05-31-1997
Seattle,
 
I missed my fucking irises. My neighbors say they were beautiful but brief; now the petals are gooey muck after a couple days of solid rain. I also missed the peonies, I didn't know what they were but I was afraid I'd miss them. But the roses are blooming & dropping red petals, the onions are high as a house, and oh the honeysuckle vine I planted just two months ago has fragrant flowers & is crawling up the back porch, precisely how it was in my dream two nights ago.

San Francisco was excellent. We spent a couple days in Berkely, mastering our first album & a bunch of singles & other crap for a double-cd of all our old songs, to be released by Matador God knows when. There's a song called "The Smoochy Life," and a song by me with the tragically timeless line, "I don't meet any girls, and I feel like a waste of a life and a shithead." It was a hoot to hear all this old crap. Carlos Santana was recording in the studio next door. The last time I saw him in person was in 1977 at Autzen stadium in Eugene when he played with Eddie Money, the Outlaws, and the Grateful Dead. Some drunk deadhead fed shots of JB to my brother Adam & I, & we got so fucked up that they had to pass us up onto the stage during the 3rd guitar solo in "Oye Como Va," and Carlos was so pleased he played the 4th & 5th solos as a serenade to my brother & I, but we were frightened and we cried & peed our pants before Bill Graham grabbed us by our throats & threw us out the backstage door. Seeing Carlos again after all these years was such a shock that I peed my pants again.

That was the only downer of our San Francisco visit, other than Andy recieving a Dear John message from the woman he loves. We got James back from his mom's care & he was in great spirits, but after San Francisco Andy was one miserable son of a bitch, so they sort of switched places & the last few days of the trip were not as pleasant as they might have been. Andy somehow made it through the two remaining shows: the Bottom of the Hill, in SF, which was pleasant enough, though we had to say goodbye to Tom Welsh & the most hospitable household on earth; and EJ's, in Portland. I talked to a tool in SF whose band has just been signed to Island & he just blathered at me in a harmless way but I wanted to break a bottle on him. We played with Bluebird & a band called Creeper Lagoon, who're sort of a hot item now I guess & they were pretty good, really. EJ's in is a former strip club in Portland which continues to host co-ed oil-wrestling matches in the afternoons before rock shows, but then everyone leaves. The cops always shut the place down at midnight, too, and we were the fourth of four bands, & Bluebird played first, starting at ten, and they played for a fucking hour and a half. So we were fucked, & the other two bands & us played "Oye Como Va" for about twenty minutes, then started oil wrestling volunteers from the audience. The only willing volunteer was my dad, who took us all on with a disturbing pleasure.

Andy took an early Greyhound bus home to get his life in order, & the rest of us stayed at my dad's, looking at softcore porn & waiting for our van to be fixed. Did I mention that the van turned over 200,000 miles on this trip? It did, and we had to get the butt-rods or whatever replaced before we could safely make it to Seattle.

I got home at about 7:30 last night & practically jumped out of my skin. I don't know how a month can seem so long but it certainly can. I drove my tiny car & it felt so good. I made myself a sandwich today out of yummy things and I can't wait to cook a good meal & eat it & watch a movie on TV & pull the goddamn weeds out of my garden. The rain kept me up last night but soon it'll be sunny & beautiful. I'm not holding my breath but I know it's going to happen. I'm so glad to be home.

There's so much stuff I meant to write but didn't, & now I'm just not going to worry about it anymore --

Michael D



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