we went back to wisconsin for some reason. i shouldnt say for some reason like its a goddamn mystery, like i had no idea we were going to play a show in Appleton. but jesus, Wisconsin – there’s a reason so many strange things came out of there. Andy Peterson included. Andy Peterson, who made us stop at this cheese store shaped like a castle where you’d swear there was a real moat around the thing based on how many times Andy had to circle the place, missing the entrance. to be fair, it was pretty easy to be dazzled by such a stupid thing.
it was a store filled with shit that i feel like i should want but after thinking for ten seconds, wanted nothing to do with. tons of factory made meat and cheese. some crackers. some beer. basically the shit that comes in and out of my life and bathroom every single day only now it’s in a castle instead of a dusty basement with clothes laying around.
everyone ordered food from another asshole counter idiot and went and waited in the bar for their sysco sandwiches and dumpy fries. i opted for the dumpy pizza after interrogating the asshole counter idiot for more information:
“what does natural sausage mean?”
“yeah, I can read, but what does that mean?”
“its natural sausage.”
“okay, give me a slice of the cheese.”
not even a shrug, not even one of those half-frown/lowered-brow looks people give you instead saying, “i don’t fucking know”…just a blank stare and a few blinks. oh well.
i sat in this bar and some dude decked out in Green Bay Packers gear and said, “ya want your last beer before ya hit 3.2 country?”
i admired that line and after realizing i had no pressing business to attend to in the back of Andy’s Dodge Intrepid, i went for it. my dumpy pizza came. the bartender was intuitive enough to pass me some hot sauce, suggesting he too knew the quality of the cuisine. i sat there watching truck commercials between football pre-game programming, quietly cursing at the TV for peddling some fucked up Go America Buy A Truck campaign to laborers – people whose professions have been dying. people who dont know that their Carhartts are made in mexico now. fact checking my complaining, Wikipedia tells me that Carhartts were also popular amongst crack dealers in the early 90s.
“They needed to keep warm and they needed to carry a lot of stuff,” said Steven J. Rapiel, the New York City salesman for Carhartt.
i watched people across the bar eat a wheel of cheese from a safe distance and talked about starting a YDI cover band centered around health, called YDIET. fuck, maybe Dan came up with that. it sounds like something dumb he’d think of. Pat started talking to me about Aaron Rogers and his resemblence to one of my best friends.
i kept trying to catch a glimpse of him on TV but kept missing him. so our bartender decided to help out.
“Aaron Rodgers? He’s on those State Farm commercials!”
i gave him the same blank stare that idiot counter asshole gave me.
“He’s on this commercial like, doing this dance because some other fucking idiot is doing some fucking dumb dance and he’s doing a dance and then oh man its so funny,” is what i think the bartender said next.
i shrugged and hoped he’d let it drop.
“He’s got electric blue eyes and a triangle nose, like it’s never been broken. Real piercing eyes!”
“okay, dude,” i replied.
just then i got a text from Andy that read, “our bartender is in love with Aaron Rodgers”. he was right. feeling uncomfortable, not from the gaying bartender but more from the trying-really-hard-to-not-be-gay football atmosphere, i went to go take a piss.
sometimes i’ll go take a piss even though i really don’t have to just so i can have an excuse to go somewhere isolated and very neutral. bathrooms are generally all pretty similar so they feel familiar which makes them safe zones for people tripping on drugs or, in my case, who just get tired of shit. i walked in, stood next to a dude, and unzipped my fly.
but i couldn’t piss. so i stood there next to the guy, obviously not pissing. making him think i am either some sort of “pee-shy” person or that i just came in there to mess with my dick. so really, my attempt to leave an uncomfortable scene just placed me in a more intimate and more uncomfortable scene.
i went back and gawked at a woman i couldn’t figure out the age of. she had hair like she listened to Whitesnake but was only old enough to earnestly enjoy Avenged Sevenfold. i stared at her until i realized she thought i was checking her out. then i stared at Terry Bradshaw until my eyes started burning. we finished our beers and left.
in the car we talked about teeing off (putting a golf tee in your urethra and letting someone hit a golf ball off your penis) and someone threw a cigarette out the window and it landed on one of us in the back. always a classic move.
we arrived in Appleton at the Poison Manor where there was a TV party centered around the football game. there was food. all sorts of food. good food, too. food that some guy named Remy made, too. Remy was the first person i noticed because he looked like he was on acid. he had bleached blonde hair with brown roots showing and big fucking eyes, staring intensely at you. it took me a while to realize he was not a threat to our personal safety.
he was engrossing to talk to, so much so that i stood in the doorway of the bathroom where i was preparing to shit without any sort of exit plan. i suspected the conversation would not stop and that Remy would continue talking to me while i sat there, shitting. but he got distracted and i managed to shut the door.
Minus 9 showed up in a small sedan. two guys – drummer and a bassist. Andy and something else. fuck. we shook hands.
anyway, eventually the house was packed. not to say i thought the show would be a bust but shit, there were tons of people milling about. art school nerds, underaged punks, all sorts of shitheads come out to shows in Appleton. it was really great.
we stood outside while people talked to Remy. someone asked him about drugs and his response was,
“ive got acid. i can get you acid.”
“of course you can get acid! fuck! look at you! jesus christ!” i drunkenly shouted at him.
i walked back inside and started talking to some girl. Andy emerged from the basement yelling,
“hey, drew, there’s three kids down there talking about Megadeth.”
so i ran down and saw that the first band, Vivisect….icide? ion? Too many bands with that name, hold on, let me get the fucking business card that those hesher fucks gave me.
anyway, those kids were setting up. i think Dan later filled me in on having a weird racist conversation with those kids that he excused himself from, but thats a pretty hefty allegation to toss around i suppose. so im not sayin’, i’m just sayin’. while they set up, we set up our distro and shirts up on a washing machine.
kids piled downstairs at the first hinting of noise and Vivisectionicideorama started playing. it was “death/thrash metal”, certainly. talented kids, too. i yelled “Megadeth” at them and shithead started playing part of “Peace Sells” perfectly, but then did not play the song, causing me to keep yelling. then they had some gear problems and who gives a fuck.
here is a very important tip from someone who is not very important:
if you are having gear problems, try to fix the problem in between songs. if it is not immediately fixable, your options are limited:
1) throw a fucking fit
2) play the show without whatever is fucked
3) attack the crowd
if you do anything else, your set will be shit and you will look like morons. doesn’t matter if its you, John Joseph, Harley Flanagan, and Bing Fucking Crosby on stage together. it’s done, leave it alone.
so that shit happened and then Minus 9 played, who were so good they beat the shit out of the entire concept of music. fantastic band, tons of energy and a singer/bassist who i later geeked out about metal with. and theyre like, 40 or something. all of us looked at each other after they played and decided we would not play after them the next night in Minneapolis.
after Minus 9, some mallrat kid came up to Andy and Joel to look at records.
“how much for all the records?”
andy shrugged and replied, “uh, i don’t know. $600? i have no idea.”
no, no, i don’t want to buy all of them. how much for each one?”
joel began screaming, “they’ve got fucking price tags on them!”
“i can’t see them,” stammered the mall punk.
“OF COURSE YOU CAN’T SEE THEM, THEY’RE IN A FUCKING BOX! FUCKING OPEN IT! WHO ARE YOU, SUPERMAN?”
we set up our shit in record time and started fucking around. everyone in the house came down again, a good 40 or so people. i introduced us as “Varix from Japan” or something dumb because they were playing Varix when we came in. figured i’d win them over with charm seeing as how we’re all too incapable and drunk to play typically and this night was not going to be much different. we played sloppy and violently for three songs when someone who lived at the house came up to me and pointed out a pipe very close by:
“hey man, this pipe is the sewage line. so if you hit it, shit and piss will go everywhere. so remember, stay away from this pipe.”
good advice. unfortunately in the middle of maybe our fifth song, someone had grabbed a pipe out of the ceiling, spilling dirty water all over the crowd and us as well. pat ran into the pipe and pulled some alice cooper shock shit, letting whatever was in that pipe pour into his mouth. we found out later it was whatever was drained from the sink.
and then the rest of the night, no one could use the bathroom or the sinks. we thoroughly wrecked appleton.
a bunch of kids bought our record and shirts, which is unheard of. we found out later Andy marked everything down and sold our shit for half. so that makes sense.
so we got more drunk. and i talked to kids about a cop in appleton called “Death Metal Cop” who i guess is some police officer from out east who screams at people in death metal vocals. the story goes is that he was involved in a swat raid that went wrong and had to change his name.
talked to some dude who was in Cock ESP, Jason Wade’s sink-throwing experiment. talked to someone about working in a group home. talked to someone about Dissection. wrote down the words “car burrito”. oh, and some gal had some crooked-ass bangs and i kept trying to cut them. eventually she said she would let me if i could name a line from Rock N’ Roll Racing for SNES, a game i used to play obsessively. “OLAF launches himself” was the line that brought scissors to her face, cradled by a bald man with a scabbed up head and 15 beers deep.
then i talked to Andy from Minus 9 about Chris Colohan. then someone outraged yelled,
“Shane! Someone took a shit in the toilet! Come see!”
“I know what a turd looks like,” was Shane’s reply.
we found out the next day that Dan shit his pants during our set or something and what was found in the toilet was the remains of the incident.
i met some dude who worked at a Hot Topic. i talked about Die Kreuzen. Remy sold someone acid. i danced to “Rock Lobster” and Depeche Mode with Joel and a girl named Erin while wearing nothing but my underwear. then i chased a dog around the house.
we woke up to one of the dudes in the house melting snow in a pot on the stove.
“i just need some water, man. i was trying to thaw the snow out in the toilet but it wasnt working very well.” (he seriously said this, still dont get it)
“oh that sucks. sorry we fucked up the basement. that Remy guy said he could fix it.”
“Remy? that guy’s a fuckin idiot.”
“he sells acid.”
“yeah, i think i traded my weed for some last night. i woke up this morning and tried to find my weed but all i had was acid.”
we crept out and went to a co-op coffee shop with some egg sandwiches or something. my last notes in my journal are as follows:
i could write another journal entry about playing Memory Lanes in Minneapolis, which we’ve done countless times. but i’m not going to. im going to sum it up:
we got home. we showered. we went to memory lanes. andy told us to wear suits. pat wore white denim. dan wore a sportcoat. i wore a purple suit. joel wore a sweater vest or something. Toilet all rode the bus to Memory Lanes and had no gear. they also had 10 members. they took an hour to set up and then played some mega-fucked up rock with kazoos and horns. it was fantastic. we played and i threw beer everywhere and got seriously fucking hurt. i have to go to the chiropractor again on thursday. minus 9 played and they solidified themselves as geniuses and that andy dude walked around the stage kicking and throwing shit. much worse played and they were
wait for it
nah they were good. 1-2-fuck-you!