RTFM TOUR part 3

May 4th, Driving to Lawrence, KS - approx. 24 hour drive.

Rick is sitting in the back of the van, reading quietly. He hasn't spoken a word to anyone since he and I had a huge argument yesterday; all he has said is "Sorry" to everyone. I don't think he's very happy. I'm afraid to even talk to him. I have no idea what's going on in anyone's minds. I'm afraid all this might just evaporate into thin air, our beautiful record, our songs, all the work I did on the CD-ROM, Salaryman, the beautiful Denver mountains around me and the streams, Jim, Howie, and Jimmy Soundg uy. I'm afraid we'll get to Chicago and the Metro will be gone, or different, like they've converted it into 8 multi-plex tiny theaters or something like that and our show will be in the tiniest 20-person theater, the one they show the avante-garde art fl icks in. Some of our best shows have been at the Metro, filled with 1000 people dancing and screaming, all for us. Will that happen again? And will it make Rick happy?

Sand and Snow and Fir Trees

We've been driving through Utah all day, looking far away in the distance at huge, 7000ft high snow-capped mountains, with bright, blood-red rocky faces, with still greyish shrubberys along the road, but mostly rocks and grass and dirt. Now all of the sud den, west of Denver, CO, we enter a mountain pass, and the mountains are completely covered with wall-to-wall, monstrous and green fir trees, and very deep snow. Last time I was outside, an hour ago, the temperature was in the 70s, and now I'm looking at snow outside the window, 10,000 feet in the air. The laws of physics are marvellous. No wonder people believe in god.

May 5th, Lawrence, KS - town with no tact

This is the town where someone once interviewing us asked, "are you going to give up now that HUM is more popular than you, or are you going to attempt to make another record." As if we're making records to win The Golden Nugget, and someone else has alre ady won. Gosh, I guess we may as well give up. Today we were told a really, really sad rumor about us that we have no idea of whether or not it's true. You just have to ignore that stuff I guess and try to go on. And I saw a bad review of our album in some zine that gets spread across the country; something about how it's more fun to try to figure out what "RTFM" stands for than to listen to it. This town has no tact. It's a great town, it's beautiful weather outside, and I know that William S. Burroughs lives in this town. Einstein's brain is in someone's basement here in this town, in a house behind a convenient store, I'm told.

The confusion

Today I was very sad on the stage. I hope I can get over this. The rest of the band seems to be coming out of it. It's like, one bad review and rumor means more to me than anything good that I hear about the record. The confusion of hearing one person say "You are great" and then the next person saying "you suck" makes my mind not work properly. I have to pull myself out of this.

The guys order a pizza and watch Starsky and Hutch in the motel room, laughing. Summercamp tells us they think our record is amazing. The DJ from the radio station in Utah bought a record. We get plenty of email each day from new and old fans, telling us this is our best record to date. So many good things are happening to us. I need to snap out of this depression soon!

I am re-writing these tour reports over and over because I am re-thinking everything I want to be saying.

May 6th, Omaha, Nebraska - We get to see the Mercy Rule Baby!

A Much Happier Day!

Apparently there was a writeup of the show in the local paper saying it was in Lincoln, at the Hanger, instead of in Omaha at the Ranch Bowl. What an absurd tour this is!

Defying Gravity

A bird flew into the van yesterday and crapped on the windshield!! Rick went to wipe it off and we were all screaming EEWWWW!! How can a bird crap upside-down, defying gravity?! On top of it, it sticks, upside-down!! We'r e all laughing in the van now listening to an interview on NPR with the guy who compiled a book of suicide notes, called "Or Not To Be." His favorite, and the one that gets the most publicity, is "Dear Betty, I hate you. Love George." The 'hate' ones are the scariest ones. Some people destroy their own suicide notes, ripping them up. Less than 1 in 5 people leave notes, the author says. Many notes contain petty instructions, like "don't forget to change the oil in my car." It's a pretty fascinating subjec t, but I don't think I'd like to own that book!

I had the weirdest dream the other night, that Billy Corgan was chasing me up and down the corridors of America Online, wanting to kiss me, and I was screaming and crying, running away from him. I had long, curly brown hair, and he was bald and had a huge , gaping red mouth and big hands. It was a terrible nightmare.

Playing at the Ranch Bowl, Omaha Nebraska

A review of the Mercy Rule Baby

Heidi from Mercy Rule appears at the Ranch Bowl with the most gorgeous baby I've ever seen in my life. Zoie Taylore, Heidi and Jon's baby, looks exactly like the child of a god and goddess; huge blue eyes the color of the sky in summer, huge cheeks, golden hair, very, very aware, and VERY calm. Heidi's baby. Jon from Mercy Rule appears with two guitar cases and says "Where are Jim and Rick? I need to talk to them." Jon builds guitars. He has built two matching guitars, one right-handed for Rick and one left-handed for Jim. They are like the bass he built for Heidi in that they have no knobs on them. Who needs a volume knob? They sound amazing and look gorgeous.

Heidi tells me that they finished their record for MCA. I had heard stories about her singing (Heidi is the singer of Mercy Rule) 8 1/2 months pregnant. When Heidi screams it is hardcore, (HEIDICORE actually!) and she thrashes on the bass. She is incredible; I learned how to rock from her. I can't even imagine what an incredible, beautiful record they must have made, with little Zoie in her belly, belting out songs at the top of her lungs. And now guess what. MCA has dropped them. Has decided not to put out the record. Has decided that the record needs to be BOUGHT FROM them, so Mercy Rule cannot even put it out themselves. Get this: I ask if they can just come re-record it in Rick's studio. No. THEY CANNOT EVEN RECORD TH E SONGS AGAIN. MCA has the rights to them for TWO YEARS.

I have nothing more to say about anything. Jon talked to Rick about how he would feel silly taking out a loan to buy their record back. Rick said he'd hunt him down and shoot him if he did that. This is the worst major-label fuckover story I've ever heard in my life. I can't believe I was complaining about not getting an "add" date from Reprise. Fuck. I'm surprised MCA let them keep their baby.

SummerCamp Newbies

I have been thinking about how weird it is for Summercamp to be playing these shows. They are a brand new band, but they are on Maverick and have a very, very important A&R person. They are really, really great, and have great attitudes, and they are basically going to be HUGE. I don't know how long it will take; their record comes out in June, and I think it's already on the radio. The thing that freaks me out is that they are playing now, 1st out of our 3 bands, for a half-hour, they tear up the stage, but the audience sits and watches them. Summercamp doesn't care; they play hard and are nice to the audience and have good stage presence. The weird thing is that probably in a year, they are going to be playing to these same people, and it's going to be the same band, the same songs, but this same audience is going to be screaming and yelling and moshing! It's just not time for them to do so yet. We are watching a star being born. It's an odd feeling. Hopefully they will remember us?!

May 7th, Minneapolis, MN - almost time to move here


We're almost dancing around in the car tonight. It's great to be in Minneapolis. Somewhere along the evening, I got the idea of bringing a Salaryman CD up to the 1st Avenue (a huge dance bar connected to the venue we're playing in) and ask them to play it . The guy asks if we have a video, and we have to answer that yes, actually, we do have one, in the van, 3/4" format. It's the perfect size for them; they dub it and play it on a huge screen in the 1st Avenue, we were pretty much the only ones in the room and the Salaryman song "Rather" cranked in the room and we watched the video Rick made. It was really an awesome moment for us!

The awesome magazine CAKE did a photo shoot of us, like we're a real band! Later on we (Poster Children!) played a show and the audience danced and looked happy. A stream of people came and bought Salaryman CDs - and we sold a bunch of Poster Children CDs ! Thor the sweet guitarist from the Cows was there and he kissed Rick. I love to see two men having such an intimate moment. He hugged all the rest of us. I miss playing with the Cows! Laurie from Babes In Toyland was there. I guess their old bass player, Michelle, is back in the band, they are DIY and off Warner. She looked beautiful. They are playing in Fargo soon!

We actually met the local WEA person! She brought all 3 bands a package of Warner CDs!! Presents!! I talked to her for a while and came to the conclusion that these poor WEA people don't come up to meet us usually because we don't have a tour manager- the y have to come up to the band themselves and talk to us! No one wants to have to go hunt down members of a rock band - I sure wouldn't! - so they just sort of give up on us! I think it is time for us to start telling people about our Virtual Tour Manager, Gilman Chatsworth. If you want to get in touch with our band, call the club and ask for Gilman Chatsworth.

I think we're starting to get back into the "swing of things."

And tomorrow, we make up that COLUMBIA Show!!! (And tonight, we drive after the show, in order to do so!!)