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    Melvins 51 in 51 Tour Diary


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    51
    51

    melvins lite
    T O U R

    D I A R Y

    The Melvins ‘51 States in 51 Days’ Tour Diary,
    Days 1 & 2: Riding the Stripper Bus in Alaska

    September 10 2012, 3:15 PM ET
    by Buzz Osborne
    “My God, what were we thinking?”
    September 5, 2012 – Anchorage, AK @ Bear Tooth Theatre and Pub
    September 6, 2012 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market
    2 down, 49 to go

    We literally had to step over used syringes as we loaded the gear out of our practice space in downtown

    Los Angeles. Hmmm…I can’t wait to get back.
    We are now calling this tour “51 States in 51 Days” because we think DC should be a state. Nonetheless, no one is
    listening to us about that, or much else really. So we drive to Seattle, leave our gear and then fly to Anchorage for the
    first show of the trip. Weirdly enough we ran into Dylan Carlson and the rest of Earth who were getting ready to fly
    to New Zealand for their first ever tour down under. They said they had no working papers and just tourist visas.
    Good luck! I told them about the time New Zealand customs officials ruined two of my guitar cases by tearing all
    of the lining out of them looking for drugs and when they found none, simply shoved the now useless mess back to
    me and told me to beat it. The Earth people seemed a bit concerned but marched onto the plane anyway. I’m sure
    everything will be fine once they get there…. We also ran into Jonathon Poneman and Bruce Pavit, the two top
    brass head honchos from Sub Pop, who were actually on our same flight! They told us they were on their way to
    Anchorage to sign a band that sounded like the Stooges…. We landed at Anchorage after 3 1/2 hours into a 75 mph
    windstorm. Really rough landing. I hate flying anyway and this did not help in that department one bit. Shitting
    your pants is no way to start any tour….After I changed my pants in a semi clean airport bathroom we made our
    way to the hotel. They picked us up in a bus-sized party wagon complete with a bar, flashing lights and a stripper
    pole. The only thing missing was the booze and the strippers….We are probably the only band in the world to
    get picked up in a stripper booze wagon with no strippers and no booze. That’s okay though, I don’t drink and I
    hate strippers. Why would anyone be interested in that look-but-don’t-touch horseshit? Strippers are like training
    wheels for idiots who end up blowing cash screwing prostitutes….Cool.
    Since we had a dry bar, the boys went straight to a liquor store and bought a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon to drink at
    the hotel. The winds continued to howl all night with the power flickering off and on every few minutes. I sat in
    the room and fell asleep watching The Shining which seemed like the right movie under the circumstances and I
    ended up having a weird dream about ax murdering some 8-year-old chatterbox named Tony…. The next morning
    I went to take a shower and found that the hot water didn’t work and when I tried to call the front desk the phone
    was dead, so I shoveled on my clothes and stomped down to the lobby to see if maybe I could get a different room.
    At the desk they told me they did indeed have other rooms available that did include hot water but those rooms
    didn’t have any power as a result of the storm but she said she could work all of that out no problem. At that point
    she handed me a new room key along with a flashlight….
    The Anchorage show was a blast! Everyone was really nice to us and we had a great time! Thanks to all of you we
    talked to and everyone who helped us out…
    Seattle: We took the redeye from Anchorage right after the show and landed in Seattle at 7 a.m. and went immediately
    to our hotel for some much needed sleep. I always have fun playing in Seattle and the Showbox at the Market is
    one of my favorite venues in the whole world. We have been doing shows there for years and everyone who works
    there are beyond nice. Thank you all for a wonderful experience every time!
    Two down, 49 to go….My God, what were we thinking?

    The Melvins ‘51 States in 51 Days’ Tour Diary,
    Day 3: Earthquake Destroys Portland!

    September 11 2012, 1:37 PM ET
    by Dale Crover
    “To anyone that thinks it would be really cool to move to Portland, I hope you like shitty rain”
    September 7, 2012 – Portland, OR
    @ Hawthorne Theatre
    3 down, 48 to go

    We stopped at the Country

    Cousin restaurant in Centralia, Washington, on our way to Portland. I haven’t
    been there in 35 years! My parents would stop there when we would take trips down to Oregon. The one thing I
    remembered about this place was when you opened the door you could hear a chicken clucking. I was pretty happy
    that it hadn’t changed one bit, except now I’m old enough to order the bacon bloody mary. How could I not? I
    mean, the pregnant waitress practically begged my to order it just so she could watch someone drink.
    Portland is the new, hip place to move to. I guess it has been for a while now. It’s not quite the “Doom Town” that
    the Wipers were singing about. There used to be one gig in town, and that was the Satyricon. Lovingly referred
    to as the Syringe-icon. One time we pulled up to play there and the first thing someone says to me is “Got any
    rigs?” Niiiice! Phil Irwin, a.k.a. the Whiskey Rebel and author of Job Jumper, was fed up with the change here in
    Snoreland, Boregon. All the old dive bars closing to make way for hippie grocery stores and trendy coffee shops.
    He said goodbye and moved to Hostile City, USA: Philadelphia, that is. We do have great shows here though. But
    to anyone that thinks it would be really cool to move to Portland, I hope you like shitty rain for most of the year,
    constant traffic jams due to bad city planning and lots of drinking, ‘cause that’s what you’re in for. Oh, and even
    though it’s gentrified, the junkies haven’t left.
    Show was okay. The power in the building blew out on the last note of the set…because of a 3.5 earthquake!
    On our way to Boise, Idaho. Tweak Bird jumps on the tour for 45-or-so shows. Looking forward to having these
    guys on the bill. One of my favorite bands for sure! Weirdo brother duo, originally from Carbondale, Illinois, now
    living in L.A. They have a new CD out called Undercover Crops and it’s really, really good! Another new record
    I’ve been listening to a lot on the long drives is Redd Kross, Researching The Blues. Great record! They’ve been a
    band longer than us even! I saw them the first time they came to Washington on the Neurotica tour, when I was
    18. They we’re awesome then and are just as good now!
    My friend Pat is using our tour to learn obscure facts about each state we visit. In Idaho it’s illegal to fish from the
    back of a giraffe! I wonder what failed redneck stunt made it a need for that law?
    That’s all for now. Driving through forest fire areas to Montana. Wish us luck!

    The Melvins ‘51 States in 51 Days’ Tour Diary,
    Day 4: Beware of Flying Underpants!

    September 12 2012, 4:51 PM ET
    by Trevor Dunn
    “Speaking of skanks...”
    September 8, 2012 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux
    4 down, 47 to go

    Winding along the remote Highway 21 en route to Missoula via Boise, Buzz at the helm navigates pouring rain

    and hairpin turns that seem to never end. People are often surprised that we do the driving ourselves — the three
    band members and three crew guys. I’m not sure what they think is so difficult about driving. I suppose that if I
    stayed up all night doing blow and screwing lonely skanks I might have a problem maintaining the wheel. The fine
    readers at SPIN, however, may be disappointed to know that I was in my pajamas and brushing my teeth two hours
    after getting off stage. Live slow and die old, I say.
    I’ve been getting an array of interesting questions as we set upon this unprecedented tour. For instance, “Are you
    ready?” or “Are you insane?” Frankly, I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s a tour; we are playing music. Sure there are
    no days off and we may experience bouts of tiredness but, as someone who never takes vacations and sleepwalks
    half the time anyway, I see no goal unattainable. The thing that George Thorogood didn’t understand when he
    shamefully failed at this world record back in the ‘80s is that the brain and liver are vital organs that make getting
    on stage possible. But he also made a career out of playing hackneyed cover songs in a stale bar band, so who am
    I to judge.
    Speaking of skanks, we played in Portland, Oregon, a few nights ago. Portland is well known for its strip clubs and
    liberal attitude toward sexual frustration. The audience at the show did not disappoint. I was slightly distracted
    within the first ten minutes of our set by some live soft-core porn in the front row: A young woman in apparent
    ecstasy grinding her backside recklessly against her boyfriend, or brother-in-law or whoever he was, in rhythmic
    unison to my raw, uncensored bass lines. Their gyrations irked a guy trying to enjoy the show, sandwiched in next
    to them, and it seemed that a good ol’ battle for territory was about to ensue. A few minutes later a pair of panties
    were thrown on stage from some other direction. I had to disguise my odium as I kicked them aside, out of the way
    of my delay pedal. I certainly have nothing against people having a drunken good time and brawling about it, and
    I’m quite happy that people want to hump and obliterate brain cells to my background noise, but these are the true
    obstacles of touring. Earthquakes, forest fires and vitamin deficiency I can deal with; high-strung kids letting their
    collective hair down with that not-afraid-to-die look in their eyes is another thing. I’ve got intonation, odd meters
    and quirky forms to think about. It’s all I can do to maintain focus and concentrate on what I unapologetically refer
    to as my job. These aren’t the lollipop jingles of Mötley Crüe after all. I decided a long time ago to rust rather than
    burn out. Upon closer inspection (not too close) I’m pretty sure it was some dude’s underwear.

    The Melvins ‘51 States in 51 Days’ Tour Diary,
    Days 5, 6 & 7: George Thorogood Demands an
    Apology!

    September 13 2012, 2:38 PM ET
    by Buzz Osborne
    “We know for a fact you are not in the record book because we checked on that”
    September 9, 2012 – Missoula, MT @ Top Hat Lounge
    September 10, 2012 – Salt Lake City, UT @ In the Venue
    September 11, 2012 – Cheyenne, WY @ Forum 619
    7 down, 44 to go

    I

    don’t think there was two miles of straight road between Boise and Missoula. You are basically driving half a
    figure eight for hours on end. This added about two and a half hours to an already long drive. There are no freeways
    between those two cities. Great. The last time we drove through that neck of the woods we got a lot of, “Why don’t
    you go back to California” from the Idaho locals because of the California plates on our van. Great again. Thank
    you! And I did have my heart set on moving to out back Idaho. No, I did my time with the rednecks when I was

    growing up and I can’t say I liked it much. Ninety-nine percent of the people I grew up around were total asshole
    bastards and I’m sure the same can be said of almost any of the cretins living deep in the woods on any part of the
    globe. I am done living with the rednecks. From here on out it’s just me and the city, the only problem is that 99
    percent of the people who live in the cities are bastards as well. Such is life I suppose….
    Anyway…we rolled into Missoula late and quickly set up our gear. The show was in a bar of course, because we
    almost always end up playing in bars and this bar was fine. We had a great show in Missoula and everyone who
    worked at the bar that night was very nice. That being said, I don’t like people in bars. In fact I don’t like people
    much at all, let alone the drunks in some dingy hellhole. I never did my drinking in bars and, if I still drank, I doubt
    I would find much interest in sitting around a fucking bar swigging overpriced shit booze. Fuck that. Drinking
    for me was an adventure. It took me places and those places rarely included bars. I loved driving around drunk or
    drunkenly running wild through the woods or just sitting at someone’s house and while their parents were gone
    and getting shitfaced. Or getting drunk at school. Now that was fun. What is it about being young and drunk that is
    so attractive? I don’t know really because it makes little or no sense. I’d imagine it has something to do with dealing
    with the fact that your becoming an adult and drinking is an almighty escape from the reality of being human.
    All booze is the same. It never ceases to amaze me how important it is for the people around me who drink to get
    just the right kind of alcohol. I’ve never understood this, especially when I consider the vast amounts of alcoholics
    surrounding me who I know would drink out of a fucking toilet if it ended up that that’s where the only booze was.
    Anyway….The show in Missoula was a blast!
    Salt Lake City: Over the years our shows in Salt Lake have gone from really pathetically bad to actually really fun.
    We played our first show there in 1985 I believe to about 20 super uninterested creeps. After we were done I had to
    listen to a drunk in his 60s tell me why we should just quit. Unfortunately when people are drunk they always tell
    the truth. Well, I for one am sick to death of the drunken truth. I wish these sorry sons of bitches would just keep
    their mouths shut whilst hammered. Tonight was a really fun show…
    Quotes of the night from fans were:
    • “If you guys are doing one show in each state, then why are you playing in Salt Lake?”
    • “51 shows in 51 days right? Well how long does a tour like that take?”
    I just stare at people who ask questions like that, or I say something like, “I’m not really sure” and leave it at that.
    Brian, one of our crew guys commented later that it was the kind of show where everyone there seemed like they
    were actually listening to what we were doing. I agree. I agree and it’s refreshing to have that happen once in a
    while. Thank you, Salt Lake!
    We got up early the next day and drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming, for what turned out to be a show not unlike our
    show in Salt Lake, meaning really fun. It was a sort of rec center where they brought in all of the production. I was
    expecting Cheyenne to be us playing to eight half drunk cowboys telling us, “They moved the pool table tonight
    for this shit?” I really dig playing in places like Cheyenne and that’s how it works on a “record breaking” tour such
    as this. We have to play every state. Which reminds me: On our drive after the show in Salt Lake, we got word that
    George Thorogood and Co. were all hacked off at us for saying they didn’t actually finish their 50 states in 50 days
    tour in the early ‘80s. And they were looking for our manager and demanding an apology. Well, I don’t work real
    well with people demanding stuff, so we can look at this two ways: 1. We can say, “Whatever bitch” and basically
    do nothing; or 2. We can say that we’re sorry. What surprises me is that these guys know who we are at all, let alone
    feel threatened by anything we could ever say in the press. Are they kidding?
    We’ve never had our songs in beer commercials or sold shit loads of records the way they have. Considering how
    well they seem to have done, it seems like a weird thing to get all hacked off about but hell why not, I guess. Who
    knew they would get so ma ma ma ma ma mad. I suppose they could be right and if they are then we really are
    sorry. We’re sorry we said you didn’t do it if you really did.

    However…we know for a fact you are not in the record book because we checked on that. And, when you were
    doing that tour around 1980, I remember hearing that you quit after like 30-some shows. And I’m not the only one
    who heard that, so I didn’t just pull that fact out of my ass. Besides, who cares really?
    If you did it then we’re sorry. And if you didn’t, then you are simply not telling the truth, neither of which makes
    any difference. We get to live in our fantasy world and you get to continue making a killing playing Indian casinos
    and state fairs! I mean we really have to hand it to you guys. You’ve made a fortune by playing and selling nothing
    but Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker covers, and for that, we salute you! Thatis nothing short of a goddamn
    miracle! Now there’s a record you can really be proud of!
    Never wrote a single song and yet still sold millions of records and played concerts all over the whole world! Just
    like Madonna and Britney Spears! But let’s get back to what we were originally talking about....
    If you guys did actually finish the tour and you are nonetheless still not in the record book, well….Whatever, bitch.

    The Melvins ‘51 States in 51 Days’ Tour Diary,
    Days 8, 9 & 10: The Gang Meets Obama!

    September 17 2012, 3:32 PM ET
    by Dale Crover
    “The President? At our hotel?!”
    September 12, 2012 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
    September 13, 2012 – Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
    September 14, 2012 – Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note
    10 down, 41 to go
    In Denver we played the lovely Bluebird Theatre. It’s been a while since we’ve played here. In the past, the theater
    had noise complaints from neighbors, resulting in a severe decibel limit. I’ve been clocked at 105 without the P.A.
    system, and with two drummers at times, forget it! They have since done a nice job of soundproofing the joint, so
    problem solved! Theaters like this are our favorite to play. They’re built for performance and sound in mind. Unlike
    sports arenas, where you get to watch the band on a screen and it sounds like doggie doo! We don’t have to worry
    about playing those types of places too much, thankfully. Even if we were a big band we wouldn’t want to play the
    “Enormo-Dome”. Does U2 really need to play Dodger Stadium? Don’t they have enough money? It’s our belief that
    bands like that sh