The Special Goodness tour diary - Spring 2000
By Karl Koch
Cast of Characters:
Pat Wilson: Vocals, guitar, custom re-installer
Mikey Welsh: Bass, backup vocals, daredevil outlaw NASCAR member
Lee Loretta: Drums, van customizing artist.
Karl Koch: abacus wielder, skateboarding trainer
Michelle Loretta: magazine detail, troublemaker
Jen Wilson: stuck in school, absent from most shows
Wednesday, March 8: The first show is a local one at the Satyricon in downtown Portland, OR. Its a weeknight, an over 21 club, and a place known for beer-swilling punk rock, so we proceed with caution. To our eventual delight, a small crowd shows up, including some old friends and a girl who insists that she will be meeting us at South by Southwest, 14 days hence. She does interviews for something or other, so we hope shes not lying. The bill is full of really weird bands, including a terribly loud and dissonant group whos single merit is the skin tight dress of its lead singer girl. What a racket. (!) ...Finally the Rock is delivered, and its back to Pat and Jen's house for terrible late night 7-11 snacks.
Thursday, March 9: Today's show is in Eugene, so we spend most of the day at Pat's, loading the trailer, packing, and watching TV. Finally its off to the "W.O.W." hall in Eugene, which is kind of an antique gymnasium for loggers. (?) Anyway, the night previous MxPx (or one of those angry young bands) played, so the lady insists that every child in town spent all their money last night, and turnout will be low. The SG manages to surprise her, as well over 100 people show up, including our buddy from Napkin, the band with the mildest name in rock. Me and Mikey wander the mean streets of Eugene in search of food. Lots of Meth-heads here. After the show, we must drive as far as possible, as tomorrow's show is in San Francisco, 11 hours away. After a few hours of driving, we get pulled over by the fuzz, out in the middle of nowhere. After a brief interrogation, it turns out he pulled us over because out trailer lights are out. In fact all the lights except the headlights are out, including the dashboard lights. we pull over at a grubby 24 hour truck stop and replace a fuse. after 45 minutes, it blows again. Something is up,and we are too weary to deal, so we get a classic old-school motel, complete with the guy you have to wake up out of bed to check in.
Friday, March 10: Awakening after far too little sleep, we head into a sleepy little town to the auto parts store, buy a bunch of gadgets and (we think) fix the lighting problem with a new whozamawhatsit. Back on the road. lighting problem again creeps up about 3 hours from SF. Lee has "had it" and proceeds to completely gut and rewire the whole trailer connection thingy. Now it works just fine! Onward to the Club Cocodrie, where we think we are terribly late but in fact it didnt make a difference. Opening the show are a bunch of girl bands who apparently are big deals in the SF scene. Attitude! sheesh. Anyway, as we wait through these bands sets, Mikey and I stumble across the "This is my hand" style of cartooning. (see below). In our overtired state, this strikes us all as funny, but "other people" just shake their heads...By the way, SF wins the "most expensive gas" contest. We cant score better than $1.91 for the cheap stuff, anywhere in or near the city...
"this is my hand....and this is my band... so henceforth we are known as the band of the hand"
Saturday, March 11: Another insufficient sleep later, we cruise down the lovely brown I-5 to Los Angeles. Back to the haughty, awesome-sound-system-equipped Viper Room. Tonights show doubles as "Danceathon" or something, so tickets are too pricey and the bands are encouraged to "finish up and get off the stage" as early as possible. Thanks! Brian's Space Twins open the show, and sound nice. This time around, no one jumps up on stage and wrecks Mikey's stuff. Rivers comes down and checks it out. The first time all the weezer men are in the same room since late '98. Later Pat and I check out Rivers's new house, and sleep on the living room floor.
Sunday, March 12: After Denny's food, we hit Guitar Center for needed supplies, then pick up Mikey and cruise to San Diego. We locate the Che Cafe, a sort of bayou swamp boogie shack located on otherwise pristine modern campus grounds. The little place gets PACKED by showtime, and there are 3 opening bands, so its total pandemonium. I camp out at the merchandise table. The openers are cool, and include 6 Foot Sloth from Portland, who are very mellow and cool, kinda like Magnetic Fields...Anyway we didnt realize it till the next day in Phoenix, but somewhere in there Pats back up guitar got stolen. This was a light blue/green American made Fender Stratocaster, in a shaped black shell case. Any info regarding this incident can be emailed to me. After the show, a bunch of people hung out outside at the van, while the guys held court. Now, apparently Mikey left something "special" out in the woods, and kept encouraging the show goers in a "Terrence and Phillip" accent to "search for the treasure"... No one took him up on his offer, and all I can say is that they were smart!! that night we stayed at the "King's Inn" or something , after going around the giant "Hotel circle" area undecidedly for 20 minutes. I chose it based solely on the animated buttered waffle character in the logo.
Monday, March 13: A big drive out to the desert of vast nothingness and declining gas prices. Lee blames me for there being no Joshua trees. As usual, taco bell and Subway food is consumed in scary proportions. We make it to the Green Room in Tempe, to find we are headlining over both a pair of youthful metal bands and Peter Cornell, who is Chris Cornell's brother. Peter doesnt stray far from the Cornell style, wailing and screaming over his acoustic guitar. Odd! Also in attendance is young Phoenix area rapper Puma, who is fun to hang with. We sadly realize the absence of Pats Stratocaster around this time. Many frantic phone calls dont help the situation. Also bad is Pat's voice, which is in bad shape. We decide to sleep on these developments out inna desert...in a motel.
Tuesday, March 14: Sure enough, Pat can barely talk today, and needs to rest his vocal cords. We sadly cancel the Albequerque show. Which leaves us with two full days of driving before the Dallas show. We go many many miles before stopping tonite, somewhere way out in the middle of nowhere. The van has officially developed a "road funk"....
Wednesday, March 15: The Ides of March. More driving! we are cutting across Texas on what really isnt an interstate, so we see some special cow-towns. At one of them a Pizza Hut proves too much for us , and its Super Salad and Pasta Bar all around. By 9 PM we pull into our frend Craig's house, about 30 miles out from Dallas. A minor celebration is called at the local T.G.I. Fridays.... Thank God we're not driving!
Thursday, March 16: After a restful night at Craig's , Pats voice is looking up, and today's show in Dallas is on! We cruise to Club Clearview come evening time. Again the excellent band Chomsky is opening. This show rips. Afterwards we are bothered by a woman who thinks that randomly exposing herself will somehow impress the SG. Weird. We take that as our cue to get outta there.
Friday, March 17: To Houston, for a return to Rudyard's. Opening is the Apples in Stereo, who are pretty darn cool. The only thing I can remember is finally ollieing Pats 47" monster-wheel-equipped longboard up a curb outside the club. yes!
Saturday, March 18: Austin, the South by Southwest showcase. We drive to the massive convention center which apparently has no parking lot. We commandeer a section of construction zone and i wander around the huge halls inside until i find our registration stuff and crucial 6 drink tickets. Whoo! then we sort of hang out at the van until by chance Mikey's good buddy, a Rolling Stone writer shows up. we all decide to go walk around and eat at a real Austin barbecue place. Nice onion rings! Much later, they finally do their set, in front of about 60 people. Not so bad considering Sebadoh had the same time slot! Then Papas Fritas took the stage and rocked out too. We retire to the remote house of one of Pats in-laws, way out where deer roam freely across suburban lawns.
Sunday, March 19: On the way out of town, we stop and check out this huge mile long dam and take in the scenic vistas. I had no idea there even were any dams in Texas. Toaday is a drive day, all the way to Fayetteville, Arkansas...or somewhere along the way. By this point we have settled into the "there is no hope for maintaning a consistent diet, and forget about thinking two thoughts together in a row" tour mode.
Monday, March 20: Our first stop in Fayetteville is at the retro clothing store and used jeans emporium. Nice! Me and Pat skateboard and notice the strange lack of college students, here in the home of the Razorbacks. As it turns out, our show coincides with the first day of spring break, and all of the college students are on the road to Daytona Beach with visions of an MTV Beachouse or something in their heads. This limits the potential crowd we can draw, but the show still has a respectable turnout. Again the rock is delivered. I locate my video camera and start filming whats left of the tour and shows. Opening the show is the extremely cool Enon, from New York City. These guys are awesome. Check out their cd Believo! if you like Beck-level weirdness.
Tuesday, March 21: We have to drive for 2 whole days again, to get to Denver by tomorrow night. So we hit the road. Through Kansas we detect the lowest gas prices, around $1.40. The people there are outraged, they were used to $1.05. I tell them about San Francisco prices and they go pale. We stop way way way out in the middle of nowhere, at an exit whose only purpose is to service people who are in between Kansas City and Denver.
Wednesday, March 22: We cruise to Denver, arriving ahead of schedule. Our terrible directions have us circumnavigating the entire city, during rush hour, so we lose all the time we saved by driving across Colorado at 90 mph. Ah, the van... the van... The Bluebird theatre is very cool. Not a hell of a lot of people show up, but those that do are stoked. Opening the show is Deathray, which features the guitar player from Cake. Their brand of new wave rockabilly is a good show. The S.G. men make a hilarious mess of the end of "Fatigue" to close the show in anticlimactic style. People still cheer. Thanks people. Later, Motel 6 video review of the incident only serves to reduce us all to tears of laughter. Whoops!
Thursday, March 23: A long ass drive to Salt Lake, to play at the cozy little Kilby Court, which comes complete with an outdoor firepit area. Which was necessary for warmth, because it was cold and the room isnt heated! This place is the secret punk rock heart of Salt lake that I never knew existed. Opening the show are Weezer fans The Shakedown, and some not-so-good band who had the biggest van and trailer we have ever seen. Sheesh. Brian Bell's sister Leia shows up and checks out the proceedings. I think this was everyone's favorite show of the tour. Proper punk rock atmosphere, no stage lights, very little PA system, and really no stage...
Friday, March 24: Hellish 16 hour drive to get back to Portland, where we all collapse at Pat's house. Thanks to all who came out, and apologies for the 21+ shows.
Originally posted on Weezer.net