Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shock/Neff tour diary DAY TWO Harrisonburg VA

Friday, first day of REAL tour, is still a work day for me see, but I figure since it’s my last day ever I can have some leeway and spend the second half of the day working from the van passenger seat via 3G-wi-fi hookup. Noontime departure, takes longer than planned, some stops to deposit a final check that arrived by FedEx that morning, get gas, try to make this boombox work. The van has only AM radio and a busted speaker, which sounds pretty gnarly and cool actually (sounds kind of like Newton). Boombox won’t run on batteries and the van’s cigarette lighter power won’t work. No tunes!

On the drive to Harrisonburg, VA I’m trying to do some more work, send some files, update things. Lance’s van, known as the Crimson Juggernaut (and some other names) is huge. A Ford Econoline extended cab, there’s space for another whole rock band, even with all our stuff, including the Dick Neff drum kit and a couple big amps. It’s also pretty old and loud, and I find that the hot air blowing out of gaps around the engine is circulating and distributing a layer of rust grit on me. When we stop at a gas station with a shop vac, I’ll try to clear some of that out.

A combination of late start and several traffic slowdowns conspire to make us arrive in Harrisonburg pretty late. The show was set up by Billy of Buck Gooter, who are a pretty weird band. That’s what everyone says about them, and I guess it varies person to person whether that’s a compliment or an insult, but being a weird band is a good thing in my mind.

It’s a house show at a place called Crayola House and we pull up about 9:40. First familiar face inside the door is Terry Turtle, the elder member of Buck Gooter. He tells us that the show has been moved! We talk to some of the Crayola residents and Billy, and find out that the concept is that another house nearby was having a party and they have a fire pit, so the show is going to be held there. Billy seems a little bummed and opposed to the idea, but the Crayolites have the final word so we help Buck Gooter load their gear back into their van and head to this other house. Once there, all is really quiet and Lance, Billy, Terry and I all kind of try to peer in the windows and get some idea if we have the address right. It’s about 10:30 now.

Dick Neff at Harrisonburg VA house show

Eventually some familiar people show up and it’s the place and lead us down to the basement. Despite the weird beginnings and late start, when each of us plays a little crowd of people come down to watch, so things turn out pretty good. The new Dick Neff sounds and songs are great! Radio Shock plays second, pretty much the same set as last night in Brooklyn, but with everything working a little better. Billy Gooter complains that I just played 3 songs, but each one has an improv intro and/or outro, so it’s really like 6 songs. Buck Gooter plays last, doing their heavy industrial protest rock thing.

Buck Gooter at Harrisonburg VA house show

We get some money, way more than expected from a house party donations scenario (I guess there were a couple of generous donators) and ride back to the Crayola House to sleep. Couch and pull-out sofa bed. My first good night of sleep in a week. END DAY TWO!

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