08-06-1998
San Francisco, Bottom of the Hill
 
Woke too early at the motel and finished the drive to San Francisco. I'm used to waking up at 7:00 in the morning, so I woke up far too early, considering how late we went to sleep.

We were all shocked at California's new No Smoking in Shitty Bars policy. I would swear it was a joke if I hadn't seen it myself. I've seen people completely ruin themselves by drinking alcohol, kill themselves, ruin their relationships, lose their jobs, all that. Tobacco is unhealthy, there's no doubt, but oh it just seems so absurd to me to ban smoking in bars. All Californians are children who must be told what's right. Apparently there was a protest movement which lost steam almost instantly. Now everyone drinks for a while and then heads out to the sidewalk for a smoke break, which, my friend Tom pointed out, ain't such a bad thing. Not only that, the clubs do smell much nicer, I can't deny it. Still, I hate the law, I really do.

My friend Liad from Seattle was visiting S.F. When I got to the bar I found her in the women's rest room, where she'd taken up residence, having lived on the streets for three nights since being booted out of her youth hostel for running naked through the boys' dormitory. I promptly put her to sleep in the van, where she slept, unnoticed, for the next twenty-four hours. I found her a cheap hotel the next day after trying for hours, unsuccessfully, to force myself upon her. We'll see how it goes when I get back to Seattle.

This show, too, was a shocking success. I got the kind of drunk-sexy-young-groupy attention I never ever thought I'd get at a Silkworm show. It was a pleasure. After our last song the crowd, somewhat shy, sat patiently for several minutes before finally raising enough of a ruckus that I tracked Tim and Andy down, forced them to put out their cigars, and brought them back for a couple more rock songs. It was a fine evening.

Oh, I wanted to mention this guy I talked to in Portland. I met him before the show. He was sitting at a booth with his friend, who was a perfectly nice fellow. This other guy, the guy I'm telling you about, said about ten of the most absurd things I've heard anyone say, ever. I'll list four. He was from Seattle. He was about my age. He told me:

  1. That William Burroughs used to visit his house in Ballard.
  2. That (Pearl Jam member) Stone Gossard stole his idea for painting a white hand on his black leather jacket.
  3. That Big Black broke up because the bass player went to law school.
  4. That Sub Pop was invented by his roommates at the house that William Burroughs used to visit, and was later stolen by Bruce Pavitt and Jon Poneman.

This guy would not fucking shut up. It was unreal. I started to call him on the Sub Pop and Big Black stories but I didn't pursue it. His friend was so normal, I couldn't figure it out. What do you say when people are such fucking twats? I left, of course, but I would have liked to be able to make him feel very small. Maybe I should have punched him. He reminded me of this kid in 7th grade who told everyone he was going to be running lights for the Kiss tour during the summer. What do you say when someone's that far gone? I dunno. I think it's best just to remove yourself from the premises. I couldn't believe it, this guy was as old as me and he was being such a desperate turd. Ick! I mean, I can be a turd myself, but shit! What a turd! William Burroughs? Who fucking cares! Shut your fucking pie-hole, creep!

We stayed the night at Tom's house -- well, I slept in the van, but the van was in Tom's driveway. We left fairly early in the morning, with no time to visit with friends, eat any good food, or see the city at all, which is a shame because it's such a nice place, even if you can't smoke in the shitty bars.


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