Natalie’s Grandmother died this morning. I’m feeling really guilty that I’m out here on the road living it up and not there for her. It makes me second guess the way I live my life. So many people are there for me when I need them. My family, Natalie, friends and even my coworkers help me. They’re the only reason I’m able to be out here. With out their support I would collapse but I’m not there for anybody else. Not ever. What kind of man does that make me? It’s a bad time in the tour for this to happen. The two week mark is when the homesickness and depression hits me. It usually only lasts a couple days but add all the guilt I’m feel about being gone while someone I love suffers and it’s not good. I am a man playing in a kids world. A selfish, self serving kids world. I’ll write about the tour now because it’s not good to dwell on how down I feel.
All the shows since I last wrote have been good. The audiences have been really receptive and into our set. Stockton CA was nothing special, it reminded me of Paterson NJ but with some palm trees. Santa Barbara was a really nice city. I especially enjoyed driving down out of the mountain and into the city and seeing the ocean. It was a piece of scenery I won’t soon forget. As nice as the town was it basically looked like an outdoor mall with all the same corporate stores you see in any mall in the north east. If you need Starbucks like you need oxygen than you’ll have no problem surviving in Santa Barbara.
After Santa Barbara we drove south to Anaheim. Which as been the been the new home base for the last few days. The show in Anaheim has been my favorite so far it had the biggest and most receptive crowd. For the most part the show was just like every other show. They’re already starting to run together and nothing stands out from one to the next. The best part of our first day in Anaheim was the pool and hot tub at the hotel.
The next show was the one I was really looking forward to. It was at the Whiskey A Go Go in West Hollywood. It’s a very famous venue with a lot of history. Pretty much any band you have ever heard of has played the Whiskey. The Doors got their start there, they were the house band for awhile. We were all excited to play there but when it came time to play my excitement was crushed. The sound guys were jerks and the on stage sound was the worst we’ve had all tour. I couldn’t enjoy a second of it. It was actually painful to get through the set. The guys in The Ataris said that it sounded good through the front of house speakers, which is good but it didn’t make me feel any better about the set. During the day we walked around town and saw the stars and the Hollywood sign. All of which was pretty unexciting. I did get to try In-N-Out Burger for the first time. I thought it was good and Rob liked it too but Ted and Anthony said it tasted like McDonald’s. After the show Rob and I had a couple of interesting encounters. First, I saw that some dude had his arm around Rob’s shoulders and wouldn’t let go of him. I went over to rescue him but some other dude jumped in front of me and wouldn’t let me get to Rob. He told me that his friend wasn’t gay, they’re from North Dakota and are really drunk. I told him if his friends not get then tell him to get his hands off my friend. The situation got pretty tense for a moment. I thought we were going to end up in a fight. Eventually the drunks who talk like they’re from the movie Fargo wandered off. A little while later we went for a walk up Sunset Blvd. to check out The Rainbow Room and The Roxy. As we were walking we got attacked by three middle aged women who saw us play earlier. They were from Louisiana and they were very drunk and very aggressive. The one women was pushing Rob up against the wall and at one point she kept putting her arm around my neck and hanging on me. I think she said something like “you guys are young and can go all night”. That was our signal to get away. It was pretty funny in the end, a lot more so than the fargo guys. That was pretty much how the night ended.
The next couple of shows were in Bakersfield CA and Hesperia CA. They’re both pretty crappy towns and the shows were crappy attendance wise. We still managed to have fun though. The second town was so lovely that someone stole The Ataris license plate off their van. I’m not sure what they did about that but I’m sure it was a pain in the ass. Yesterday was a day off and since where were staying was just a few miles Disneyland we decided to go. It was a good time but it could have been better for me. I twisted my foot loading gear the night at the Whiskey and it has been hurting me pretty bad so it sucked being on my feet standing in lines all day. Also I felt guilty being at Disney while Natalie is back east dealing with her grandmothers death. I didn’t tell the guys about this stuff and I think I managed to have a good time despite the problems. I didn’t tell them I was feeling bad because I didn’t want it to impact their day.
After Disneyland we drove south towards San Diego to stay with one of Ted’s friends. We are staying here the next few nights. She lives on an army base called Camp Pendleton. It was kind of a process just getting into the base. It’s definitely unsettling to deal with fully armed military guards. Now we are just sitting around waiting to leave for the show. Tonight’s show is a the Casbah in San Diego.
Last night’s show was really great not to mention sold out. I really loved the venue. All the people there at The Casbah were really nice and awesome at their jobs. We had lunch at a place called Lucho Libre from the Man Vs Food show. It was easily the best burrito I’ve ever had. After we were done playing a girl who I thought was pretty hot starting talking to me. She was nice and I felt pretty good about myself. Especially after all the hard work I’ve done to lose weight and get in shape I was kind of proud. It turned out she was just using me to get to one of the other guys. I guess I was an easy target. It made me pretty angry. I don’t care if the pretty girls ignore me but I don’t like being used. After I realized what she was doing I started to be really mean to her. I don’t feel bad about it. Today was another day off so we decided to go to the beach. We did some swimming, rode some waves and got sunburn. It was a good relaxing day. Overall I’m feeling a lot better about everything which is good. We are officially halfway though the tour and I’m ready to go.