The Tour Begins
HELP!! We're trapped in a van with degenerates who call themselves the Bungholes or somethin'. Wait!... we're the degenerates--they're very straight guys who just like to go camping, hiking and fishing for pee bottles.
Lance of SKITZO navigates while mechanic Tovin attempts to obscure his identity...
Our first shows on this tour were in San Francisco, at the Covered Wagon and then Kimo's--both kick-ass gigs, 'specially Kimo's where we had more time to get all our equipment set-up. That was the easy part, since we're local to the area.
It's when we crammed eight people, a dozen boxes of merchandise, two drum sets, two guitars, two basses, a P.A. and two amplifiers with cabinets, other musical equipment, food supplies, sleeping bags and personal luggage... well that's when things got a little hairy!
I had to leave half my kit behind just to get everything to fit. That sucked. Bungworm Mo was a packing genius, as he ordered the other Bungholes to stack everything up to the ceiling of the van. By the time we were ready to roll, you couldn't see out the back of the van. Shit was stuffed under our seats and in every nook or cranny imaginable. This was economy class all the way, and we set out from the SKITZO studio in Rohnert Park for the long-distance haul.
The Bunny Ranch, Nevada
The next stop was the Bunny Ranch in Nevada. Fluff Grrrl joined us for this gig, mostly because they wanted to be one of the first bands to ever play a live music show there.
SKITZO went first. We played a decent set, despite having to get used to the down-sized configuration. The P.A. worked fine and Lance was even able to puke on Bob (lead vocals for Fluff Grrrl) and even in Bob's begging mouth.
Everything seemed to be getting into Bob's mouth that night, as the next thing was a golden shower from an almost legal "bunny" with short blond hair. Looked like Bob was using this opportunity to examine the female anatomy as she pulled her tight dress and squatted over his gaping hole. Yeah, but she had stage fright, so they made her drink some beer and water to get a good flow going for good ol' Bob.
Fluff Grrrl played and Bob had by now donned a sort of bikini made of raw meat. It was a very raw performance too! With a name like Fluff Grrrl, I guess a Nevada brothel's the ultimate gig!...
The Bunny Ranch gave us tokens for free drinks, of which there were plenty inside the main building. After passing the locked metal gate to get in, we saw a greeting room and a bar where gallon-sized booze jugs hang upside down with tubes to make serving drinks a cinch.
The Ranch fed us hungry musicians. Little did we know--this would be one of the few meals we would actually be given "on the house". A kitchen Bunny invited us to serve ourselves.
That Night in Reno...
We soon found out the truth about this tour. Meals, lodging, transportation and maybe even some cash were the temptations that lured us here. Go figure: Mo had to shell out a couple grand from his pocket for the van rental. We'd already been taking turns paying for gas and saving the receipts. One free meal and no place to stay the night. We'd been given a discount booklet and left on our own.
It was past midnight, so none of the places in the booklet had any vacancies, and with no reservations, we were S.O.L.! We checked in at the first cheap place with a room. Lance paid this one. Kelly and I, parched and hungry again, stopped at a 24-hour store for snacks.
So we had a room, and Lance discovered the extra key the clerk gave us was for a second room. Ours was something like 310 and the clerk had accidentally given us a key for 301 as well! So we had an extra room for the Bungworm gang, who were already passing out in the van. But their drummer Andy took the room all for himself, figuring it was better not to disturb their beauty sleep. (Right!)
The Desert Bar-B-Q
The next morning we rented a trailer. Smart move, even though we weren't supposed to! And suddenly there was tons of space and people could actually sit on the van benches with room to nap in the back cargo space.
SKITZO bass-guitarist Kelly, trying his best to ignore Ed and Steve of Bungworm...
The next stop on the tour was supposed to be the Santa Barbara Zine Fest. That would have been cool to see, and I was hoping to drop off a drum head to Daneen's Custom Airbrush shop, not to mention help Shane with his merchandise sales.
But wouldn't you know it, the Bungholes decided that since we didn't absolutely have to be in Santa Barbara (no show to play at the Zine Fest) that they would side-track us to a ranch house out in the Mojave Desert. So much for my plans!
One stop at Food-Max and three hours of looking for Tovin's step-brother's ranch-house later, we were off course and lost in the desert. We needed to turn around, but our van couldn't turn on this narrow, wash-boarded desert road, with the trailer attached.
So when we tried to pull into a smaller side road to turn in, of course the van got up into the sand and was stuck! We tried to back out, but the trailer started jack-knifing. So the eight of us pushed sideways on the trailer in the sand (equipment still inside) until it was straightened out enough to back the van out.
A close call... You know many cacti are edible!
When we finally found our way to Jerry's ranch, it was around eleven. Still time for a bar-b-q though! I made friends with the guard dogs and felines, while the others ventured out of the van and Tovin went to wake his brother.
A twelve-pack and much leaf-kindling later, there was too much meat to eat! It was like some sickly, ghoulish carnivore festival, under the dark desert night sky. Sand and ocotillo made our backdrop. We all pigged-out, including Jerry's three dogs who'd definitely decided they liked us strangers coming over for a visit!
The next morning, I woke to the orange, desert sun-rise from my sleeping bag, having slept that night out back with the canines. I must be a pack animal myself. Everyone else was pushing to leave by eight. Whatever. We drove to L.A. next.
We got to Los Angeles that afternoon. While Kelly and Lance went out on their Zappys to check out the Mondo Video spot, I called my Uncle who lives nearby, to say hi. This was the first time I'd told him about our tour and he gave me some good business advice.
Then we looked for a hotel to stay at. Once again, no vacancies at the discount places, and this being L.A., it seemed like the only place with a room was the Ramada Inn at over a hundred bucks a night! That might be good for rapsta's and krak dealers, but hey, we're metal heads!
And their only vacant rooms weren't even ready yet.
Anyone seen a cheap hotel around here?
Fuck it, let's just sleep in our van in the middle of East L.A.!
So we looked some more and things starting feeling glum, until we found a nice hotel with good plumbing and all the fixins! With only a few hours left before the night's activities at Mondo, we all knew what to do...