RADIO NATIONALS TOUR DIARY MAY 2005
by Richard Davidson with Aaron Taylor
Day 1 & 2: Sun and Mon, May 1 & 2 (Seattle): Flying to the Angels
Sunday and Monday, May 1 & 2 (Seattle)
So our good friend Johnny Hickman from Cracker flew into Seattle tonight for a quick rehearsal before our week-long tour down the West Coast. First show tomorrow night at the Sunset in Seattle. Practice got underway around 8p and went well, so there's not much to talk about here, save the fact that Aaron and Richard went to the Palace Kitchen for some late-night grub afterwards, and Richard belted out--and we mean belted out--Slaughter's "Fly to the Angels" with Susan, one of the wait staff at the Palace. C'mon everybody: "You got to flyyyyyyy..... fly to the angeeeeels..... Heaven waits for you..... and flowers bloom in your name!!!" Yeeeeaaah.
Fine. I guess you had to be there. Moving on...
Monday night was the first show of the tour. For those that don't know, we're playing twice each night: Radio Nationals plays a complete set and then we also back Johnny for his set. We played at the always wonderful Sunset in Ballard. Did you know it's no longer a tavern? Yup, that's right.... the Sunset now has a FULL BAR (along with the requisite Hungry Man Meat & Potatoes and chips to keep The Man off their back). Holly, Joe, Mike, John, and the rest of the gang at the Sunset were super-generous with the aforementioned alcohol. By the end of the night, Richard was nowhere to be found, but we hear that his evening involved flotation devices, drawn guns, and red & blue nail polish. (Nice way to get out of hauling gear, fucker!) This tour is underway!
Nice haircut Dos. Loser.
Tuesday, May 3 (Portland)
Today we managed to get Johnny Hickman to his in-store performance in Portland 45-minutes late and with no guitar amp. RADIO NATIONALS POWER ACTIVATE!! FORM OF: DUMB-ASSES!!!! *
Okay all you perverts, listen up. Hot tip #352: If you're driving past the UHaul on 15th (you know, the one by the golf range) and you see an enormous pair of double F breastesses (they were so big they deserve extra letters) flashed from the apartment across the street, thank the UHual manager, Carl. Sorry, no pictures of this episode... yet.
We rocked the house at Dante's along with opening band Moonshine Hangover. Johnny treated the crowd to "Costco Socks," which he dedicated to Mike D from SOB. Near the end of our set with Johnny, he ALMOST turned us into a jam band....
Since we only got two drink tickets from Dante's, we were sober enough to decide to drive to Eugene after the show. (Wait a sec, isn't this the kind of decision made drunk?!?!) Checking into a motel at 5am.... FREE (we pay when we check out for fuck's sake). Checking out of the motel at 11am.... $50. Aaron and Richard having to share a bed..... PRICELESS.
* Aaron would like it noted for the record that to be completely accurate with our hipster cultural reference, we should also add "SHAPE OF" after "FORM OF." Okay, now that this total bullshit is out of the way....
Nothing much happened today unless you count the fact that Aaron learned that you need a coupon to get the 2 Arby's bacon-cheddar burgers for $3. A !)(*%@#@&$) coupon?!?!?! I ask you, what would Scott McCaughtey do??? What would he do????
As we drove into "beautiful, sunny" California, we learned where all the rain we've been lacking in the Northwest went. (Okay, you wouldn't know it from the photos, but it really was raining the entire time we drove on I-5!)
Thursday, May 5 (Hollywood)
Tonight was Johnny's CD release party, beautifully organized by Johnny's wife, Soraya. She went all out for this one... there was food, a great slide show, and even the requisite palm trees on stage. Tons of family, friends, and fans came to the King King to celebrate. The Sin City folks were there, bringing a good dose of the Inland Valley to Hollywood. The Hick Men kicked off the show, followed by Skeeter Truck, and then Radio Nationals and Johnny kicked off the set doing a screeching cover of "People Who Have Died" by Jim Carroll with Bryson on lead. Later, Immy added the sweet sounds of the pedal steel and mando to Johnny's songs. It was a blast. After the show, we all gathered by the back of the pick-up truck for some late-night grubbin'.
Friday, May 6 (Dixon/Sacramento)
Later that night, for the first time ever in our lives, we all got to scream "Free Bird" at a band up on stage and it was relevant, for we saw Lynyrd Skynyrd at the fair! But what the fuck with the new song about Republicans and the "red, white, and blue"?!?!?! Fuck guys, just play the hits.
Being the responsible touring band that we are, we decided to get a jump start on the drive to San Francisco, but we got lost for a few hours in residential neighborhoods and cul-de-sacs. Eventually we found a motel 15 minutes from the fair where the following dialogue took place at 4am:
Richard, the bass player: I'd like a double room please.
"Wastin' Away Again in Vacaville!"
We got up early today: 11am. Why in God's name did we do this? So we could fix the horrible grinding noise coming from the van every time we stepped on the brakes. WE AIN'T GOING DOWN LIKE SKYNYRD!!!! The folks at Big O tires in Vacaville set us up goooood. If you thought they were all about tires, think again. Oil change? Check. New brake rotors? Check. Wiring our muffler back to the van? Check. I think we're ready for the road now!!! (Fine, the tour ends tomorrow, but hey, we're ready for the next one now!) The van is functioning like a well-oiled machine again, gliding down the road like a hot french fry through I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.
Before leaving Vacaville, we stopped at the Verizon store so Jared could pick up a new battery for his phone. Why am I mentioning this? Cause you see, life on the road involves a lot of time in the van. There's so much driving between shows and most of the time stops are only for peeing, eating, and gassing up. (Wow, that sounds just a bit funny.) So when we stopped at the Verizon store, Rick, Richard, and Aaron didn't know what to do with themselves. We didn't have to pee. We weren't hungry. We had gas (well, the van did. And Rick.) We were like little lost puppies. Luckily, as would be the case with little lost puppies, the middle-aged suburban housewives and their 13-year-old daughters kept us entertained until Jared returned.
Next, we went to catch up with Johnny, Soraya, and their friend Nancy at the Family Fun Center. Oh yeah. Richard spent $3 to see what he'd look like with a woman's haircut, then mistakenly dropped the photos inside the crack of a video game, Street Fighter. Twenty minutes later, with the video game completely disassembled by a maintenance worker, he got his pictures back.
We all made our way into San Francisco and the coolest thing in the whole world happened (hyperbolic?) when we got a parking spot right in front of the club. Before the show, Rick, Aaron, and Richard grabbed some grub at a great hole-in-the-wall taqueria where Aaron and Richard proceeded to have a jalapeno eating contest. "Ready? One.... two.... three.... eat!" By the end of the contest, Richard's shirt was soaked through with sweat.
Word of the day: you guessed it... hyperbolic
Sunday, May 8 (San Francisco to Seattle)
Nothing happened today unless you count the fact that we drove 46,000 miles back to Seattle.
At one point Jared was overheard saying "I can't afford to keep going through G-strings like this."
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