the food was amazing. After we ate, we talked to one of our A&R people about what our plans were for the future, when we wanted to start recording and PROGRAMMING (!) our new album. Then we tried to get everyone in the office to call up the Flaming Lips and ask them to take us on tour with them in Japan. (Good Luck.)
Then we met a guy from Apple and grilled him about QTVR, what we'll be using on our CD+.
Unfortunately I can't say I enjoyed this show tonight. There couldn't have been more than 15 people here, at a FREE show, in a cafeteria, and it was really hard to tell if they enjoyed it. I knew most of the people in the audience - one was even related to me! After the show, I was in such a bad mood that I didn't want to talk to anyone.
When I finished up putting everything away, we got into the van and I had a complete fit, just screaming at everyone in the van about how bad we sucked. They just sat there and listened and then tried to talk to me calmly. These guys are really something; I would have just thrown me out of the van in the desert and left me there. They just sat there and took all the yelling. Afterwards I apologized. I am getting tired of playing the same songs over and over again, and also, our manager (a friend whom we've had for 5 or 6 years) is quitting managing us and we have to find a new one. Since he lives in LA, it seemed to me that today would be the last time he was "acting" manager for us. I don't know if it's actually true or not, but I think I was really upset about that. I don't understand why everyone in the band is so patient with me though. I am very thankful, but it bugs me a bit.
Wednesday Nov 15 - Phoenix AZ - Hollywood Alley
So we didn't end up playing at the club where Edsel got screwed over, but we still don't know the whole story about what happened to them. I suppose it's all for the better, I don't remember the club treating us very well there last time, anyway.
This was a great show, finally - we had energy and even seemed to win over the audience, but I still can't help feeling a little worn out with this set list. It's time to go home and write new songs.
Nothing exciting happened today; even driving through the beautiful mountains seemed a bit boring.
Thursday Nov 16 - Drive to Fort Stockton - 12 hours
Today before we left Phoenix, Rick decided we had to go buy one of those new card games, like "Magic." A friend of ours told him it was "Geek Heroin," so he decided we had to "get into it." We bought one SimCity deck and an "On The Edge" deck, after spending a half-hour deliberating over whether or not to get the Vampire deck. Jim bought the new Conspiracies and Urban Myths comic books.
Then we had a 12 hour drive to Fort Stockton through the nothing that is western Texas. Very Zen.
Friday Nov 17 - San Antonio TX - Taco Land
Ick. Another bad mood day. Sonic Youth and Fugazi are playing in Texas today or yesterday, too - not together - but Taco Land was sufficiently packed. I am getting tired, tired, tired.
We came off the stage today and the show felt like a wet, overcooked noodle. Ask Rick what he thought of the show and he says, "It was just like the others, except for the Hollywood Alley show." Meaning just adequate. I hate playing "adequate" shows. I want every show to be over the top. I was told that the sound was terrible tonight, too. Only a couple more days of this.
We spend the driving time in the van thinking up things to put in our CD-ROM for our next record. I'm excited that everyone in the band is contributing ideas.
Saturday Nov 18 - Denton TX
We are coming up with a pretty great list of song titles for the new album now - my favorite is Busey-Sinise Axis. Obviously we have to figure out how to spell the Garys' names, and also we have to write the song. Another great name - Our Trojan Horse. We had a good laugh about that one. Still another: Sara Jane Smith.
The Archers Of Loaf were incredible again tonight - They tell us the best stories, too. Their t-shirt seller/photographer, Craig, tells us that they never fight. I wish that were true of us. Usually it's just me and Rick screaming at each other in the van, once every couple of days.
Sunday Nov 19 - Oklahoma City, OK - George C. Scott
We're sitting in a Super 8 Motel room, and the guys are watching this Lawrence Welk show on TV, and they won't turn the channel. The TV stations here in Okla. City seem to be very Christian/White Bread, but it is Sunday and I just realized the holidays are near - they are creeping up on us. Maybe that explains all the Christianity on the television. Time seems to pass by outside the van; inside everything always seems the same except the smell of dirty clothes gets worse.
George C. Scott
The channel has changed again, and Rick just said excitedly, in a low voice, "I see the profile of a great man. A profile of a great man in a great movie." I look up at the TV and see George C. Scott creeping around the 2nd floor of a barn; pretty soon the end of FireStarter (The Movie) will have great Burning Man sequences. The guys giggle each time the movie goes into slow motion and pretty much each time anyone in the movie says anything. Rick said "Every Burning Man Stunt Man in Hollywood is in this movie."
George C. Scott will always be our hero who improvised the rest of that shot where he tripped in Dr. Strangelove - he was running down the stage to talk to the President, tripped accidentally and did a full somersault and stood right back up without missing a beat and finished his sentence - they kept it in the movie.
Tonight is probably the last show of this year
I've already started getting email from people asking if the "rumors are true that we're breaking up?" I'm only going to say it once. We are NOT breaking up. We are getting ready to record a new album. I will be updating the web page when we are home. We have already begun work on the new album, and it's going to be a CD+. (I hope!!)
Breaking Into The Flaming Lips' House
After the show, we stopped off at the Flaming Lips' house- I don't think they know we visited it, but their manager also lives there, and he took us back with him, just so we could see how amazing it was.
When you walk up to the house, you can tell it's the Flaming Lips' house because it is covered in Christmas lights. I'm guessing they stay up all year. The inside is equally amazing; the guys are artists. There are collections of things, toys, art, everywhere, just like you'd expect from them. The house looks like a museum.
We saw a great short film that Wayne directed of their recording, that's going to be released as a video on their next single; it's going to be a CD+ also. Warner Brothers jumps into the future with multimedia-producing bands. No wonder they keep all of us on the label still, even though none of us sell millions of records.
We went back to our Super8 and slept, preparing for a 14-18 hour ride back to Chicago first (to drop off Howie and Jim) and then back to Champaign. We've already made plans to practice the monday after Thanksgiving, and we have recording time booked in January!! We're not really going to have a break!
Addendum: It's the Monday after Thanksgiving, and I've still not updated the web page, because I was waiting for a good ending to this tour. It just sort of ended, and then I went to bed. Then I ate turkey at my parents' house, and now I'm home. I don't think we even know we're off tour yet- today the guys came over (3 hour drive for them) to practice new material, and we stopped at a convenient store and bought a bunch of junk food.
Now we're all sitting on the bed watching The Madness Of King George - like we're in a hotel room. We practiced new songs for about 3 hours today.
We have more shows coming up in January. I guess I'm not able to find a good ending for the "tour diary" because I guess it's not done yet.
-- End of 1995 Tour Reports --