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We played Winnipeg, or as they call it here in Canada….. The “Peg,” and it went well… I really dug the venue.. Helpful people and a nice sound system… No one who worked there threw a fit or stomped their feet saying “goddammit” over and over, which was nice because that very thing has happened to us in the past… I’ve had MUCH worse experiences with asshole club people over the years such as…
In 1985 we played The Peg at some stinking, rat infested hell hole called the “Wellington” for a whole week! Words cannot begin to describe how fucking horrible it was… And the Canadians in 1985 were by no means buying into our long haired bullshit, in fact, the “promoter” told us if we hadn’t been playing with Canadian bands in the first place he wouldn’t even have paid us at all…
The good old days….
We knew a lot of people in Canada then… I wonder what happened to them?
In Calgary we were told that most of our old Canadian music buddies from the mid eighties had gone off the deep end drug wise or had simply gone insane… Better them than me.
Our drive to Vancouver was semi eventful. A shit load of construction to navigate through and a LOT of wildlife to heavily break for and steer around. They actually have signs that say “Caution Ahead, Wildlife On Freeway.”
At one of our middle of nowhere gas/piss breaks I was told by the owner of a gas station “store” that their bathroom was closed but I could piss out back as long as I didn’t urinate near any of the cars he had parked out there…
I have a question for the powers that be in Vancouver… Do you people not notice the massive army of malodorous junkies swarming the entire downtown district of your fair city?
It’s like driving through a junkie version of Lion Country Safari… Maybe they think it’s better this way, but I can’t figure out how, I mean it’s obvious that the cops aren’t doing a thing about any of this…
I guess it’s admirable that the city of Vancouver provides these pathetic, drug addicted beasts somewhere they can go and die without any hassle from the man, AND, it’s right out in the open so that visitors from outside Vancouver can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of unhinged, unbridled drug and alcohol induced life and death in the gutter!
We had a great time touring all of Canada!
We saw people in Edmonton who were drunk to the backs of their brains, road kill spread across every lane of multi lane freeways, tightly wound hotel clerks, zoo smelling bathrooms, middle of nowhere hicks putting the “red” in red neck dumb asses, fake cowboy shit kicking creeps infesting Calgary when we played there during the “Stampede” whatever the fuck that is, (we have cowboys in Hollywood too but they are a different breed of shit kicker.) AND….. A bunch of really great shows!
The shows were all great.
We promise we won’t wait 12 years to come back, it will be 20…. Ha!
It’s all over! We did it! A successful trip across Canada. Surprisingly, I only saw one dear and a smashed up bear, no other wildlife. Well, there was quite a bit of wildlife on Hastings in Vancouver. Keep those windows up boys!
We’ve always laughed about the name of the hockey team in Vancouver. I always thought Canuck was a derogatory term, like being called a Dumbass. Oh well. If you guys are cool with it, I’m cool with it.
Back across the border we go. The border guard seems super stoned! He must have been smoking some of that BC bud before his shift. At least we didn’t get hassled by the man. Retox, the band we’re touring with in Canada, said they got their van ripped apart! The US/ Canadian border is the worst to cross. I don’t understand why. We had an easier time getting into Israel when we went a few years back. We would certainly come to Canada more if it wasn’t such a pain in the ass on both sides.
All in all we had a great time! I hope we can make it back soon!
I can’t say Canada wasn’t good to us. We played some small, weirdo places and the kids of Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia came out from their remote dwellings on weeknights to hear what we had to say. Strangely, being that far North, in neglected, impoverished small towns reminded me of being in the South in the States; the same depressing truck stops run by one-armed half-wits; the same punctured hot dogs spinning tirelessly on the rotisserie; the same meth-induced blank stares and vomiting pink-haired punk rockers. As someone who spends a good portion of his life traveling various parts of the planet I can assure you that everywhere I go I run into people who like to drink beer. A lot of beer.
Several times on the tour I forgot where I was. Everyone was speaking English but in a sort of weird way. That silly accent. It took me a few confused moments each morning to remember that I wasn’t in The US, or Australia, or England or Guam. Of course, it often doesn’t really matter where I am. All the hotel rooms look exactly the same and in the morning I have to pause as I exit my room to figure out which direction to walk down the hall to the elevator. I have a 50/50 chance of getting it right.
The 2-hour ferry ride from Vancouver through the Strait of Georgia was serene and idyllic. I saw some chippy on the deck lighting a joint at 11am and I wanted to ask for a toke, but I figured it wouldn’t be worth it once I was keelhauled and detained at the border for the rest of the week. The guard at immigration as we crossed back into home territory seemed half in the bag as well. He was a bit too happy to see us. Fine by me; the sooner I get back to the US the sooner I can start looking for some proper drugs.
It’s certainly a relief to pay for real coffee with real money. No more purchasing burnt bean-water with those goofy Monopoly bank notes. That said, Canada is alright. I’m mean, you guys are North Americans just like me, so we have that in common for whatever it’s worth. Probably nothing. I like trees and eggs and you guys seem to have plenty of those, so as long as I keep my record clean I’ll most likely be back. Thanks.
From Trevor Dunn
As far as tours go this is a luxury tour. Sure there are the insufferable, digestion-abating drives (20 hours from Hamilton to Winnipeg, 11 hours from Edmonton to Vancouver) and the desperate attempts at finding fresh fruit along these god-forsaken highways but all in all, I can’t complain. Believe it or not, The Melvins Group, their booking agent and crew are a lot smarter than they look. They have planned ahead, noting distance, calculating guarantees and, in general, considering the well-being of all involved. That’s not always how tours are managed. I’ve been pleasantly surprised on this trip by how often I’ve been able to achieve a decent night’s sleep, work out in the hotel fitness center and have time to call my wife. Based on how much I write about food she seems to think I should be a food critic. I told her, “well, I have to eat every day, so it’s a relevant topic.” She responded with, “Yeah, but you have to shit every day, too, so why don’t you write about that?”
Ok, here it goes: I took three shits today. Now that is unheard of while on tour. I will spare you the details but I can only guess that it has something to do with doing 100 sit-ups and eating raw vegetables backstage. Our hospitality rider consists of water, one of those “pre-washed” vegi-packages and a few beers. We don’t bother with sandwich meat, candy bars, cheeses, bottles of whiskey, loaves of bread or potato chips. Contrary to popular belief the stuff bands get backstage is not free. We’re paying for it. Nothing is for free, you dumb-ass. Most bands get blind-sided by the potential glory and glamour of being treated like god damn royalty. Guess what, you’re one of 365 bands that passes through this dive every year. No one gives a shit. I’ll take the extra money and go find a spinach salad in a restaurant. But I digress.
Back to shitting: Usually the desire reaches critical point in the morning right after I slam three cups of the “bold” coffee that’s been brewing in the hotel lobby for six hours. However, often on tour one is subject to abrupt and extreme changes that the body can only do it’s best to adapt to. The sedentary nature of traveling, the different time zones, inconsistent sleep patterns, and sporadic meal times all affect the decisions my stomach and intestines seem to make on their own. Yesterday in Calgary I had the not unfamiliar experience of needing to drop deuce about five minutes before sound-check. The protocol goes as follows: whenever possible use the women’s public stall before the venue doors open. They are usually more thoroughly sanitized than any of the other restrooms especially the one backstage which has most likely been defiled by rock and roll slobs in countless and unmentionable ways. In Saskatoon the backstage toilet didn’t even have a door, kind of like prison. I may be a heathen but I retain some self-respect. I have convinced myself that the seats in the women’s WC have been wiped down by hundreds of germophobic females who are only at the show because their drunk boyfriends forced them along. Nonetheless, I use about a roll and a half of paper to create my own makeshift seat cover. Afterward, I over-soap my hands under scalding hot water, avoid the virus-scattering blow dryer, kick the door open and do my victory strut like a half-wit German Shepherd on to the next thing. Pure luxury I tell you.
From Dale Crover
“We’re in Regina!” My wife got a good laugh when I told her where we were playing, and also the fact that there’s a football team here called the Rough Riders. Sadly the team is the Saskatchewan Rough Riders and not the Regina Rough Riders. During the show I told the crowd that I liked the name Regina because it rhymes with… Orangina, my favorite drink. The house sound man later said that no one got it because it was an American drink, which it isn’t and does not rhyme at all. My humor is lost on the locals I guess.
In Saskatoon we ordered dinner at the club after sound check. Our long time friend and peddler of our wares Dan ordered the Excalibur, a burger boasting two half pound beef, patties, bacon, and fried mushrooms and two grilled cheese sandwiches for buns! 1700 calories! We figured out that he would have to run for 5 hours straight to burn it off. As you can see by the enclosed photos that he didn’t touch the salad. You can’t make friends with salad!
The Calgary Stampede is happening as we pull into town, and we’re stuck in traffic because of it. Lots and lots of cowboys in town. Some of them are real, most are not. We start yelling out the window at every person with a cowboy hat that we see. “HEY, SHIT KICKER! Real cowboys do not wear shorts and flip flops! HEY, SHIT KICKER! HOW DO YOU GET TO BROKE BACK MOUNTAIN? This goes on for a good ten minutes until we get to the club. We jump out of the van and of course the first thing I say to the promoter and club owner is “HEY, SHIT KICKERS!” Tonight calls for a special shit kicking play list. I’m going to put some Jon Wayne on there for sure. Never heard of them? You ain’t a real cowboy! GOOGLE IT SHIT KICKER!
From Buzz Osborne
It was hotter than a pig bastard in London the other night… I felt as if I was under water the whole show… I NEVER like it TOO hot on stage because I have a tendency to pass out and in fact I have passed out as a result of blazing on stage heat on quite a few occasions… Not so much since I started using a fan live though, which was the point in the first place… None the less I REALLY have to be careful on extremely hot show nights… Oh well… No one gives two shits about that anyway do they?
I mean we all have problems and my pansy ass heat problems don’t add up to shit compared to some of the drug addicted zombies we saw as we pulled into town that night… Even the liquor stores in the downtown area sold meth pipes….
After our sound check at the 1000 degree club, we went about a block and a half to a semi pestiferous Indian restaurant that had AC….
Dale and I told stories about various insane tour experiences we’ve had with a wide variety of loser asshole bands… We stayed about as long as they were comfortable having us and left after the clearly nervous Indian hostess came over for the third time and asked us if we wanted anything….. else?
After our Hamilton show, we had one day “off” to drive to Winnipeg, which is like 20 hours or something equally ridiculous. We drove 100 miles or so that night and then took off for Thunder Bay early the next day…. I expected to see a lot more wild life then we did considering the Trans Canada Highway is one of the most remote places I’ve ever driven through. We drove it once 12 years ago and saw a shit load of deer and moose both dead and alive… This time the only thing I saw was a freshly mashed black bear with its guts smeared all over the road…
I drove for 13 hours straight and then I let our tour manager/sound man Aaron take over for the last 160 miles… We arrived at the Thunder Bay hotel around midnight to find the lobby filled with cops.
There really is nothing more terrifying after an exhausting LONG drive then being faced with an army of fucking cops… Fortunately they had no interest in us and were busy instead arresting a highly agitated and heavily inebriated red neck local… Thank god!
I’m more than happy to leave the tribal blood baths to the locals….
I’ve been playing with Trevor in various incarnations for over a decade. He’s a hip cat. People enjoy his playing and usually enjoy his company.. One thing I enjoy about Trevor is making up bullshit stories about him and then telling them to people with him sitting right there like its the honest to Jesus truth…
One of my favorites is….
I was once sleeping on the couch at Trevor’s New York apartment when Trevor came home drunk with some floozy and started making out with her right there in front of me. They were going at it pretty heavy for about 30 seconds and I was about to tell them to clear the fuck out when Trevor started choking her, I mean like violently strangling her. It took me a moment to figure out what was happening and then I sat up and screamed “what are you doing man?!” at which point he let go of her neck, looked at me and said, “hey, sometimes you just wanna choke a bitch out.”
Generally Trevor just sits there and says nothing or simply shrugs his shoulders like it’s true… That’s one of my favorite things about him!
He’s a TEAM player!
From Trevor Dunn
As I sit in catering staring at a dish of over-cooked breaded tilapia and a bbq-ed chicken leg I notice a soreness in my back and forearms. It’s day-3 of our Canadian tour and already I am considering a massage or a sauna. I’m sure my stamina and tolerance will improve over the next few days but at this point I am feeling the affects of my shattered technique. I am bowing the shit out of the bass every night; horse hair breaking in clouds of rosin while I lay into the string eighty times harder than I would under normal circumstances, i.e. any other situation other than the Melvins. It’s fun but probably not very healthy. Oh well, sounds like everything else in my life.
We just got off stage and loaded the van, nearly ready to make our exit from the Ottawa Blues Festival and drive a couple hours towards Toronto. We are anxious to get back on the pavement so I’m wolfing down this bland but free meal. The beet salad leaks sadly into the rice pilaf. The mango salsa slides off the fish and mixes horribly with the bbq sauce. For some reason at these catering tents they never let you help yourself. All the food is sitting there at arm’s length but each dish has a waiter who happily decides on the portion and placement of it on one’s paper plate. It’s as if they don’t trust you with a serving spoon. I’m forced to point at what I want and say, “a little more please”. A gnat lands on my elbow.
Just across the road Fishbone is aggressively kicking out the last jam of their set. It’s an old tune that I recognize from back in the day when I used to go see them in the ’80s. I’m tempted to walk over to check them out but I’m also somewhat indifferent and lethargic at the moment. They sound good. They sound like a real band. A few minutes later from the main stage, across the other side of the road, a dj starts his set. Fishbone, veterans of true art-rock performance, just sweated out another set thirty years in the making. Meanwhile this dj bonehead mosies up to his “turntables” and a crowd of thousands goes nuts to his incessant bass drum and transparent, bubble gum crescendos. I bet he’s making at least twice as much as the members Fishbone combined. I don’t get it. He bobs his head as he mindlessly spoon-feeds a bunch of ecstasy-heads a pile of pre-recorded jive. The parallel hits way too close to home and I salt my tilapia beyond the point of tasting my own tears.