Well they say there’s a hurricane going on in New Orleans today. All my television offers is The People’s Court. My phone gets no incoming calls. For some reason I can’t get online. I seem to have drifted into a paradise of ignorance. All I know is that my friend Yvette has assured me that my 1960 Fender Concert amplifier is safe on the second story of her house. All in all, I’d say the situation is excellent.

We had some tours lately, one with 007 and another with the Tin Men immediately afterwards. Before I say anything else I’d like to talk a little about a place called Grape Street in Philadelphia.

If you read my last diary entry, you will recall a little rant about a certain club that stiffed the Tin Men last spring. I didn’t use the name of the club because I had to play there again with 007. You will also recall that in that rant of several months ago that I had in mind some actions that I was going to take with their representative, should I have the ill fortune to cross paths with him this time around. In all the hubbub leading up to these tours, I forgot to get a copy of the Pennsylvania State Civil Service exam, which I meant to give to their factotum, as a small gesture of my esteem. I think my purpose was to shove it up his ass or somesuch.

It’s too bad that I didn’t have the document, but it makes no difference as I made it clear to the band that I would have do dealings with the management. My hostility towards this place would surely get the better of me, and in the end would not have been productive at all. The gig was set up through persons in Philadelphia who have regular dealings with the club, who had assured us that there would be absolutely no question of our getting our guarantee.

In the end we did not get our guarantee (a very modest sum, I can assure you), but only a portion of it. The first I heard of this was after we had loaded up the van and were ready to depart for New York. I’m pretty sure I laughed when I heard the news. This world is pretty tough, even without the lying, scumsucking, soulless cunts at Grape Street Philadelphia.


Grape Street is located in Manayunk, sort of a trendy, Philly version of Williamsbug, Brooklyn. They had us on a bill following two metal bands and a sort of jazz combo. We went on after midnight on a Wednesday, charged us for our drinks and food and were generally hostile, especially about parking. This club sucks ass—Don’t go.

Extreme Touring

This is my new term for booking a tour on the day of the gig. If you were interested in how July’s Woodstock shows went with the wack band opening up for Buckwheat Zydeco and the Subdudes at the Joyous Lake, I can tell you that we didn’t get our guarantee. The promoter said he’d mail me a check when his online ticket sales came through. That never happened. But I was hopeful because I knew that the Tin Men were scheduled to play there in August for the promoter’s birthday party, as well as the club gig. As it happened, Chaz’s wife, Jessica, was surfing the interweb and came across the Joyous Lake website. Seeing no Tin Men listed, she e-mailed the club and got a response from them to the effect that we had cancelled. This is on Friday afternoon as we were preparing to leave for upstate. I made some calls and finally got to speak with the woman who does the bookings for the place. She talked to me for over a half an hour about this promoter character, who vanished owing a lot of people a lot of money. He goes by three different aliases—Scot Stanley, Scot Blend, and Scot Dion, and pulled similar capers on the West Coast. He is Irish and told Matt Perrine he’d been taking elocution lessons in order to lose his brogue. The booking lady (Janet Morra—a very nice woman who was a big help in filling thye gaps in our knowledge) intimated to me that she’d heard that Scot and his family were involved with the IRA. He owes money to a bunch of bands including several New Orleans acts. He also owes money to backline companies and music venues. He’s pulled scams involving online ticket sales. And we were supposed to play this guy’s birthday party. This is where Extreme Touring comes in.

What we did was call every place we could think of and ask if we could play that night. Will Beam of the Meeting House at Cold Spring, NY came through for us on the Friday night, and Mike Mikkelson of the Black Swan in Tivoli, NY, let us play on both Saturday and Sunday nights. To these two fine gentlemen we owe our heartfelt gratitude. From what would have been sheer disaster we salvaged our weekend rather nicely. And the shows were pretty cool. The Cold Spring show was especially rewarding because these people had absolutely no idea what to expect when we came rolling in with the tuba and the washboard. They scratched their heads a little at first, but when it was all over we made some fans and sold some CDs.

P.S….But all this was pre-Katrina. I’ll have to save the post-Katrina stuff fro later. I’m just too inundated