Music Features
Jul 13, 2007, 05:30


TWA FLIGHT 770 5.2.88

Here we are, Queens of the Universe. –Bill

Yes sir, a beautiful drive through Illinois. My Chevy rattles a bit but gave us a smooth ride. The Captain is buying rounds of beer on fated flight 0770. –Michael

Jiminy, we waited 3 hours at O'Hare and were forced to sit quietly in our seats. I almost split a bladder, but the Pilot explained that once we were airborne, he'd spring for as much beer as we could drink. Smiles came to our faces as we anticipated brew after sudsy brew pouring down our parched throats. –Dan

LONDON 5.5.88

I Threw up on the plane over London, and it was the best thing I've tasted since we got here. We're on our third day and are destitute. All we've had to eat so far has been cow's bladder.

We did an interview with Edwin Pouncey [Savage Pencil], who was a very droll man. We are searching for that greatest of all Brits, Benny Hill. –Michael

We really don't have any money and we haven't played any shows. We spent our last few shillings on coffee and with the few pence left over we helped a ragamuffin buy some porridge. –Dan


We woke up at 9:00 and took the train to an airport. We have to fly over the English Channel because there is a ferry strike. I know I could swim it in a matter of hours. –Dan


Here we are in Europe. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I'd find a town that I hated more than NYC or Minneapolis, but lo, I did, and it was London. We went to a Punk show there. It was like a scene from Sid and Nancy. Cops came after the landlord was beaten up. That bummed out the Skinheads and the Fin-heads, but it was the only time that I felt safe. The really big thing in England these days is Southern Californian Hardcore. Oh boy, how with it. They think that black folks are really cool too. The British are a snotty breed, and an ugly, pale, inbred island community.

While at Gatwick airport waiting for an “Air Ferry” to the Netherlands, Bill was accosted by an irritating and annoying Canadian who thought that we'd be his friends. After ditching him in a W.C. we had some grease for breakfast. –Michael


One show in Belgium, at Gent, for 2 billion Francs (around $12.00). The man in charge fed us the best chicken that I've ever tasted, and in the morning made us famous Belgian Waffles. Then he took us to a famous castle with a torture museum inside. The only bad thing about Belgium is that the streets are so narrow that they're like driving down a hallway. How could we ever get Dan's Cadillac through town? –Michael


We had a new chauffeur for a day named Walter. Walter asked us about the kinds of ladies we like. He told us he likes blondes. Germans. His girlfriend however in not blonde but brunette, as he explained that blonde Germans are nasty bitches.

Walter enjoys driving down bicycle trails and across public markets. With Walter at the wheel, we enjoyed such activities as well.

In Amsterdam now, we are enjoying toast and marmalade in the fashion of the nobles, at the Hotel Quentin.

Not only is it tea but the cups are small too.

Last night we watched a Dutch band ravage American songs. We were spotted as Americans by a slag from Frisco. She was proud of being able to speak Dutch and bragged about it, so we made her feel foolish and trashy, then left. We went to find the window shop ladies of Amsterdam, down in the sexy part of town. We swam in the famous canals and stepped in the famous dog shit.

Now it is today. –Michael

GOES 5.13.88

It seems that there's a couple of irritating Dutch men who want to record us and put out a record of us live. They're irritating because they speak English very poorly and don't comprehend it too well, so we can't communicate with them and they're pushy as hell. They make Dan very nervous.

So far we've played two shows with Vancouver's NoMeansNo. They're a really swell bunch of fellas. I like them a lot, but hangin' out with them were some jackasses from America's East Coast in some fucking awful Hardcore band. Of course any Hardcore band is going to be fucking awful, it's the nature of the music and goes with the intelligence of these kids.

Tuesday we played in Rotterdam with everybody's fave band of junkies, Crime and the City Solution. How in the hell can a sensible and friendly guy like Mick Harvey hang out with a bunch of smack shooting pea-brains? Their singer/moaner, Simon “Jim Morrison” Bonney is so simple minded that after making him write down all of the lyrics so that he wouldn't forget them, he lost the note book he wrote them in.

Speaking of simple minds, yesterday while enjoying breakfast on our garden terrace, I met a mongoloid who waved and talked to me about the weather. He also told me to enjoy my coffee and toast, which I then did. This was in Eindhoven, the hometown of our tour manager and new pal, Djie-Han. –Michael

THE HAGUE 5.14.88

Oh my God it's the fattest man alive and he was on stage with ME! Oh goodness I can't believe my good fortune to actually meet the fabulous genius from California, Zoogz Rift of SST Records fame. The roly-poly gentle bear of a brilliant singer/songwriter hugged me, what joy! –Michael


Well, let's see. We played in The Hague, but not until after we went to see a torture museum where they made small children scream. Then we watched a network called “Sky” on the club TV. They showed programs like Lost in Space and Emergency. Dutchies eat this stuff up like Limeys eat grease.

We hung around for the third time in a week with NoMeansNo. Then we went to our fleabag hotel in a seedy part of town where the showerhead was right over the toilet. The sink and mirror were directly in front of the stool, so that a man could sit and leisurely take care of all his morning needs.

Bill taught English for a day. Dan wished him luck.

When we went outside, something bad happened. Michael said, “Shit, look at the van,” and each of us dropped our jaws. Someone had broken one of the windows on our rental van! Bill said, “We'd better investigate,” which we did, and found that nothing had been taken. I guess that someone had gone on a glass breaking spree, just like Dustin Hoffman had done in a movie that we watched the night before on the “Sky” channel. We were thousands of miles from home, victims of mindless crime, probably at the hands of Germans who are well known for their atrocities. Where's Karl Malden when you need him most? So we got in the van and Djie-Han took us to a very special place called Madurodam which is Dutch for “midget town.” All of the famous sights of the Netherlands created for our delight on one little acre! There were many little windmills and many, many little cows and much water. We were told of a similar wonder in Copenhagen made of Legos.

Then we moved on to Amsterdam, the city where the swingers go. We played in a festival with the self-proclaimed genius, Zoogz Rift, and again with Big Stick, who love to complain but put on an amazing show. There was another band too, from England, called The Cardiacs, who sound a lot like Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Michael was showered with many beers during one of our finest sets yet, which was recorded by a Dutch radio station for a broadcast of the fest. –Michael and Dan

Actually a shower of beer is more refreshing than a shower of panties like Tom Jones gets during one of his performances.

Today we did laundry. –Michael


Leaving Dortmund for Berlin, Jerry on the radio singing “Sloop John B,” in German of course. Jerry got us out of bed at 9:00 for a breakfast of black bread. In America this is known as particleboard.

Last night's show was in the Dortmund train depot where the old porters really dug our groove.

Jerry is an oddball alright. The Huns use dishrags for towels and something that looks like a rather large feminine napkin for a bed blanket. These blankets are 2” x 5” smaller than the bed in each direction.

Sorry 'bout the tea, sirs... please... no, not my eyes!

The night desk man at the hotel last night laughed so hard at the name “Hobson” that his face turned pink and his entire body shook and this happened every time the name was mentioned. Nobody knows why.

Yesterday on Hitler's Autobahn, something very bad happened. A sleepy German in a truck came within 2mm of killing all of us. He swerved from lane to lane and just missed careening into the oncoming lane by 1cm. (I use the metric system because these people are too backwards to use progressive measurements like feet and acres.) We had to stop immediately and piss. We were scared and I just about shit my drawers.

Now we are driving down the freeway in a land of Communism. Getting into Communist Germany was made easy by our telling the gentlemen at the border that we play Country-Western music.

Oh yes, we now have a German tour manager, making two, so we are definitely a professional outfit. His name is Confetty (no shit) and he speaks English poorly. I Pity him. –Michael and Dan

BERLIN 5.20.88

Dear Diary,

We are at check point Bravo, about to leave der Beriliners and head for the free west, but first, four hours of seeing the suffering masses who daily must endure the iron fist of Communist tyranny and bad television.

Blixa Bargeld introduced himself to us yesterday. Confetty told us he was looking for speed. After our show, Blixa gave us some good sound advice on improving ourselves musically, which we will follow to the letter, like wearing leather bondage panties (“Lieder Hosen”) on stage.

This morning we went to see the Berlin Wall, and it's not all that it's cracked up to be. There wasn't anybody being shot or anything of that sort. Jerry got us out of bed at 7:00 for a nice nine hour drive after allowing us five minutes to look at the miracle of Soviet engineering. What's more, today is some sort of holiday, and der Berliners are driving en masse to the free west. La-de-da. –Michael


We played to a crowd of 200 in a town of 200, where they brew and drink Huber beer. So now we have Gammelsdorf's pecker in our pocket.

We've decided that we must invest in a disco ball. –Bill


We're flying out of Europe to London now. All we ever did in Germany was drive. We are greatly relieved to be rid of our shit-for-brains German tour manager, Chef Boyardee, a man so intelligent that he set the three digit combination on his brief case to 666, and told everybody that he meant that he had set it to “The Number of the Beast.” A brick shy of a full load, to say the least.

Here's the lowdown on the cities of Germany:

    1. Hamburg is filthy.
    2. Dortmund looks like America and nightclubs have disco balls.
    3. Berilin is filthy and has Blixa Bargeld.
    4. Gammelsdorf has old Nazis in Bavarian hats and lieder hosen. It is a town of 200 Killdozer fans.
    5. Augsburg is the most brown place on God's brown Earth and is dull.
    6. Koln is German

Here on the plane we're in the second row, while three people in the first row are backwards facing us. The fat pink Briton won't let us put our bags by our feet and he keeps kicking them. The baby behind us is crying, and is kicking us through the seat backs.

Now we are landing, and the two babies on board have simultaneously shit in their diapers. This is all quite special. – Michael, Dan and Bill


We are now heading for Liverpool. I just made the train stop by pressing a button in the W.C. that I thought would make the toilet flush.

We are taking the train because the driver hired to take us and the support act, Bastard Kestral, drives like he's in a bumper car. He also had to stop twice for tea on a two hour trip. A Kestral is a bird.

Food poisoning is raising its ugly head amongst our ranks. But is that any surprise at all, considering what they call food in this country, the third world of Europe?

The worst thing so far was the promoter who had never heard of B.T.O., but his mother had and loved them. I guess we're really getting old. –Michael

LONDON 5.29.88

Home of the London Broil.

The guys are asking me to write more like David Byrne or Billy Joel, or somebody who's rich and famous. I don't know what to do.

We spend a day in Liverpool where we went to the Beatles store. It was a nice effort but has a long way to go to compare with the Kiss museum in Vancouver B. C.

We also rode the ferry across the Mersey once more.

LONDON—There's nothing to do but sit and wait for it all to end.

The woman we stayed with in Liverpool told the man we stayed with in London that we had nice accents.

On the coach, or “bus” in American a 70-year-old Devil-Woman terrorized the passengers, especially those with empty seats beside them. When a young lassie refused to remove a piece of paper from a seat that the hag had determined was HER SEAT, pandemonium broke loose. The hag was finally seated, with a blood-red face, the lassie moved in disgust, and the hag chattered to herself all the way to London. People like that should be stoned to death. –Michael

TWA FLIGHT 771 5.31.88

Dear Diary,

The final days in England were spent watching TV, making time. We stayed in a flat that had no plumbing. Showers were had at a public swimming pool.

Finally leaving the empire upon which the sun has now set, relief sets in. Returning home with the Queens of the Universe, we were stars in four vacation videos, of four queens who each walked the length of the plane with camcorder in hand.

Our joy at landing on American soil was just diminished when the pilot announced the temperature in Chicago to be 99º. Still, it's an American 99º and we're damn glad to be home. –Michael, Dan and Bill


This article originally appeared in Your Flesh #15

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