Here are a couple of journal entries from some past tours.
Bedazzled Spring Caravan
THURSDAY, FEB 29 (leap day)
THE CURTAIN SOCIETY'S REHEARSAL SPACE
My first practice as bassist with An April March. Great to see my wonderful friends again. We set up the gear after I show off all my guitar gadgets and goodies to my fellow guitar-geek, Chris. Things go very well, I thought. It helps that I love this band to death and I pretty much know all their music anyway. I'm amazed at how great Mike's kick drum sounds in the room, and I get a crush on Chris's new Hofner guitar. We load up the vans after practice, exhausted, but hey, this is rock and roll, right?
FRIDAY, MARCH 1
MAMA KIN MUSIC HALL, BOSTON, MA
underflowers, an april march, siddal, the curtain society
My first time playing in the "big room" at Mama Kin. Kind of exciting...you know, bigger stage, decent sound system, dressing room, free pizza, actual monitors, not to mention....AEROSMITH! Anyway, we show up and find posters for Clive Barker's new Hellraiser movie everywhere. I'm not sure if any of us every found out what that was about yet, but... The show itself was great. No hitches. Great crowd. Met a lot of interesting new people. Tried to remember everyone in Underflowers' names (I'm horrible with names), got picked on for my green leather coat...(nice Cornelius from Planet of the Apes impression, Mike...ass) and tried on Elaine from Siddal's red velvet pants. Didn't impress anyone.
somewhere in Connecticut
EN-ROUTE TO NEW YORK CITY
The weather is pretty crappy, but I've sold my soul to the fiery god of Rock and Roll, and I must press forth. In true Caravan style, An April March and I follow each other, me with my friend Barbara in a big ole' sedan, AAM in their cool new (salt coated) van. Trying to stay around 40 mph to keep from spinning off the road. Of course, this doesn't help too much, as eventually, I hit a slippery patch outside of the worn-out tracks in the snow and spin out of control into the left jersey barriers. Not so much my life flashing before my eyes, but the thought of, "Man, this is going to hurt". Luckily, no damage. No sweat. AAM drive by, Chris noticing. Danella not realizing it was me, questions Chris's reasons for wanting to stop and help. How rude.
We get to the city a little later than soundcheck is supposed to be. Nice club. Funny looking sound man.
SATURDAY, MARCH 2
UNDER ACME, NEW YORK
scout (formerly feast of saints), underflowers, siddal, an april march
(where i wake warm cancel due to illness)
I really liked this club. Small and cozy. Neat stage. Decent sound, actually. I really liked Scout. Great songs and great voice. Great sets once again, by all. I pay attention to Rich from Siddal's guitar sound and am very jealous... Nice to see the gang from Where I Wake Warm again. Had a stranger come up to me after my set with An April March and tell me that I wouldn't remember her, but she met me at a party at our manager's house last summer and she still laughs to this day at my impression of a deaf Joey Lawrence. I do it again for her, and she falls to the floor laughing. Dispite Where I Wake Warm's offer to crash at their palace, as the rest of An April March is doing, I venture home, taking in the city's sights on my way. I noticed a McDonald's every other block down 6th Ave. Can't help but to sing the Dif'frent Strokes theme.
Got very tired half way home. Started seeing interesting things in the trees on the side of the road, particularly a huge black horse across the street from Barbara's house as I drop her off. Practically scared the crap out of me. Curious, and very sleepy, I wander over to it to say hello. The horse wants no part of me, so, discouraged, I drop my hand directly onto an electric fence and get the necessary jolt to wake me up enough to drive the last two miles home.
TUESDAY, MARCH 5 8:30 AM
This sucks. I'm braving yet another snowstorm to get to the bus station in Worcester. On the way, I stop at 3 stores to get what I should have been able to get at one.
I swallow my Merezine.
I arrive at the Peter Pan bus station at 8:55 with ten minutes to spare for the 9:05 to Toronto. Oh, but the power is out at the station. No computer. The clerk seems utterly perplexed by my simple request: "One way for the 9:05 to Toronto." I'm asked to step aside as she calls the pentagon to get the interchange info for my ticket...which she could have just read off the stupid bus schedule in front of her. Finally, they start to write out my ticket as the clerk asks her partner, "How do you spell Buffalo?" as I watch her fingers write out B U F F E L O W. Then the next question, "What state is Toronto in?" Yep, I'm in good hands.
So, I take my seat in the station, waiting for my bus to be called. No electricity, no PA system. My bus leaves without me. A moment when "Gee, sir, I'm sorry" doesn't quite cut it. This means I have to wait for the 12:05PM. I have three wasted hours to kill. Could it get worse? I walk to a nearby convenience store, and passing the soda cooler, I get hit in the head with a cooler door as the Pepsi delivery guy pushes it open from behind, not looking. This day is starting out famously.
Finally, I return to the bus station. Electricity has returned. Take my seat. Get offered $10 off my next trip for my trouble "but you can only use $5 at a time..." Great. A free round trip ticket to the corner and back. Cool. 12:05. My bus arrives. The clerk comes out and makes sure I get on it this time. Home at last. I can sit for 14 hours, listen to my walkman and wake up in Canada.... I step on the bus, sit down, only to realize that the seat in front of me is crushing me. I decided to move to another seat. Of course in the process, I snag my headphones on the seat in front of me, pulling the wires right out of the phones themselves. Like McGuyver, I figure, "If I have some gum or tape, I can fix them". I had neither. I had no music...
Ready to cry, the merazine kicks in and I take a nap.
Albany was the only stop long enough to get off the bus. Eat? Headphones? Eat? Headphones? I round the corner and step into a corner store. "How are you doing?" the man asks in a thick middle eastern accent. "I'll be doing a hell of a lot better if you tell me you have headphones!" I reply. Luckily, "these just came off the truck two hours ago!" Panasonic in-ear specials. For $4.95, I wasn't going to haggle about the warranty. By the way, I hate in-ear phones. They never stay in, and they never sound good. These were the worst case scenario for both. I had a bus load of obnoxious people to drown out. These weren't going to cut it. Damn...boy was I hungry...
I got to share a seat with "Moe", although she hates to be called that. "only my Momma can call me that, except my boyfriend when he's mad at me. he works at the Waffle House with me, and he's with his family in West Virginia, I decided to come home to see my family outside of Utica. We ain't got snow like this down in South Carolina. It snows like this and they close the whole damned town down. I know my Momma's gonna give me a big hug and a home cooked meal when I get to the station. I'm getting such butterflies just thinking about it..." She went on for the entire trip from Albany to Utica. She never took a breath.
I got to Toronto at 1:30 AM. Chris picked me up at the bus station. We went home and we ate "five kind salt" soup.
Wednesday was nice. Quiet, alone on Brunswick Street. Me and Edmund watching Speakers Corner on Much Music. Walked to Bloor Street and got Curry Chicken. Managed to keep it down.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6,
THE HARD ROCK@SKYDOME, TORONTO
two bands, an april march, admiral
Sort of like setting up in the corner of the nearest steak house and playing. Missed the first band. The second band, whose name escapes me, were really...interesting. They were pretty much modern cock rock, but with a foot or two planted in the 80's. With two bright white par can on the corner that we were all playing, these guys still felt it necessary to use a fog machine. It hurt more than it helped. I could still see the pointy headstocks and bad hair. Nice guys, though. An April March do our thang. Chris spends most of the set looking out the huge plate glass window onto the Skydone arena below. Admiral were the first North American band I've seen to totally rip off the Oasis/Blur/Stone Roses thing to such a degree that I was shocked to hear them speak without accents. Haircuts and brown cords plucked right out of NME...
Spent the night reminiscing with Chris and Danella about the Lucy Show and Alphaville. Oh yeah, can't forget Chris' 10-space rack-heavier than shit and almost as awkward to carry. Danella had quite a laugh over that..
Thursday I walked more than I have all year. Ate at Marche- a fancy-schmancy restaurant with wonderful atmosphere. Like a market, but a restaurant. Wonderful food, great selection. Like a slob, I order a burger. What am I, nuts?
Left Thursday night. Had an interesting experience at the Canadian/United States border. I never have a problem going through, but it seems that An April March always do. This time, I was lady luck. "Country of birth" the crossing guard asks. Everyone in the van says Canada, except for me. "There's always one", he says. "Are you taking over anything you shouldn't?" "No", Chris replies. "Of course you're not" says the guard, and we were on our way... Drove through a storm into Pennsylvania-middle of fucking nowhere-as we decided to drive as directly to DC as possible-all back roads. Me and my suggestions. Stopped in Bradford. Spent the night at Holiday House. I swear I felt Mike put his arm around me in bed...
FRIDAY, MARCH 7
9:30 CLUB, WASHINGTON DC
underflowers, an april march, mistle thrush, siddal
Got to DC just in time for Soundcheck. The 9:30 is by leaps and bounds the most amazing club I've ever been to. It was that "concert" I remember wanting to play as a kid. Shiny aluminum light cans on a flying truss, Huge PA that worked! Dressing rooms. Treated like rock stars. So organized. So well-oiled. Amazing.
Stayed with my best friend since childhood, Jeremy, in Virginia. Saw his Mr. T doll, watched a little Reservoir Dogs and went to bed on two recliners with an ottoman in between them. Very comfortable, actually. Ate at Bob Evans the next morning. Took forever to get half-and-half for the coffee. Mike told us about the Exactlies. "Oh, man, I got a wicked bad case of the exactlies"
"What are the exactlies?"
"Oh, it's when your mouth tastes exactly like your ass"
I've never laughed so hard in my life....
Drove to Pittsburgh. Got to the hall in time to witness the sound crew do what they do best...waste time and smell bad.
SATURDAY, MARCH 9
CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY, PITTSBURGH
siddal, an april march, underflowers
I fell in love with Siddal all over again tonight. They were so wonderful. "Fairbanks" rips my heart out tonight. It's our last show, so I'm feeling a bit sad. We play. I feel I'm out of tune all night. No problem...more chorus!
Believe it or not, my parents drove down to Pittsburgh (about 10 hours) to pick me up. I had to somehow figure out how to direct them from the Motel 6 to the house. We leave about noon, as I do my "wizard of Oz" good-byes to everyone... I'll miss you most of all Scarecrow...
Listened to 70's radio all the way home. Must have heard Abba at least a dozen times.
Got home at 1:30AM. Exhausted, I went to bed and went to work the next day, like nothing happened...
Bedazzled Fall Caravan 1996
By Roger Lavallee
THURSDAY, OCT. 24
We leave lovely Massachusetts bright and early. A little worried about the health of our aging van (with already over 300,000 miles on it