07-26-2002
San Francisco, The Fillmore West
 
It's Fillmore West because Fillmore East was in NYC a long time ago, I think it's been gone for years now. Bill Graham started the Fillmore West, at its current location, in 1966. There are photographs of everyone ever playing onstage - including Gwen Stefanie! of No Doubt! and Jimi Hendrix and other famous stars. There's a photograph of The Who, not here, but at Winterland, a picture I've never seen before but which has to be one of the greatest rock photographs of all time. It's at least as good as the one on the cover of London Calling, I'm telling you!

Before, though, our stay in Seattle could hardly have been better. I saw people I wanted to see, Matt and I spent a day at my Mom's place in the woods, picking berries, eating like kings, watching a cat eat a rabbit! Attack it and bite its neck and walk off! And later that night, after spending the day explaining my remarkable ability to drink in moderation, I drank to excess, overjoyed with a feeling of being an expatriate in my home town, and slowly rolled across the city like a child curls and rolls down a grassy hill. I eventually rolled onto a couch at a dear friend's house and slept poorly, but gladly.

In San Francicso we had a rental car the size of a... of a full-sized rental car, which fit all of our things, and all of ourselves. I am a little groggy now, so I may not talk much sense. I think there's coffee around here, and I want a mocha! It's better here without the terrifying Midwestern heat, because even on a beautiful, sunny, augmented-breast-filled day like today, it's still sensible to have a hot mocha, rather than iced tea. That's what I'll get. And maybe I should have gotten it earlier, maybe I should be drinking it right now. It's too late though, I can't stop! We had this big car! And it fit all of our stuff. We took it to the Fillmore West, did I tell you about the club? It's big, and beautiful: chandeliers, and posters everywhere, not scummy, nice people, good food. Mission of Burma were great! And how were we? I don't know! This was a classic opening-band night: our cadre of fans was pleasantly thick, and very responsive; we played well, it was fun, the sound on stage was great. But what a huge crowd! And did many of them care, really? No! How could they? We are such a soothing force, like a mother's breast, and coming after the Mike Watt experience, which is like a little brother's erection, it was an odd fit. Christ! Something is wrong with me. These bastards I tour with spend all day talking in fake Italian accents, saying these absurd but sometimes funny phrases in fake Italian, and it's starting to get to me.

I'll try to avoid it. This funny thing happened: we were playing, and we were going to play Nerves, but my snare drum was fucked up and all my sticks were broken, and I knew that if we played Nerves everything would be lost, that'd be the end of sticks and snare and everything. So I said "let's skip it!" Someone in the crowd heard and said, "what's wrong Michael?" That is nuts! This has gone too far, when total strangers are reaching out from the audience, giving me emotional support! And what's worse, I answered! I said something about being depressed - which wasn't true, and was hardly even funny, but you can't always win. I mean, you can only very rarely say something funny. Still, I said something about being depressed; and someone else in the crowd said, "I could tell." They all sounded very concerned. It was sweet, and kind of funny, and kind of odd.

I don't know if I've said anything at all. The club tonight looks very pretty. I am only concerned with celebrities tonight. I thought I saw one at the yummy bakery we went to, but I wasn't sure. Matt might have recognized her. I didn't, but she had that look. But who doesn't down here? I don't even know what celebrities look like. Maybe I'll see one in the coffee shop while I am paying for my mocha.


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