Saturday, August 13, 2011

Porta-Blog #1

7:20 am lobby call, on a bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka and appreciating the little clicks of the non touch screen keyboard as I type this out on my mobile phone. If all works as planned, at some point I will hit send and the rambling words will post as well as tweet and facebook to give a heads up to anyone whom cares to read.
This process is similar to when I first started touring except for a few minor variations. Scale, as in the # of people I was able to communicate with from afar seems to have increased a bit. I remember quarters being very important. As in, "pull the truck over, do you have quarters, I need to make a phone call and get the address of the gig."
I remember being more excited back then about when mail came, or perhaps equally sad when no letters came for me. The only solidstreet address was band management and once a week they would fedex out all the letters from loved ones back home, if there were any. Whereas now a week has collapsed down to mere moments and mail call has morphed into a small red flashing light. Indefinitely muted, mail and messages are not permitted to interrupt me with their existence using sound, if for no other reason than to honor the long journeys of their folded pulp based ancestors that navigated the globe in silence.
I remember Greg Ginn scratching out the address of tomorrow's gig on torn scraps of paper and handing it to us equipment truckers and another for the support act van. Then I remember needing quarters after forgetting or loosing that scrap of paper on several occasions only to find no one to call that also answered their phone.
Heading towards city center in search of used record stores was always a good bet as they often had solid pulse on which punker band was playing where. Sometimes we'd get lucky and spot a mohawk, skinhead or some girl with way too many zippers on her pants and they'd point the way with enthusiasm.
'No itineraries in writing' was the rule. The cops back in Los Angeles were on a nation wide faxing binge to all the other police departments urging them to mobilize and shut down the scruffy hoodlums trying play music and corrupt the youth in their cities.
Looking back I now see that they were afraid. Law and order. Fear that the disturbing mosh pit undercurrent of society could gain traction and spread into youth fueled chaos. Perhaps fears justified as scanning the current news seems to reveal.
And I realize that even back then I blogged as well, except only to an audience of one. Scratching an illegible mix of print and cursive into journals that I often was able pen the last pages of, before it escaped to unknown adventures without me, never to be seen again. And away with it went memories, bye bye chunk o life.
So here we are, off to Osaka to do Summersonic festival and I am still drawn to embrace chaos. Or more accurately, less dramatically, I enjoy pushing the envelope.
The thought arriving after doors to dial up a zeroed out a Midas H3000 from scratch for the headline act, with no soundcheck for a stadium show, brings me no anxiety. Nor does it excite me.
I will patch my racks of gear that showed up with one of the only two effect units I use no longer operational and 4 of my 14 compressors dead from transport.
I will tune the system during set change and see if I can pull off hitting the sound and mix I seek without ever hearing anything more that a single blurp of the techs playing each instrument.
So success for this one will be the ability to come up solid and strong and hold it together without any of the normal tools one would typically have to do so.
I do wish I had tech out with me but running solo is helping me really burrow in and get my head around the gear I'll want, need and new audio adventures to tackle as this tour coagulates into a rhythm.
I call it coming in cold, ice cold. And that will be the only thing cold as it is near a 100 degrees and as humid as it gets. And when the Peppers hit the stage I will either smile or scramble, but either way I know I will be hot, sweaty, tired and stoked to be embarking on yet another adventure I will never forget.
And soon enough the outcome will be at the finger tips of 50,000 Osakians to post on youtube. Well alrighty then. Let's go do a rock show!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


  1. Yes to all of this! Keep pushing Dave!

  2. Well, well after 5 yrs hiatus it is good to read your blog again and not just scrappy little tweets and fb status updates!:) What is also even cooler after 5 years, is that I will finally be able to hang out with ya in the FOH and SEE+HEAR you mix a Peppers show..been a long time coming and I am ready to ROCK!

  3. I love my "non-touch" keyboard too. This is why I haven't switched to the iPhone or droid. The problem is, my BB is giving me so many Uncaught Exceptions and I'm about to throw the thing out the window!

    It's nice to finally have a regular blog back!