WEDNESDAY 23 September
Short drive today, so a leisurely start.
Au Bon Pain breakfast, little shopping for man-made fiber shirts to play in (they dry faster than cotton on a motel shower rod--it's all about woolite and the bathroom sink).
An exquisite day for a drive to the Berkshires. About a week too early for foliage, but still beautiful.
Get to hotel early in time for a short nap--compensating for the RATHER long night before.
Northampton very quickly becomes high an my list of top ten places to live. What a great town! Very cool, very college, but not in a Frat way. Feel totally comfortable there right away. Pearl Street is a good venue, loads of good restaurants, lots of music for a small place. I can see why the Sonics, J Mascis, Steve Westfield, Lou Barlow, all those emo-noise-alt band people are either from here or come here.
If I could live here, I just might. Matt feels the same. Jim and Bob to lesser degrees, although the Miller Street (?) Brew Pub is almost enough to make Jim relocate. He buys the t-shirt.
Bob feels we lose the plot tonight, getting too far out of the pocket, not locking in. Sound on stage is a contributor--it sucks.
We resolve to knuckle down tomorrow.
THURSDAY 24 September
Breakfast burritos at a great Mexican place in Northampton.
Bob almost buys a Gibson acoustic at a vintage shop. I find a new overdrive pedal (one can never have too many, especially if one happens to be playing with Bob Mould...........).
Another beautiful day for driving, this time to Boston. Bob's interview in the Boston paper has opened the stable doors and let the horses out. Necessary? Inevitable? Not my place to say.
A real lesson in all this, though to be along in the back seat. And I thought the acting business sucked.
In town, I meet up with a friend and have a nice meal and stroll. One of the other perks of the tour is catching up with long lost friends.
Due to a big screw up by the Avalon Ballroom venue (they double booked the place with us AND a fashion show), the gig has moved to the Berkley School of music. It's a seated venue which ends up full, and sounds like a hi fi stereo, but the vibe is odd because of the seats.
One poor guy tries in vain to get everyone standing up. This brings a parade of bowtied ushers to ask, then tell, then threaten him to sit down. They finally drag him out and he looks to the stage appealing for help, but we're mid-Stand Guard (appropriately enough) and, therefore, a bit busy.
Then a VERY cool thing happens and the whole crowd stand in belated solidarity and remain like that through the show.
I wonder if they let the guy stay.
Very aware of lots of eyes watching my fingers here. We respond with a very well played set. Taking the tempos down like we used to in the rehearsal space, almost to the point of breaking, but it serves its purpose, proving we can still do it. Great preparation for the big Irving Plaza shows.
The other significant development is Bob actually talking during the gig. First about the fashion show--which only part of the crowd get, the rest think he's making some bizarre joke--then about me coming from the Great White Way.........Laundry in Columbus.
No one in the crowd gets this one, in fact no one but us think its funny!
but we think it's hysterical.
Had to be there...and we were.
All in all a good finish to leg one, pre NY.
We decide to drive home that night, getting in about 3:30. Along the way, Bob and I have the greatest 4 hour conversation I've had in ages. The business shit, art, life, family, friends, relationships, the tour, the band, the past, the future, the whole schemer. Really cool. The fallout from today seems to have freed Bob from a lot and as a result, we're all a bit lighter and ready to really enjoy the rest of the tour.
Homecoming is tomorrow.
FRIDAY 25 September
Matt crashed at my place last night--he and Miriam and I sat up til 5 talking laughing, trying not to wake her friend (full house at Hotel Cerveris). Miriam has taken great care of my place. I kind of enjoy being a guest in my own apartment. It's nice, but weird to be here and not here. Trying not to get too deep back into my life since I'm leaving again in a couple days.
Day of phone calls and bills. Opening old mail, throwing away tons of junk mail and catalogues.
Then, the BIG ONE.
The venue has changed since I was there last--new stairs, sound board moved. To be playing here is just so cool. Sound is great onstage, there's a welcome bouquet from the club (later, there will be White Star Moet from them--this is a place that understands class and appreciation).
Real fun to have Vaporhead with us here. It's a homecoming for Varnaline, too. One big party with all our friends.
And what a fucking blowout. Bob's on fire, we're all riding the wave. It's all the precision AND all of the fun. The crowd gets it entirely.
When, after See A Little Light, Bob says "It doesn't get any better than that, goodnight," we know we've finally gotten it right.
Afterwards, all the HEDWIG gang is there and many other close friends and family. Such a great night.
And.........no sound check tomorrow!
New York, NY
SATURDAY 26 September
A full day of life things, but very nice.
The second show is up there with our best, but after last night, anything would be a let down. Where last night was surfing, this is swimming--still wet, flowing, buoyant, but more effort required.
Even bigger crowd tonight (both sold out, but this one oversold), very hot.
More good friends at the show and a good closing to these two nights.
It's the same kind of satisfaction, the same sense of accomplishment I felt opening on Broadway. Not look-at-me-aren't -I cool-to-be-here, but I-made-it-from-the-crowd-to-the-stage-and-it-means-so-much-to-me.
The watcher watched is still the watcher.
New York, NY
SUNDAY 27 September
Trying so hard to let the ones you love know you love them even when you have difficulty finding time for them.
And largely failing.
In the end, just makes you want to get back out on the road so you can rest.
NY is exhausting.
MONDAY 28 September
Calvin Klein voice overs, a couple last minute errands and time to meet at Bob's.
Quick drive to Philly. It will be days before I feel in sync with the road again.
Good vegetarian Chinese near the club (fine fake food).
Jim's fortune becomes a new tour slogan:
" Romance in (sic) yours for the taking. Take it."
What are these cookie writers smoking?
Mine is : "You will have a pleasant journey"--not bad.
Back to the venue and a long phone call. No matter where you are, your life will find you. And fuck you up.
Very good to be playing loud music tonight.
Bob's dog has driven to Philly for the show ! Lots of ball chasing backstage pre show. How fun afterwards to be the first one offstage and find Domino there to welcome us back.
Makes me miss Gibson so much....