07-27-2002
Los Angeles, The El Rey
 
Writing this almost a full week after the fact - though it might be better that way. You wait until inspiration hits, you know?

This was such a quick trip, so little time in each city. I saw old friends and family every day and every night, there was always someone to track down and someone to be with. Now that I've moved to Chicago, living away from the West coast for the first time, I could not stop trying to find what's different about these different cities, what pulled me in, what made me want to leave, what made me happy to be in Chicago and what made me homesick.

But I won't go into it here. In LA we played at the El Rey on Wilshire, not as beautiful as the Fillmore but old, deco, and with vast glass chandeliers, so charming in its own right. A smaller stage, too - I was glad for it, I don't like playing on these wide stages where I've got to crane my head around, where I can't see the whole band at once, and can hear stuff but can't make any sense of it.

I had the most fun playing in LA, because of the smaller stage, and because I was fired up for some reason. Maybe it was the drumset, which I borrowed from Jerry, the drummer in Mike Watt's band: it started to disintegrate from the first moment of the first song, I broke maybe four sticks on the first song, it was madness. Very inspirational, for me anyway. Once, long ago, I borrowed a drumset from another drummer, and it fell apart so bad that my brother Adam came onstage and wrapped duct tape all around the kit and me. There's something I miss about that sort of nonsense. It was nice to feel it again.

After the show we heard rumours of a party at Wilt Chamberlin's house: a remarkable house, and apparently an endless parade of women, orgies, cocaine, etc. We were all very excited to go, as you can imagine; but still we putzed around. Eventually we heard that the party was over, they were kicking people out.

Okay, this is bad. I got to think of something interesting to say. What a fucked up night in LA! Not terribly fucked up, but fucked up enough. My brother was at the show, that was a gas; and our friend Greg was there, too, which was also a gas, though there's bad blook between Greg and Stuart so that was a pain in my ass. Late that night, when we'd heard the party was over, we went to a different party, this one in a hotel room which was, by some miracle, in the room right next to Mission of Burma's room in the Roosevelt Hotel. A party thrown by a woman named Marina, a woman I met about ten years ago in Seattle, down here in this hotel in LA throwing a party for herself and a few girls and lots and lots of boys.... There was something very seedy about it, like at some point people were either going to start snorting cocaine or taking their clothes off, and in the meantime we were all going to stand around and talk about our shoes and swear. Clint from Mission of Burma was talking about the many boys and few girls at the party, & said "the odds are good, but the goods are odd." It was funny, sure; but people heard it, and laughed, and repeated it, and were far too thrilled by it, which I now realize is because it was the only witty thing that was said that entire night.

Whether or not the cocaine or nudity ever came around, I don't know. I'm sure it did. But Andy and Greg and I left before we found out, found Greg's new place, listened to music for a bit, and slept until noon.

The next morning I had catfish with my eggs. It was delicious, I looked for celebrities at the diner and saw none; we missed our flight home, but caught a slightly later flight; and the weekend came to a close.


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