Sunday, October 12, 2008

On the road again

No green dots here.
Stare at cross

My good friend Li-7 is about to be going on a big adventure. She will be going out on tour as a roadie and merchandise-bunny for one of our favorite bands, the Legendary Pink Dots. I don't exactly envy her for traveling all over the country with a bunch of vegetarian men with questionable hygiene who keep odd hours. But she can better tolerate the uncertainties and vicissitudes of such travel than I. I'm sure it will be tons of fun for her, and I am a little jealous.

Since I need a vacation, love exploring new cities, and love this band, I decided to meet her at at least one stop on the tour. But which one? For that I have to back up to how we met.

I had just moved to SF. The day I arrived, my complete CD collection was stolen out of my car. (Yes, I was an eedjet to leave it there in the first place.) I was making little money at the time and SF was (is) expensive, so for a while I was reluctant to buy any new CDs. When I finally did, the first one I re-acquired was Malachai, Shadow Weaver Part 2. I couldn't live without it. (For the record, the second CD was Too Dark Park.)

Through the cloud-zero mailing list, I met Johnny Seitan (not his real name), and he let me make casette copies of the discs that had been stolen from me, and we traded other musical reccomendations. Hard to believe, but MP3's didn't exist yet!

When the dots fall tour came around, Johnny and I talked about going to several shows along the west coast. I then posted a note to cloud-zero asking if anyone else wanted to join us and share expenses for the shows in Seattle and Vancouver. As it turned out, Li-7 and Blondie, who had never met, decided to drive all the way from the other side of the Rockies, in winter, to join us. Johnny couldn't make it for the Seattle show, but was to join us for the Vancouver one.

Now, the Prozac must have been the un-cut real stuff at that time, because this is the sort of thing I just don't do!

Anyway, I reserved us a place at the Hippy Hole in Seattle. They have since moved to better digs, but at the time it was in a crumbling old house.

I was to meet them at the show. When I arrived and found them, I found out that at the Portland show the day before they had met the band and Niels had apparently developed a crush on Li-7. Moments later, there he is sitting with us. This is like freaking me out, but in a good way. I'd been listening to this guy's music almost every day for several years.

They did a great show in Seattle. The next day, we go pick up Johnny at the airport and drive to Vancouver for the show. At some point we realize that there might be some items in the car that shouldn't cross the border, so we find a spot and bury them. Our plan was to go to the show and then drive back to Seattle to sleep. But Johnny just can't restrain himself from going backstage after the show, so we all do. I totally felt like they didn't want me there, though Niels wanted to keep talking to Li-7. So I was uncomfortable, but I did get to talk to cEvin key, and share his rather large cigarette. Since he had been involved in several bands that I loved, like Skinny Puppy and Cyberaktiv, that was also fun.

Anyway, we finally leave and drive back to Seattle, picking up our lost cargo along the way. When we get back in our room, we find that there are like four more people sleeping on our floor! Even though I'd paid extra for a private room! Never trust hippies!

Anyway, it was ok. The next day was Thanksgiving day, and we got to share a big, free hippy turkey dinner that we hadn't been expecting.

Now I was completely oblivious to this -- probably because I was always looking at cute, straight Blondie -- but it turns out that Li-7 was love-struck by Johhny at first sight. So it was a complete surprise to me when she later moved to SF to be with him. But that was great because we gradually became good friends.

So now that Li-7 is on tour with the band on this tour, I had to pick a spot to meet her. I thought about going back to where it all began in Seattle or Vancouver, but I've been to those places several times already. So I decided on the one spot I skipped that time, Portland.

Of course, they are also playing November 14 and 15 at the Café du Nord, and I wouldn't dream of missing either show, and neither should you! They changed my life. Might they change yours?

1 comment:

Li-7 said...

Three cheers for uncut prozac!

Man... what a story this has all become, eh? Who knew?

I am really, really, really looking forward to seeing you in Portland. We will have a great time. And this time you can come back stage without hesitation and know that you are wanted and welcome! :)

Here comes adventure!