02 April 2006

i took my hits on a dumb road trip

Current listening: Pink Mountaintops – Axis Of Evol

it’s saturday afternoon. we are parked up on the tour bus in a truck stop in the mountains to the west of seattle. something is wrong with one of the wheels on the bus. so we’re not going anywhere for a few hours. today is a day off, so at least we’re not going to be late for a show. we left salt lake city at one o clock in the morning and we’ve been driving ever since. it’s eight o clock at night now. and i think we might have gained an extra hour when we moved from mountain standard time to pacific standard time. so it’s been quite a long day. watched three episodes of freaks and geeks. including one of my favourites, ‘tests and breasts’, which has the best ending of any tv show ever. then i read for a bit, falling in and out of sleep. and listened to some new cds that i bought in lawrence, kansas. i found two great record shops there. kiefs downtown and the love garden. and i found a fantastic second hand book shop there too, where i picked up a biography of anne sexton and andrea dworkin’s autobiography for a couple of dollars. in the record shops i bought the Pink Mountaintops album, ‘Fox Confessor Brings The Flood’ by Neko Case, ‘The Loon’ by Tapes n Tapes, the new album by Young People, and ‘Fun’ by Daniel Johnston. just working my way through them now. the shops i went into in lawrence all seemed to be full of cats. the love garden had three cats and i bought some badges with pictures of them on. i liked lawrence a lot. it was the first place we’d been to in america that i could imagine living there. it was quiet and calm, and seemed kind of cut off from the rest of kansas. lots of wizard of oz memorabilia in the shops too. we’ll definitely try and go back there on the next tour.

since the last weblog we’ve played in minneapolis, omaha, denver, lawrence and last night salt lake city. we’ve eaten at the panda express and the delectable egg and at various gas stations along the way. we did some tv in denver. i’ll put a link on the website as soon as an online version goes up. and i did a live radio interview in the middle of my breakfast. we were told that we’d see a five legged horse by the side of the highway between lawrence and denver. but we must have all been asleep or it doesn’t exist because we never saw it. disappointing. we stopped at a gas station in missouri that only sold guns. and whiskey. and four litre cartons of chocolate milk. i found two cockroaches backstage in denver. i’d never seen one before. i’m not happy about them. we’ve driven through snow storms and blizzards and over mountains and past miles and miles and miles of corn fields. today we drove over a stretch of mountain road called dead man’s pass. i was not happy about this either. we’ve played four shows and adam chetwood has taken to playing his banjo behind his head during the solo in ‘Rock Upon A Porch With You’. everyone seems to be acting a little bit odd. i think it might be the mountain air or just the length of time we’ve been out here now. things have definitely been strange these last few days. and now we’re stranded in a mountain truck stop next to a mobile chapel. the truck driver parked next to us is singing lionel richie songs to bish outside the bus. like i said, things have definitely got stranger these past few days. alistair needs to be in vancouver tonight. he was going to get a greyhound bus from everett, but now we’ve broken down he has to find another way to get there. he’s just inquired after a helicopter, but it would cost four thousand dollars to get him from here to the nearest bus stop. none of us have that kind of money on us. otherwise we’d all chip in.

at this point in the weblog there was a slight pause for dinner. fish and chips and a vanilla milkshake. pete won a weird looking furry pink space cat toy on one of those metal grab arcade machines on the way out of the diner. typical. he always wins things. i never win stuff. then back to the bus. the wheel still hadn’t been fixed. we had to drive twenty minutes down the road to get it fixed. however, on the way there, we lost the trailer with all the equipment in. we were sat at the back of the bus watching an andy kaufman dvd when we heard a weird clunking noise coming from the back of the bus. pete looked out of the window and the trailer had unattached itself somehow. we all watched in horror as the runaway trailer overtook the bus and started hurtling down the highway. it just kept going and going. for a further mile. it was a miracle that no other cars collided with it. eventually it came to a stop on the hard shoulder a mile away from where it had broken off. five police cars drove past but bizarrely none of them stopped. we called a pick up truck and it towed away the trailer. the connection had snapped clean off. then we moved all the equipment on to our bus and drove to the comfort inn in everett, where we are staying tonight. we will drive to vancouver tomorrow without the trailer and then pick it up on the way back. altogether a pretty frightening experience. we are still waiting for our missing wheel. alistair got on a greyhound bus to vancouver at half past one in the morning, then we’ll meet up with him at the venue tomorrow. hopefully.

a very very weird day. i feel tired and homesick. i don't know what to expect anymore. perhaps somewhere along the way i just started hoping for too much.

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