August 14 - DALLAS FREE-FOR-ALL
Danny, the t-shirt salesperson for The Breeders, with his new hat that he got in Philadelphia. Really cute, nice guy who laughs at my jokes. That makes me happy. (picture taken in Houston)
I walk into the communal dressing room and immediately start laughing. There is a couch on the side of this long, thin room, with a small coffee table in front of it. On top of the table are 3 folded pieces of paper, nameplates, that say "The Breeders", "Imperial Teen", and "Poster Children," drawn in marker. Behind each nameplate sits a band member, our Matt and Kim Deal are sitting on the couch right now; no Imperial Teens around. In front of them, on the table are 3 beer-bottle caps; pretend buzzers. It appears that they are in the middle of a Quiz Game Show, but the funny thing is there are only a couple of other people milling around the room, and it's really quiet. No one can think of any questions to ask. Basically, Matt and Kim are just sitting on a couch quietly, waiting for people to come into the room and ask them questions. That's the really funny thing.
Rick, Kim and Roddy
Other band members start trickling into the room and the game gets more entertaining. All 4 of us pkids are now in the room, so far only one Imperial Teen, and The Breeders have pretty good support here, with Kim and Richard and Kevin, the Tour Manager in the room, among others. It is almost impossible to come up with questions for the panel of contestants, much harder to come up with questions than answers. And when you're on the couch, your head is frozen. It's funny and sad when you can't even get questions right like what year did World War II start, or what is the capital of Kentucky?
It was so much fun to sit in the hot spot next to Kim, though - someone would begin asking a question and hesitate in the middle of it and we'd both slam our hands down on the little bottle-cap buzzers, before the question was even asked. I think everyone was having a really fun time. Then the rest of Imperial Teen came in and we had the expert panel, Rick for Poster Children, Jone for Imperial Teen (who seems to know everything) and Kim for The Breeders (who obviously knows everything.)
Rick, Kim, and Roddy, sitting in front of an audience of about 6 people attempting to think of questions for them. Kim really hams it up.
This had to be one of the high points of the tour.
Drivin' all night - José playing drums and Kelley playing the violin
LIFE ON A TOUR BUS
I think I mentioned the nice tour bus that the Breeders have. It is much nicer than any other bus I've ever been on in Europe. It is roomy and has flowers in it. It also has a huge-screen TV in the front, with satellite reception. This enables The Breeders to keep up on the latest news, watch themselves on all the TV shows they've been playing on during this tour, and probably most importantly, enables Kelley to watch Buffy. Kelley is such a huge Buffy fan that they sometimes play the Buffy Theme for one of their encore songs. In Houston, they dedicated the song to me because I do martial arts too, like Buffy. That was so incredibly nice! I was busy videotaping them so I yelled into the microphone "THANKS GUYS!"
I wonder what it's like though, touring with TV? There is something so Zen about being trapped in a tiny space in a van, only able to stare out the windows for hours, it's probably really good practice for meditation. If you're on a tour bus, you get a lot more stimulation, but you're still kind of trapped. I don't know if it's better to be fully trapped or partially trapped.
Kim. There are much better pictures of her online on other peoples' websites, like, especially here: http://www.evilrose.net.
In Houston, Richard Presley, Breeders guitarist, hung out with us in our dressing room and sat and listened to us talk. I sat and watched him smiling and I wondered how a human being can be so nice, especially, how can a rock star be so nice? We all go back in the van and talk about this for a while. Richard is also in the band FEAR - listen to their songs and try to comprehend that Richard and Mando (bass player in Breeders and also a FEAR member) are like two of the sweetest guys we've ever met. In fact we've had a separate discussion about pretty much everyone on the tour at different occasions, how nice José is. How nice Kim is. How nice Kelley is. How nice Danny, Wolf, Kevin, Mark, bus driver, etc., is. Everyone on the tour got 15 minutes of discussion in our van.
Mando is ROCKING OUT.
THAT VOICE IS TALKING TO YOU NOW
You have to have full attention on Kim when she talks to you. She talks so fast, and you can get distracted because it's that beautiful voice that you hear on the records but it's not saying the same words you're used to hearing, "No Bye, No Aloha"; that voice is talking to you now, and you have to be able to answer. And the voice always talks very quickly. She is so sweet, calls people nice names like honey, cares about your feelings, wants you to be happy, and wants to make everyone happy. That's what I get from her.
Kelley is the same way, with pretty much the same voice. She smiles and jokes and laughs. I gave her my broadsword and she already knows how to do the cool trick with it. She wants to know what to do when someone throws a punch at her. She's very strong and seems very in control of herself and other situations. They play a Kelley Deal 6000 song called "Future Boy" sometimes now that is the hardest-core, beautifullest song. It's got these great, strong chords and she screams very beautifully.
Richard tells jokes on the stage. They are very funny. He's got great timing. He's a comedian. Then he sits quietly and shyly. He told me he read my diary online. I was pretty honored. He tells me he didn't know I was friends with Alex Borstein, a TV actress whom he really respects, so I called her up and asked her if she'd talk to him. She is as sweet as he is, so I think they had a nice little conversation on my cell phone. That made me really, really happy. It's the greatest thing in the world when you can make someone happy!
José, the drummer, when he plays, he plays so smoothly and smiles happily. He's got the greatest stage presence in the world, he rocks his head back and forth with a very pleasant look on his face, and wham, bangs on those drums so hard. He reminds me a lot of Johnny Machine, one of our old drummers. He's just SO solid. And nice, off the stage, another totally sweet guy.
Wolf, the road manager, is a large, stocky guy who looks really really scary, until you know him, and he's like this little teddy bear. Except he's a teddy bear that can do the splits on two bar stools, and can lift one foot up over his head when he's standing on the other foot. He can do handsprings and handstands. He's a gymnast!
Danny, the t-shirt seller, always seems to laugh at my jokes. I really like that. I think this is his first tour. He's a great kid. And pretty merciless with the sometimes messed-up people who come to buy t-shirts. He's also really quiet and kind.
Kevin, the Breeders manager, is in complete control of everything. I get the feeling he takes care of them very, very well. And he's responsible for us being on this tour. When he's around, I feel like nothing bad will ever happen, it's like he's got this weird circle of power around him.
I don't know enough about Mando, except that he is probably shyer and I didn't get to hang out much with him or Mark the soundguy, or the bus driver. I enjoyed positioning myself right in front of Mando as he played bass - he's got a great bass tone and totally rocks out when he plays these great rhythmic bass lines.
Lynn and Jone from Imperial Teen
These guys and girls have beautiful voices. I wish I knew how to sing like this. They all look like movie stars, too - I think I said that. I love to listen to their songs, they are rhythmic, pounding, minimalist on chords, (exactly the kind of music I love), but they have very complex vocal parts, where the voices sometimes add to the percussion, not just the melody. My friend Andy said they are like the Velvet Underground crossed with the Beach Boys and the Go-Gos. I didn't tell them that because I was afraid it would insult them. They are also very kind people. When we had our discussion about Roddy, early one morning in our hotel room, we decided he has the same sort of demeanor as us. He said something really funny on stage last night - "We had a really wonderful time these last 5 weeks with The Breeders, it was inspiring and great, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH." We laughed. He's so awesome.
Left to right: Roddy, Lynn, Jone and Will