Saturday, October 4, 2008

Go Team West Coast Tour: November 87

Intro: Go Team (me and Calvin) went on a short west coast tour during Thanksgiving break, 1987. We took Spook and the Zombies and Rich Jensen. Aaron (spook) was 15, I was 18. Everyone else was older. It was super fun. Read my diary:

Corvalis, OR
we played on KBVR-a radio station at OSU- and we screwed up on “I Don’t Wanna Always Be Me (and not her)”. Calvin forgot to play the guitar on one of the songs I sing and I forgot the words. This is only the second time I have ever sang at a show and it was on the radio and I couldn’t hear myself. They gave us a tape but I don’t really wanna listen to it. set list: my best friend, cowboy song (scary), birdcrash song, I don’t wanna always be me, song from donna parker pop and the song with a c chord-I think that’s it- people were walking by looking confused. we played on Brian’s show, black hair, scary-smiley-friendly. Rich’s grandparents were there with rumballs and cookies. Curt left town with our amp stuck in his apartment. I haven’t seen George since Thursday morning, before Thanksgiving. Rich drives insane. Jean and Dave are in another car. Spook and the Zombies played after us, it was good, but he forgot the words. Calvin reminded him. Then Jean and David played. I think people were offended or something. Rich did ok…not as good as before, but his grandparents were there.
after the radio show we went to record stores in a hurry-happy trails-used, cool. I forget the other one. then we went to Safeway for dinner. Spook demanded Calvin buy him meat, I guess he’s not a vegetarian but Calvin says neither are Mecca Normal, which is weird. He ended up getting this weird canned hot dogs in a Gerber baby food jar so I got plum sauce, like apple sauce but with plums, I don’t see why they don’t make it for adults. everyone else got sandwiches and then we had to get to Eugene really fast to play another show, this time in front of people.

Eugene, OR
we were late. the show started at 6:00 pm, it was at the college. there was about 20 people at the show when we got there, but it was a lame scene on campus, just drunk college types everywhere, so boring. the people who were there to see us were really cool though. we did pretty good, there was no stage, just a big room that was pretty empty. I did ok at singing I think. people seemed to like it. I was really nervous. the new song-picky-dragged on- kind of bad. my best friend cowboy song-short green yellow guitar song bc I say you don’t shocked-energy level high but I don’t know if it sounded too good, a minor orange song. then Rich was nervous, forgot the words. Did ok. Mecca Normal was really cool, well received. Spook and the Zombies had good stage presence. Rambled. Then Go Team/Rich bongo thing…broke strings, hand, confidence…it was ok…people were into it. blond girl impressed by me she said wanted to form a band-said I was a really good guitarist but could I play bass—didn’t realize we were from Olympia—wanted to do something bigger. I didn’t really talk to her but I should have, Calvin got her address. Then we went to Robert and Denise’s pad, then to a party down the street in a big house that was being worked on where Some Velvet Sidewalk played. They were groovy. It was their first show. The guitar player, Alan, had an easel on stage and kept drawing pictures with a purple crayon while he was playing guitar. It was really cool, he seemed nervous though. Maybe they can play a show with Doris at the Smithfield CafĂ©…Now we are going to San Francisco. It’s about 10:00 PM and Rich is driving. We’re in Douglas County.

San Francisco, CA
we played at the Rough Trade record store. Steve Connel was Mr. Big Wig. The people who work there were there, they were cool. I asked them if they had any records by girl bands from California and they told me to buy the Holy Sisters of the Gaga Dada record. I also got a Throwing Muses record and some other stuff. I hope my records aren’t getting squished in the trunk. they didn’t have anything by Talulah Gosh or the Shop Assistants. Jennifer from the Furies –whose house we are staying at in North Beach—said I write really god songs and seemed to be impressed. She as really excited when she heard I play drums in an all girl band-DORIS-and she wants me to send her our tape. sisters. she seems pretty cool. she’s into drugs, the grateful dead and hippy arty stuff but there’s definitely something besides that. she seems really off the wall confident-happy, fun, together and a cool girl-she is busy working on video projects, going to the art institute and knows a lot about art. she talks, she’s not afraid to say what she thinks, be what she is-independent, well-defined, free in a sense. strong and sincere. caring. God damn Spook is looking at what I’m writing. I am Harriet the Spy and I will never die. back to our show at Rough Trade. I was so nervous my hands were shaking and I couldn’t play guitar. maybe because we were in San Francisco. Maybe because we were in San Francisco and no one was there. I hope the show tomorrow at Bound Together Books is better. we didn’t play a show today. it was even kind of boring. the morning was pretty nice. Aaron and I walked around North Beach to the Art Institute, saw some pretty cool paintings-the sculptures didn’t make any sense to me but the view of SF was good. I took some photos. We walked around, got lost, ate ice cream at Gelatos went to City Lights books “fun around the world, fun around the world, fun around the world/let’s rock/yeah” we went to the Exploratorium but it wasn’t as cool as I remembered, kind of boring actually. Then we didn’t do anything for a really long time until we visited Steve and his girlfriend who edits Puncture magazine-pretty limited musical tastes but funny—sort of snobby but I think sometimes that’s ok if it’s entertaining and interesting to read. We hung out at Steve’s pad-he gave me both green and purple Talulah Gosh singles for free and showed me a toy record and record player that actually plays by a German group called die Todlichen Doris, that also have girls in it. so cool. He also took us out to Chinese food and was really super encouraging and nice.

we listened to the Birdcrash tape today, everyone thinks Theme for an Unmade Bed sounds like the Velvet Underground, hmmm. I don’t know if I agree, but I do know that it kicks butt. It is really wonderful. So is Cactus Bone Candy. The rest is cool too, but the songs are too long. Aaron is much better at guitar now than he was when they recorded.I got into the Exploratorium for being under 17 and then into a bar with no questions asked. COOOOOL. Aaron kept driving me insane, he asks too many questions.

We went back to Rough Trade. Calvin met with Steve Conell aka Mr. Big to settle a Beat Happening contract. Bret and Heather probably don’t even care. I should have joined that band when Calvin asked me, but I would have had to quit high school and my dad told me I had to earn a bunch of money before he would let me do that. So I didn’t get to go to England on tour. Being on tour and playing in bands is all I ever wanna do. I don’t understand why Bret and Heather don’t feel like that. They don’t want to be famous I guess. We were sitting at Rough Trade for hours. There was an earthquake warning but nothing happened. I bought a million records. Everyone is super old.

When we were playing at Rough Trade a guy walked in off the street and they kicked him out. Rich said something about it. Why did they have to kick him out? Everyone got real uncomfortable. There’s a lot of really poor people here and everyone acts like they are invisible. It makes me think of “Are You Hungry, Joe” by Mecca Normal. That’s such a good song. Rich is a performance artist. That’s what Jennifer said, but Rich said he’s a story teller, that we are all story tellers. Jennifer said that is a kind of performance, but Rich disagreed with her. I think they are both right and just like to talk. People laugh at Mecca Normal. Don’t people think? “They keep you wanting more more more”. Some people are influenced by their environment, sure, but does that mean they stop thinking? I should do something bigger than Go Team.

Anarchist book store show, Haight Masonic, not Haight Ashbury. People came to see Mecca Normal. They laughed at Aaron, were awed by Rich and eating up Mecca Normal. What about us? Did anyone watch? Did anyone care? Beats me. Did it matter? Yes it really matters. I didn’t meet anyone my age that I could relate to really. I keep thinking about the people at our Eugene show. I want Doris to play in Eugene when we get home, maybe with Beat Happening.

Then we headed back. Jokes. No Jokes. AMC Pacers and Gremlins ate at Bill and Kathy’s diner, got on I-5 North. The night was long. I drove to Eugene. Big couch, sleeping on the floor, not in the bed with Aaron, on the floor. TV, Pop Tarts, remote control. In the morning Rich’s mom took us out to soup and salad. Aaron won’t stop talking about Alan from Some Velvet Sidewalk. We drove around Eugene looking for him without any luck. We hung out at House of Records for a long time but he never showed up. I got a Sonic Youth record.

Portland, OR
we played at the Ooze. I got some expensive imports on Flying Nun and a Smiths record. The show was ok, the crowd was boring. Just as we were going to drive home we realized that Rich left with the keys to our car and there was no way to get a hold of him, so I had to call George and get him to drive down from Olympia with the other set of keys. We had to sit in the record store with the lights on after it closed for hours with all these people walking by trying to come in. I just wanted to go home. Then I realized I didn’t get George a souvenir or anything. I didn’t get anyone anything, besides Heidi. It sucked to be inside this record store with all these records and to even have all these new records and not be able to listen to them. we just had to wait for hours and hours and hours and we were so tired and I didn’t want to go home even though I did want to go home. I used to be scared of everything and everybody. Am I now? I wanna be a rock-n-roll star so listen now to what I say, gonna get an electric guitar and take some time to learn how to play…like patti smith.

postscript 2008:

back at home, I immediately decide to

1. move out of my parents house
2. quit school
3. break up with my boyfriend
4. start planning more tours
5. start writing the first issue of jigsaw

it took a few years but it all comes true


Joaquin said...

I was so much older then...damaged, back in Columbus...probably standing next to you at the burger king or Used Kids Records...wondering...little did I know I'd know you down the road...down the tracks.

richjensen said...

Sorry about the keys! I don't think you ever told me about that.