On The Road

In My American Dream, Love Trumps All

There’s no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going.

I made some jokes over the past few months about where I would move if Donald Trump won the presidency. Jokes that were based in fear of what that America would look like. I thought they were jokes because I honestly didn’t think the man could win.

As I watched on election night and it became clear that he was going to win,  my instinct wasn’t to fall back on that fear. Yes, I was shocked and sad but it didn’t make me feel like running. It just solidified for me, my pride and love for my country.

It made me want to write and write more than ever. It made me want to pursue and achieve what MY American dream is. It made me want to do that with more fervor and determination than I’ve ever felt before.

So that is what I’m going to do. I’m going to write and I’ve started putting together what will be my third book and I’m doing it a little bit differently. Does anyone remember the era of Zines? The title is, At The End of Entin Road, a title inspired by the loss of one of my dearest friends. My friend Jamie and I discovered music together, we learned about Doing it yourself and this “book” is going to be the most DIY thing I’ve ever done.

I don’t necessarily write about love or anything all that happy really. What I do write, though, comes from a place of empathy and compassion. I write to find a way to feel connected with people even if we disagree on certain things. I have learned when I write, I expose myself, and when I’m vulnerable is when I make those connections.

I can’t believe that my country is so divided that this feeling of being connected with others isn’t as important to everyone as it is to me. I’m an introvert who secretly loves people. Because of this, I have to do something I’ve only really talked about before. I have to take my writing on the road: put myself on stage and be more exposed, more vulnerable than ever before. I have to and I will.

I’m publicly declaring the following statements of which I expect all of you to hold me accountable for.

In the next four years…

  • I will visit, explore and perform at least once in every state.
  • I will travel and tour more than I ever have before.
  • I will publish at least one book per year.
  • I will publish my first novel.

American, I thought I knew you but clearly not as well as I thought. This is my promise to continue to learn and love you more than ever!

The Lookway

Why, when driving on the highway and someone passes you or you pass them, they have to give you a look. Is everyone on the highway subconsciously hoping they pass someone they know? It’s not a mean look or a friendly look. Is it a look of judgment? Am I driving too fast, too slow?  Don’t judge me, yes I’m singing at the tops of my lungs while picking my nose! Keep your eyes on the road lady!

Greenville, SC

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather the last couple days, haven’t felt much like writing or playing or doing anything at all. Despite my lack of writing and blog posts this has been a very introspective tour. There has been plenty of downtime and long overnight drives to contemplate life. I feel like this tour happened at exactly the right moment. It’s in unison with the tides of my life and the tides are shifting. I have conquered a few demons along the many miles and quiet moments of this trip. I’ve also made some plans for my future. I believe they will move me up another rung on the ladder to being content. Overall, in this moment, I’m feeling pretty happy and I’m also excited about the future. Of course, I know that as the world turns, the tides will shift again. Life is a never ending ladder and it takes work to keep climbing. I just have to keep doing the best I can.


Survived Atlanta and Chattanooga and now we are in Tallahassee. This is another post from the bowels of our van. Last’s night show in Atlanta was fun, it was a good audience and we gave them our best. I know I played hard because my body hurts today. I don’t see the point in playing if you aren’t going to put everything you have into it. I’m not one with my instrument; I’m at war with it.  Every show is a battle and I’m happy to fight them. Tonight’s battle starts at 10.

Huntington WV

Last night after our show in Akron OH we had no place to sleep but being the resourceful bunch that we are, we found a place. That’s the beauty of tour, you meet interesting characters, people buy you drinks, they even open their homes to you so you don’t have to sleep in your van. Sometimes these people even become your friends, the kind of friend that you keep in touch with year after year. All of this is very awesome and exciting. However, sometimes these very nice and trusting people are absolute pigs. Sometimes these people have pets; a lot of pets that they let piss all over their house. This is the situation we ended up in last night. After a while of fighting off the stench with an aerosol can of Glade and trying to hold the stench at bay by shoving a blanket under the door of the quarantine zone; aka: room we were staying, I just couldn’t take it. I had to go outside for some fresh air, which seemed like a great idea except in order to get outside I had to pass through the hot zone; aka: the kitchen. It was so bad it made me gag and throw up in my mouth. I made it outside and just started vomiting all over this girls drive way. Then Rob came outside right behind me and started laughing at me until he started vomiting too. Then we were both vomiting and laughing at each other in between heaves. This went on for at least a half hour. It couldn’t stop vomiting or laughing. What a terrible mix.

So far today has been pretty uneventful. We drove for four hours then stopped and watched the new Walking Dead episode, which was fucking awesome. Now we are sitting in the van all on our laptops doing whatever is we do on our laptops. I do this. We tried to watch Dexter but the internet is too slow. We are such rock stars aren’t we? We watch TV shows in our van. Tomorrow night’s show is canceled so tonight we are driving seven hours to Nashville and we are going to hang out there tomorrow. Still not very rock star of us. We are going to do laundry, get haircuts, and watch Dexter. I don’t even know where we go after that. How rock star is that!?!

The opening band just started which means I have to go play in a little while. This is the third show of the tour and the first sober one. After all that vomiting and because of the long drive tonight it seemed like a good idea to stick with water.  I’ll post again soon.

Shameless Dancing Leads to Mass Suicide

This past New Year’s Eve was the first in a long time that I didn’t work. Instead, I played a show. We went all the way to Sumter, SC to play. It wasn’t a tour, just one show. The drive there and back was pretty uneventful just long, about 1,400 miles long. The show it’s self was a little weird. The venue was more of a dance club; the PA system was terrible and didn’t work half the set. It was a mostly forgettable experience.

There was one moment that sticks out that I found somewhat disturbing. In between bands they played dance music. During one song two people started doing this synchronized dance and then a third person, then a fourth. By the end of the song there were thirty people doing this dance. I have never seen this dance before but yet all these people knew it. It seemed very cult like to me. I instantly thought of that Hailey’s Comet cult that wore the Velcro sneakers and committed mass suicide. Warning synchronized dancing leads to mass suicide!

Another thing that I become very aware of that night is how disgusting guys are when they’re trying to pick up girls, especially the guys in the bands. It’s so obvious what they’re trying to do and I think the worst part is that it works. They more aggressive a guy is the better it works. I can’t say that I haven’t done it. I have picked up girls before. The difference is that I’m not proud of it. Have you ever had that feeling the morning after you drank too much, where you feel all the embarrassment you didn’t feel the night before? When you start to get really down on yourself and start asking yourself the questions. Why did I do that? Did I really say that? What was I thinking? Well that’s exactly the same feeling I have the morning after I pick up a girl. It makes me hate myself. I’m not cut out to be a pick up artist. I’m not shameless enough.

Day 20 – Mesa AZ

We didn’t spend much time in Tucson. After the show we packed up and headed north to Mesa. Ted has a friend there and we had no place to stay in Tucson anyway.  We got to the girls house late and I was feeling pretty exhausted. Despite being so tired I didn’t get much sleep that night. I wish I could remember her name but I can’t, sorry. She was very nice and even put the air conditioning on for us but even with the AC on it was still about 90 degrees in the house. I don’t think anybody slept well that night. I kept doing that thing when you flip your pillow to get the cooler side. The next day we agreed that going to a movie would be the perfect escape from the heat.  We decided on the movie Inception. I thought it was a very good movie. It was a pleasant break from the grind of the tour. Seeing a good movie in the theater is therapeutic for me. For two hours I didn’t think about anything, didn’t worry about anything, I  just sat there and was consumed by the story.  After the movie we went to the venue. The place is called The Underground. It’s a basement venue with no air conditioning, no windows and no fans. From load in alone I knew this was going to be a hot show.

Before the show though we were lucky enough to be part of the filming for a pilot on the Food Network. Technically they were there to film The Ataris but those guys were nice enough to let us be part of it at the end.  This women who is a winner on an episode of the networks Cupcake Wars show I guess is getting her own show. I don’t know what the premise of the show is suppose to be. We got to eat a bunch of really delicious cupcakes and fish tacos. It was neat experience which would have been better if it wasn’t so damn hot in the venue. It was 110 degrees outside and it was hotter inside.

So now on a full stomach of Irish car bomb cupcakes and fish tacos it was time to play. I was already dripping with sweat before we played a single note.  By the second song my clothes were completely soaked through with sweat and by the third song I was dizzy and seeing stars. For me, this was great. For some reason the harder a show is to play the harder I want to play.  We all played really hard that night. When we were done we went outside and we were so hot that 110 degrees felt cool. It was a really intense show to play and as hot as it was inside  the crowd was great.

Day 19 – Tuscon AZ

i know I’ve been home for awhile but it’s important to me that i finish out the summer tour journal. i’m leaving for another tour in about a week so my goal is to finish out the summer tour journal so i can start fresh for the fall tour.


After San Diego we headed to Arizona. We followed an interstate that hugged the Mexico border for most of the ride. A few times along the way we hit Border Patrol check points where all traffic is forced to exit through the check point. i was driving when we got to the first one and i could see some vehicles that were pull off into special spots for detailed inspection. This made me a little nervous, cops love to mess with bands. We pulled up and rolled down the windows and as soon as they saw four white guys in the van they waved us through.  We found that amusing.

As we drove it was interesting to watch the thermostat  in the van go from 75 degrees as we traveled through the mountains of California all the way up to 115 degrees as we came down into the dessert waste land of Arizona.  my first real experience with that kind of heat is when we stopped for a bathroom break at a little interstate rest stop. There was strong breeze but it was like standing in front of a giant blow dryer or sitting inside the clothes dryer on high heat.  After gasping at the intensity of heat the first thing i see as i walk towards the restrooms is a Beware of Rattle Snakes sign. This did not scare me, it got me excited. I really wanted to see a rattle snake. However, i had no such luck. The best part about the sign is it didn’t say rattle snake on it, it had a picture. Awesome!

The venue in Tuscon was Club Congress which is part of the Hotel Congress. The place looked awesome and had that old feel to it and not old like falling apart but exactly the opposite, solid and full of history. i could imagine that it looked exactly the same as when it was built 100 years ago.. This is the place where John Dillinger and his gang where captured in the late 1930’s. How fucking cool is that. If you google the place there is a lot of cool information and stories about the place. It’s apparently also haunted too but i dont believe in that kind of thing.

The show was a lot like the show at the Whiskey in Hollywood despite the history of the venue the show itself was disappointing. No amount of our energy and sweat could seem to interest them or excite them. It felt like what i could assume playing a funeral home would feel like. The most exciting part of the night there was when Rob and i were braving the heat and walking down the street to check out the town. We were walking, talking about how people use to dress back in Dillinger’s day. They wore suits all the time even in the summer dessert heat. i think it’s pretty fucking cool looking. So we are walking and talking and out of the corner of my eye i see a man walk out of a pizza joint. He’s on my right and walks behind us and for some reason i felt the need to turn back to look at him. As i did i saw him just go limp and fall face first into a metal table and some chairs. The table flipped over the chairs fell backward and this man hit the ground. He hit the ground hard enough that moist dull thud sound of his body hitting the ground resonated with in me.  He immediately starting convulsing. Some how Rob didn’t see or hear anything i had to grab his shoulder and turn him around. For a second we both kind of stood there and i thought to myself what should we do? at the same moment that Rob said it out loud. i grabbed my phone and started to dial 911 but then i looked past the guy and the employees of the Pizza joint where coming out already on the phone. Within just a few minutes there was fire trucks and ambulances pulling around the corner. That was Tuscon AZ.

Day – 18 Midway


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.

Days 7, 8, 9 – Orangevale, San Fransisco, San Jose

It’s been a few days since I’ve had the chance to write. Actually that’s a lie I’ve had chances, I was either to tired or just didn’t feel like it. Reno’s show was uneventful. The show was good and we played well. It was our first show with The Ataris and it was good to see them again. It’s a good feeling being so far from home and playing shows with friends. I’m always a little uncomfortable around I don’t know well especially musicians. I’m very self conscious about how little I know about music, gear and the quality of my playing. I say this because it’s true. I’ve always been the least talented one in every band I’ve been in and the bands I’ve been in always play with other really talented bands. I’ve never been interested in practicing or study music. The performance for me is all about a feeling and being in the moment. The notes don’t matter. The Ataris are probably my favorite band to play with because they’re all very nice and I feel comfortable around them.

Orangevale was an average show. Not much stands out about it in my mind. It’s a suburb just north of Sacramento. The venue wasn’t air conditioned which made for a very hot show. Half way through our set I started to get so hot that I was getting chills and got a bit light headed. It passed though and by the end of the set I felt fine. During the day we found a park to cooked lunch on the George Foreman Grill. There was some sort of community event happening so there was dance troops and local singers performing. It was so bad it was good. It was one of those I can’t believe this is my life moments.

After the Orangevale show we drove south to San Jose. We have a friend here who we are staying with for a few days. It’s basically our home base for all the shows in the area.  We got to San Jose at three in the morning, slept for a few hours and then went to San Fransisco in the morning to check out the city before the show there. It was really great. I nerd out of this stuff. While other bands would probably go to the strip clubs and peep shows, we went and saw Lombard St. We walked around fisherman’s Wharf and pier 39, checked out the street performers and ate some fresh seafood right there on the pier. We had and awesome view of Alcatraz and we saw the sea lions hanging out. It was great. For me it doesn’t get any better. I’m sorry that these posts are all rambling list of happening instead of introspective and well written pieces. It’s hard to get my mind around all these experiences while I’m right in the middle of it.

Today we are playing in San Jose about a block from base camp which is nice. It doesn’t get anymore convenient than that. Load in isn’t until six o’clock so we decided to drive out to a state park north of the city. We hiked through a patch of red wood forest there. It was another incredible experience. The trees are massive and the forest is so quit and beautiful. It was a really nice and relaxing time. I have to go it’s almost time for load in.