The Sights Tour Diary No. 8: Baranek Bumps into an Ex on Sunset Strip; Talks Drunks and Wormholes; Sights Hit D-day, ROCK Thousands
Between the palace and the alley
Alright, it’s not like I’ve been purposely neglecting my diary duties. I just, y’know, got busy. I’d like to get current, let’s see how current we can get.
So we played the Whisky Tuesday night and it went very well.
Before the gig we went to Lemmy‘s office, the Rainbow, on Sunset Strip. Lemmy wasn’t there, but there were a few Sunset Strip skeletons hovering around our dinner table. It was sorta weird, ‘cos I met Patrick from Alive Records (the label our last record came out on) for the first time. That wasn’t too weird, but there were people from the old label there as well. It’s like your ex is eating at the same table with you and your woman. The old label reminded me of when I threw pizza here last time. I don’t remember that, but I’ll take it. It was good to meet Patrick and see the old label people. It’s good to know we can still be friends, ‘cos I can hold a grudge. I should be better with that by now, I know.
Wednesday was D-Day: Tenacious D day one. We loaded into the Santa Barbara Bowl early and found ourselves in the canteen. It hit my eyes first, then my nose, and finally found me: backstage catering. We eat, and eat and eat. Everyone working backstage is so nice, the weather is about 78 degrees, the food is endless, nobody is watching if I take too much, I’m not pocketing an extra coffee creamer (caramel of course) for later, and it is at this point I regret tracking my weight. You see, I’ve been surviving on peanuts, bread, bananas, and coffee. My diet before D-Day was a mix of Lord of the Flies berries meets Karen Carpenter scary. It’s not that I wasn’t gaining weight (I was), but I felt squirrelly in my scrappiness. I am a scrounger, I save and hoard in the van knowing I’ll use it later. Not only that, but some of the non D gigs can be rough. Small clubs, more characters. This is nothing new for me, I am used to that. But when you contrast that world (wormholes that see drunks drinking in shifts) to the D world, well this where life gets interesting.
I’ve done entire U.S. tours playing in rooms that hold no more than a big family party. But we’re doing those in between the D gigs, and so the differing gig schedule gives me balance, perspective. The sun shines on the D gigs, everyone is there to serve and smile. It’s great, the band and crew are a lot of fun, and everyone wants to know how they can help. If it was like this every night, though, I’d lose the creatures we’d meet along the way in the small clubs. It’s the education I get from those–either talking to them, or just watching them, that helps to fuel why I tour. You try to explain some of the things you see or people you meet, but it can be hard and sometimes the experience is best shared by looking across the table with whoever you’re with at that moment.
It fascinates me, this back and forth between the gutters and the golden gate. There I was, onstage at the Santa Barbara Bowl, and if I looked to my left, the ocean. Look straight and it’s a few thousand people. I was nervous that the voracious D fans would be leery of accepting us, but they’ve been very warm. Then the next night it’s back to some place with a weird smell and a soundman named “Smokey.”
Anyway, met KG and JB within a few minutes of arrival. Sweet dudes, and Jack made sure to let us know who his wife is. I am excited to play with a band whose show I can watch every night and have fun with. I’ve watched both night’s shows and they’re hilarious.
All the best,
Current tour weight: unknown (really shoulda brought a scale; is there a Target around?)
Photos by Shades