The Zookeepers Road Stories - Early '97

most recent entry is on top
(search for you town by pressing Ctrl-F in netscape)

wed, may 21, 4:00 p.m.
at work in LA

The laptop broke!

a water bottle popped open in my backpack and the laptop is down. sorry about the delay in road stories.

last weekend was a killer weekend for us. we left LA thursday morning and headed straight to chico (8 hours). arrived around 6pm and set up before going off to dinner with local friends roseann and tammi. roseann works for the chico state paper and is the one who wrote the very nice article about us that we put in our spring tour guide. (see article here.)

roseann was nice enough to let us crash on the many couches at her group house. so we took her to dinner before the show. the show, at LaSalle's, sorta sucked, but was pretty fun anyway. sucked because there weren't many people there. was fun because the few people there had a really good time, including us. great stage and sound system. it will really be fun when we start getting a crowd in there.

we sacked out at roseann's around 3:00 a.m. woke up 8 a.m. quick showers, a few "slams" at the chico denny's, and we were off toward eugene. snacked on string cheese (i brought a boat-load of string cheese on this trip) and beef jerky instead of lunch. arrived eugene around 4 pm (6 hours). set up and checked into the 66 motel (not the motel 6, but close). there's a train track about 20 feet from the motel, but we've learned which room to request to get minimal earthquake simulation when the trains go by all night.

in eugene we were treated to an awesome dinner at the home of jenn & amy, whom we've gotten to know at our numerous shows in eugene this year. home cooked meals are a serious treat when we're traveling, and friday night's was a damn good home cooked meal (salad, grilled chicken, rolls, and angel food cake with fresh strawberries).

we wobbled with full bellies into taylor's around 9:30. the place was already pretty full, much to our surprise, and much unlike earlier shows there. we started right about 10, and took a couple short breaks before closing it down a little after 1:30 a.m. the house was a rockin! another great taylor's show. 2 in a row. record numbers at the door (for us). we played "it's all right" twice for jenn, and we even threw in a couple of choruses of "amy" (complete with 3 part harmonies) for amy.

other experiments included: a couple verses of "i think i love you" in the middle section of "main st. usa"; the intro of "moondance" in the middle of "making a machine"; a chorus of "magical mystery tour" to bridge "life away dance" and "i'll be"; and a little instrumental "michael row the boat ashore" during "beautiful world."

by the way, hello to tyler and kimberly. when are you guys going to make it to another show?

we got up late and loaded up on caramel mochas before leaving eugene. it is incredible how elevated our moods are when we're leaving eugene, thanks to caramel mochas. by the time we stopped for lunch in salem (about an hour from eugene), we were crashing. we hit one of our favorite lunch spots, pietro's. we got our lunch specials and sugar fixes and took some pictures, including some with the staff. (what's up nick & josh).

(below: pv with nick & josh at pietro's.)

(right: albie's getting started on our favorite pizza/salad/soda combo)

back in tupie headed for seattle and our big saturday night gig at seattle university's quadstock. another great show! we opened for Let's Go Bowling, a ska band out of fresno. awesome. 8 piece band, horns, fast tempos. rockin!

our 1 hour set seemed highly appreciated to the mostly uninitiated crowd. we were surprised to hear some recognition in the crowd when we started some of the songs. turned out that the student who coordinated the event had our CD, and it was a favorite in her group of friends (thanks sarah! and jenn & co.!). 50 or so folks danced in front of the stage while many others milled about in the beer tent and all over. it was a beautiful, warm, clear seattle night.

we crashed that night at my friend tal's apartment in the fremont district. thanks for the floor, tal! motels in seattle are mucho expensive for poor bands. my new air mattress rocked! every time i rolled over it rocked, and bobbed and bounced.

(right: tal, doug, alb & pv walking around seattle)

sunday was "no drive" day. we had another show that night in seattle. we tried to go to a mariners game, but it ended up being sold out. we watched the 2nd half of the knicks/heat game in the club where we would return hours later to play. we walked around too much for a band with a 3 hour gig that night.

after a busride and a quick nap at tal's, we met up with my mother-in-law barbara and had dinner before our sunday night show. we performed at the central, a cool club, but not much going on sunday night. during the first set, barbara was almost the only one there. the second set started like the first, but somewhere in there a couple dozen people came in and started dancing like crazy. we ended up playing almost 2 hours straight. i was afraid that if we stopped for a break, everyone would leave. we were tired as shit by the end, but it turned out to be an OK night for a sunday. hopefully we earned a better night for the next time we're through seattle.

(pv sitting in backseat of tupie passing the time with new rickenbacker guitar)

monday and tuesday are a bit of a blur. we drove from seattle to los angeles, spending the night at mom's just outside sacramento. monday was relatively uneventful. we had fun at the pizza hut near red bluff. we went through a lot of trivial pursuits cards. we played the famous name game.

tuesday was a little more lively. tupie was running pretty hot, but not bad considering the valley's temperature and the a/c running. but when we stopped for gas near vasco, she spewed out almost all of her coolant. uh oh! we identified the problem as a leaky hose, couldn't find a shop we could trust; so we bought a couple water bottles and some coolant and crossed our fingers.

(tupie's left headlight is covered with central valley bugs.)

she did fine until the grapevine. we pulled over at the first water stop, and the timing couldn't have been better, because she ran out of coolant right then. we waited about 15 minutes before we could open the radiator and fill 'er up again. then we were off. we made it to magic mountain, where we dropped doug off at his car. no problem. continued on to my place in hollywood. again, perfect timing. she was running out of coolant as we turned off the motor. that little hose was blowing a lot of hot air. i hope we didn't do any damage, but i don't think we did, because the engine never actually over heated, or at least, the temperature gage never made it all the way up to the H (like it did last summer crossing the desert).

now we're home for a week. our chico/eugene/seattle trip behind us. the summer months will be a little slower, with a couple vacations built in. may is the end of the busy season for us. now it's back to work!

Here are a few zookeepers vocabulary words:
"windows": i farted and it smells bad; short for, "open the windows fast!"
"i'm on the board": i farted and it smells bad
"who's on the board?": who farted and it smells bad
"uh, alonzo": used instead of, "duh, good morning" when someone does something stupid
"pulled a pat": ran up on the curb
"pulled a doug": failed to start the van on first try
"pulled an albie": somehow managed to hit every pothole

we listened to almost every CD we brought on the last trip, which included:
Let's Go Bowling
Cake, Fashion Nugget
Van Morrison, Tupelo Honey
Van Halen, 5150
No Doubt, Tragic Kingdom
John Denver, Best of
Fuel (a friend of mine's band)
Saturday Night Fever
Motown Hits #2
i'll add more when i remember....

sat, april 19, 1:00 p.m.; mileage-134,499
in tupie hwy 58 between eugene & klamath falls

we played one of our favorite games at denny's a while ago. it's called, "what day was that?" we've eaten breakfast at denny's 3 days in a row now; so, it's getting confusing. "did i have a burger yesterday?" "no, that was the day before, after monmouth in salem." "i thought i had the french slam that day." "no, doug had the french slam. you had the burger. you had the french slam yesterday, doug just got a bagel." "was that the denny's with the waitress with the bouncing bosom?" all together, "niiiiice!"

yesterday was a great day. good luck friday. we awoke to the beeping of my new travel alarm clock around 8:30 am. we walked to the denny's right there next to the 6 (motel 6, that is), and ate our various "slams" before heading into portland for our nooner at portland state university. unfortunately, it was raining, which meant no cool outside concert. he had to set up in the food court area. it always feels a little dorky to set up in a food court. and p.s.u. has a cool stage outside that is a lot of fun to play. but god dictated an indoor show.

luck was on our side, because there was a high school speech contest or something going on upstairs in the building. so the food court was full of high schoolers. by then end of our hour, we were having a good time, and the crowd was really into it. immediately after we hit the last chord, there was a line for the merchandise booth. woo woo! lunch money! we gave away lots of stickers and posters and magnets, and sold almost 2 dozen CDs and tapes.

after loading out, we headed toward one of our favorite lunch spots, Pietro's Pizza in salem. they have a $4.49 lunch special that includes a little pizza, salad bar, and a drink. and of course, no sales tax in oregon. we ate heartily and headed on down to eugene to load in for our show at taylor's. once loaded in, i surprised the boys by pulling into a Quality Inn parking lot. what's this? no Motel 6? don't get me wrong, we can't afford a quality inn. we can't really even afford a motel 6, but we gotta sleep. this particular night though was a freebie. i recently joined some travel club to get a free night thingee, and that was the night. niiiiice room! a taste of the other side!

we killed a couple hours in the room with a nap and a string change, and i also started a new song with a melody that is a bit of a rip-off of a sheryl crow song. but hey, nobody's perfect. then we headed back to taylors for one of our favorite dinners: cajun stuffed chicken breast with dirty rice and hushpuppies. always a treat! and half price for the band!

we started playing just before 10 to a pretty empty room. it's tough starting when the room's empty. especially knowing that it's probably going to fill up later. better to start later and then don't take breaks when you've got the crowd. the first set was intimate, with a big table of our favorite fans right up front (in alpha order: amy, dave, jenn, leslie, sarah, trang and friends). still pretty empty, but an enthused crowd by the end of set 1.

start set 2. isn't it supposed to be getting full by now? 11:30 -- still not very full... what's up? midnight -- all of a sudden -- packed! wacky late crowd there at taylors. even later than last time, but lot's more of them. the warm weather outside helped a lot, as the patio was full, too. end of the night, i was braced for the bad news as scott (the door guy) brought me our cut. i'm thinking, yeah, it was crowded, but so late. couldn't have been more than 100 people in here after midnight. wrongo bucko. close to 300, and maybe more. can't tell for sure because they had lowered the cover charge from $3 to $2 for a while early on when nobody was showing up.

to bed around 3 a.m. not a bad 19 hours. sometimes it feels like we don't get our share of good luck, but yesterday was good luck friday.

wed, april 9, 7:00 p.m.; mileage-133,206
in tupie on I-5 just south of buttonwillow (2 hrs from LA)

daylight savings time is nice. it's still a sunshiney day here at 7pm. we just played a nooner up in the bay area. foothill college in los altos hills, between san jose and san francisco. beautiful day. sunshine, 70 degrees. receptive college crowd in the quad. they gave us some killer t-shirts. thanks erin.

last weekend we played our first frat party in davis. parties are fun. people at parties are funner than people at clubs, as a rule. maybe because they're not paying for their drinks. hmmm.

we started at 10 after some fine sierra nevada keg beer from juan's room. we were outside, and it was a little nippy. perhaps that is what affected our bladders. coulda been the beer... nah, it was the temperature. we played for about 40 minutes before doug & I had to run to the bathroom. that was a respectable set, though, 40 minutes. starting the 2nd set, i had to pee about 2 songs in. fortunately, i've got a wireless doo-hickey that allows me to wonder a bit. i must've peed 4 time before we shut down at midnight. i'd wonder off to the bathroom while doug and albie would hold the fort down. at one point, albie and i held the fort down, and doug ran off to pee.

one of the highlights of the night was doug working the crowd while i changed a pesky broken string. first, he rapped the beverly hillbillies theme. then he got the crowd going "hey" and "ho." i was cracking up. he meant to be joking, but there were a bunch of partyers who were in the mood to say "hey" and "ho," and I was one of 'em. he also does an amazing michael jackson impersonation.

we stopped when the cops showed up at midnight. then we partied. i was on a story-telling binge, with tangent after tangent, mostly to the ever-patient sabrina and thomas. at one point, some young coed told me and my wife she thought it was cool we could still have fun at our age! my 31st birthday was the day before. i expect to continue to have fun for at least 3 more years.

we didn't break down our equipment until about 2:30. we were the only ones in the house left awake. one of the brothers had to go bang on the door of the guy that was supposed to pay us. "kurt! kurt! get up! you've got to pay the band!" it was very funny.

looks like albie's ready to type, so i'll hand it off....

wed, april 9, 7:30 p.m.; mileage-133,230
in tupie on I-5 on the grapevine (1 hr n of LA)

great couple of shows over the last weekend and today. 2 days in davis. the frat house .....well what can i say? that show, alot of beer, alot of jams. doug in rapping mode. not only did he rap the bev hillbillies, he also launched into prince's shaken dat ass or somthing like that. everybody was getting to it to the point that we actuallly had dancers sorta lap style up with the band. this one girl was dancin to doug while her hands were on one of his drums. i don't think i have to tell you what happened next. but i don't think she felt too much pain because she is now dancing in front of me, she then falls over in froint of me. now bare with me as try to explain what happened next. she falls over and hits her head on the monitor in front. she tries to get up, so she grabs me to help her. the problem is she grabs a spot that was, uhhhh, awkward (get it?). after we finished playing, that is where the night becomes a blur .... but i know that i got a foolio shirt out of the deal. thanks to everybody at the theta xi. see ya all soon. almost home and thats good to because i've got a plane to catch i'm flying back PA tonight for acouple days off before oregon

sun, mar 23, 2:30 p.m.; mileage-131,031
in tupie on hwy 50, nearing sacramento

we're headed home after a quick jaunt to the sacramento area. i picked up the new CD friday morning - all 3,000 of them. albie & i unloaded them from tupie, then loaded the gear before hitting the road. doug lives up in canyon country, about 30 miles north of LA; so we stopped to get him and his drums on the way out of town.

albie drove while doug and i spent about 4 hours stuffing, labeling and stamping our spring tour schedules and new CD announcements. we got about 800 done. dropped off 100 near buttonwillow in a mail box. put 200 in a box in davis. and dropped the remaining 500 near mom's in folsom. we thought it would be interesting to have different postmarks for everybody.

we arrived in davis around 7pm and began loading in as we kept an eye on the arizona/kansas game. ate dinner at cantina del cabo, where we were playing, while watching the 1st half of the carolina/california game. best taco i've ever had, and not a bad half of basketball either. after finishing dinner & load-in, we headed over to our friend lori's house, where there was a birthday party for lori in progress. we had a beer and watched carolina finish off cal. (go heels. i'm from north carolina, by the way.)

back to the cantina to play for the night. cool new venue for us. much more fun than sudwerks. good dancing, good fun. and a few beers, too. afterwards we went over to tom & todd's room at the theta xi house (where we're playing in a couple of weeks). we hung out with them (i couldn't quite grasp the super nintendo golf game they had) & liz and lori until a little too late before heading back to mom's. arrived 5:30 a.m. d'ohh!

saturday we missed the morning. didn't wake up until 1'ish. lucky to get that much sleep, but the day before had been a really long one, with picking up the CDs, loading the van, doing the mailer for hours in the van, playing a 4 hour gig, then staying up a couple more hours. long day.

we continued on the mailer saturday afternoon. got thru the 1300 mark. we're mailing a total of 2700 of these things. that's a doozy of a postal bill. you do the math at 32 cents each. now you see why we love email so much.

saturday night we returned to mad dogs in nevada city. hadn't played there since last summer, when we had a string of not-so-good shows there. well, this one was a little better. there were some familiar faces (thanks amber, stacy & friends) but all in all the place is still a little too fickle. we had a pretty good time, but were a little tired from the big friday night. the funniest thing that happened was a really wacky dancing guy that just cracked me up. i screwed up a whole verse of "riding out the weekend" laughing at this guy. and believe me, we see a lot of wacky dancing, and i never burst out laughing. this guy had me, and most of the club, in stitches. he put on quite a show, but then ran into albie's mike stand and almost knocked a tooth out. we lose our sense of humor real quickly when people start running into our mike stands. it's scary. the stands are in perfect position to knock teeth out if people run into them. and we need our teeth to help us process all the sugar we eat in the van.

we just finished doing the last of the mailers. finally a chance to relax in the van. only 3 hours from home. our next trip will be my birthday weekend. that should be fun. i'll finally be able to drink legally! right.

more quotes...

albie - doing his best forest gump, "my & jennie were like peas & carrots again." this one pops up at random.

"same key, i think." (with british accent) from spinal tap, when they're singing barber shop at elvis' grave. this is used to harass your bandmate when he is singing a harmony.

sat, mar 8
los angeles

Tupie passed her smog check! much to the surprise of anyone who has ever been near the exhaust pipe when tupie gets cranked up after a long night's sleep, and apparently due to a loophole in the smog laws that allow you to burn oil... anyway, we're legal!

wed, mar 5, 8:30 p.m.; mileage-129,680
in tupie on I-5, 1 hr south of Eugene, OR

we just ate at a wendy's. albie got the super bar. we all huddled around his pudding bowl with 3 spoons and ate about 4 trips worth. that's a yummy pudding! now we're all sugared up. this band is a case study in sugar addiction. wild mood swings. hyperactivity. as i feel my mood lower, i pop a rolo.

of course our addiction to sugar has led to the use of harder drugs. caffeine. and then dangerous combinations, like the caramel mocha. we are tetering on the edge of a life with satan.

we're headed straight to LA after today's nooner in tacoma at univ of puget sound. (good show by the way. thanks jamie.) we sold 30 cd's when we played there last year, and this year there were several folks singing along. too bad we didn't have the new one ready yet. we have no shows routed on the way home because we thought we'd have to hurry back and finish the CD. fortunately we finished it before we left.

tue, mar 4, 7:30 p.m.; mileage-129,260
in tupie on I-5, 1 hr north of seattle

listening to morphine. just had dinner with my mother-in-law in la conner washington. let's over-eat! yummy. we're on our way to a friend's house in tacoma to crash for the night. we'll do a nooner tomorrow at univ of puget sound. then the 19 hour drive back to LA.

last night we thought we might die coming over the snoqualmie pass (from ellensburg to seattle). had to put on chains. it took us 1/2 hour to put on the chains, but ran into no major problems. no avalanches on us.

we left ellensburg around 10pm after a pretty fun early evening show. quite a few people from our nooner performance came back for our 7:30-8:30 show. then we hit the road toward seattle. we finally got to everett around 2:30. there we discovered no rooms at the motel 6, and had to backtrack about 10 miles to the nearest motel 6. our 8:30 wake-up call was a little tough, after getting to bed after 3.

we got up and made it straight to everett community college for a nooner (eleven thirty-er actually). it takes us about an hour to load in and set up at a relatively leisurely pace (maybe 35 minutes if sprinting, and an easy load-in). we set up and played for an hour. a darn good time for a cafeteria crowd. sort of hard to sing so early after so little sleep.

some current quotes...

doug - "there was one?" this is quoted from the movie stripes in reference to a draft. "son, there ain't no draft no more." "there was one?" this is used any time you do something sort of stupid. "do we take a left or right to get back to the freeway?" "there was one?"

we are all talking in chicago (da bulls) accents. it's getting quite irritating. we can't get off it. any conversation that has more than 2 sentences reverts to the accent and begins to involve mike ditka. ask anybody that has spoken to us this week, including that guy at the subway in ellensburg. "i'd like the bratwurst cold cut combo please."

we still use the term "hand tear" (or hand torn) to describe a situation that is wronging us. it roughly translates into a crude and painful cut (though it has a more graphic origin). when the motel 6 in everett was full, that was a hand tear, or we were hand torn.

i am quite fond of the phrase, "not any more," taken from one of the pink panther movies, when cluseau got the gauntlet stuck on his hand, then pummeled a piano with it. the woman cried, "that's a priceless steinway." cluseau responded, "not any more."

any musical mistake is, of course, called jazz.

mon,march 3, 11:00p.m.; mileage 129055
in tupie on I-90 just west of ellensburg, washington

we're gonna die!!! on our way out of ellensburg heading west over the snoqualmie pass. the weather report indicated an avalanche on the 90 (that would be the snoquaimie pass). albie's reading the directions on how to install tupie's chains...he's the man! (albie), u da man!!

wed, feb 26, 11:30 p.m.; mileage-128,078
in tupie on I-5, nearing williams (1 hr n of sac)

we're shotgunning to oregon. we've got 7 shows in the next 7 days in oregon and washington. unfortunately, we don't have any in northern california to break up the drive. so we're headed straight to corvallis from LA for the first show. we'll spend the night on the way in williams. we're listening to led zeppelin.

it's been a fruitful, very busy week. "Leaving L.A." is in the can. almost. all the artwork is at the printer, and we have a reference CD. if it sounds OK, we'll mail it to the manufacturer. in a few weeks we'll have a new CD. we started recording last october. finished last sunday. 4 months. what the hell takes so long! it would sure help if we didn't have full time jobs, and then travel almost every weekend. uh oh, now i'm whining. better sign off. we're nearing williams and i've got to pee like a monster

sun, feb 16, 5:30 p.m.; mileage-127,470
in tupie on I-5, 2+ hrs north of LA

it's sunday and the sun is setting so that can only mean one thing. we are south bound on the 5. i think the 5 is more like our driveway because we always use this road to get anywhere. great show in davis thursday night. thanks to lori for a great meal as always. and thanks to the jury of zookees for coming out to hear my little tribute to sammy davis jr. big big thanks to pv's family for putting us up or putting up with us is more like it. saturday was was great. my friend jennifer and i got a chance to hang out for a couple of hours. we had a beer, some munchies, long talk about life type stuff and then pv and i took pictures of her. it's not what you think, we got some pictures of her wearing all the zookee stuff that we have on sale, soon to be pictured on the web site. thank you jennifer for all your help and best of luck back east. i'll see in june. the truckee weekend was.. .... well let's just say that it was. see ya.

sun, feb 16, 4:30 p.m.; mileage-127,420
in tupie on I-5, 3+ hrs north of LA

heading home after another good weekend of zookie shows. doug's driving. albie's napping. i'm riding shotgun with a belly full of ham sandwich (thanks mom!), tortilla chips & salsa, baby carots, an apple, and a rolo. sucking on a butter rum lifesaver and listening to world party. should be back in LA by 8 tonight. didn't get back to mom's after the show last night until 4 am; so got a late start today.

(doug just interupted me to describe a conversion van that just went by. one of our favorite pastimes is van & rv watching - droolingly.)

last thursday we headed out LA just before noon, headed to davis. we lost no tires this time on the 5, and arrived in davis around 5:30 to begin looking for our freind lori's house. she has fed us the last several times we've been in davis. always a treat! great food. but we couldn't find her house, and i couldn't find her phone number, and she was unlisted. i knocked on some person's door, thinking the house looked like it might be lori's. but the lady who came to the door wasn't lori, and she wasn't going to open the door for me, let alone feed the band.

after an hour of driving around, i called home and was lucky enough to catch my wife marylyn, who was able to find lori's number on a piece of scrap paper i had thrown away that morning. "happy valentine's day honey, can you dig through the trash for me?" we finally made it to lori's and feasted as usual.

we got to the club around 8:30 for our load in, but found some seminar going on, and couldn't actually start setting up until 9:30 (when we were supposed to start). it was the club's fault, and we didn't mind, since it meant we'd only have to play a little over 2 hours instead of 3. don't get me wrong, we love to play. but 2 hours is generally enough. 3 hours is good sometimes. and fri & sat we had 4 1/2 hour shows, so we were happy to be conserving energy thurs night.

by the time we were set up, there were about a dozen folks who had pulled all the front tables together and were sitting across the front like a panel of judges. we joked with them that they should have score cards. turned out they knew all the "set me free" songs, and we did several requests, as well as a wacky version of "riding out the weekend" in the middle of "knocking 'round the zoo" at the end of the night. it was a very fast "riding." and a very fun night.

we crashed all weekend at my mom's near sacramento. wow. awesome food. my stepdad, len, is spoiling us every time we stay there.

friday we left early afternoon to beat the traffic to the mountains. we arrived truckee around 4:30, had a leisurely load-in, before heading to dinner at a pretty cool little mexican place. it was packed. more like a little house than a restaurant. the bartender was serving up margarita after margarita, and the crowd was rowdy (much more rowdy than our crowd later, but i'm not whining). i couldn't resist a margarita with dinner.

friday and saturday we did long gigs at the bar of america. pretty fun shows, but it's tough to keep up the energy for that long. and the crowds were pretty early. it's a ski resort area. so most folks are out of there by midnight to hit the slopes in the morning. a highlight for me was not breaking any strings saturday night. i've been on a string breaking binge of late, breaking 3 or 4 strings a night for the last 5 or so shows.

this morning we're all sore and tired. glad we don't have a 4 setter tonight.

sun, feb 9, 3:00 p.m.
in tupie on US Hwy 99, 30 miles north of bakersfield

great shows this weekend folsom fri.and sonora sat. and now it's home to do some more recording for the new record and then next week it's back up north to knock around all over again. fiiday night at yagers was extra special because an old friend from high school showed up to the gig her name is jenifer rutt we've known each other since the 5th grade and she still admits it in public that we are friends. thanks to jenifer and deann for hangin with the zoo for the night. hope to see you both in davis next thurs. we are almost to the grapevine. by the way if you are keeping score i outlasted doug on that peeing thing. he cracked just south of bakersfield. hey ty if your reading this get back to work and i'll talk you ya soon.

sun, feb 9, 2:30 p.m.
in tupie on US Hwy 99, near tulare

cool weekend. played yagers in folsom friday night. hadn't played there since last summer, when we played 3 hrs 15 minutes straight with no break. this time, we broke the night into 2 sets of about 1:20 each. people were dancing from the 1st song. gotta love that.

my mom recently moved to within a few miles of folsom. we got pampered. big dinner before the show (short ribs, beans, corn pudding, salad - in honor of my grandmother's birthday). then big breakfast as we awoke saturday; pancakes, eggs, sausage. yummmm. beats the shit out of our usual BK or denny's fare.

doug has to pee. he's driving, so he's got the right. i think this is the first time this winter that albie hasn't been the first who has to pee. but doug is holding out. he just asked albie if he has to pee. i think he's trying to outwait him. it's a showdown.

we're listening to stealy dan live. recorded at red rocks (albie tells me).

big quotes of the year so far include. "sorry folks, park's closed. moose out front shoulda told ya." (vacation, john candy) john candy is a favorite. same movie - "rusty. may i call you rusty? i had a bad experience last time i rode this ride." "what happened" "i threw up" we're thinking we need to get a big talking moose for our shows. that way, in between songs we can say, "hi folks, we're the zookeepers. moose out front shoulda told ya."

sun, feb 2, 7:30 p.m.
in tupie on I-5, just passed junction city

Hello everbody out there in cyberland. This is Douglas typing here. Not only will I be the new drummer for the Zookeepers, but also the typing instructor - Pat's a little jealous of my beautiful skills on our Gateway 2000 Handbook. Just about to finished my first roadtrip with these guys. Looking forward to meeting all the zookies out there. I won't bite (unless shamelessly provoked....of course).

sun, feb 2, 7:30 p.m.
in tupie on I-5 near santa nella

we're 3+ hours from home. averaged 7 hours a day in the van since we left LA last thursday. we're listening to "how deep is your love" right now. from the saturday night fever soundtrack. albie brought that cd, as well as his newly purchased "This is Spinal Tap" cd, which is perhaps titled "Smell the Glove." (but not over and over again)

last night was a rocking little crowd at waldo's in klamath falls. apparently the town is still recovering from blue oyster cult's show last weekend. so the crowd was about 1/2 of usual, but twice as enthusiastic. a lot of fun. thanks to lan & ron for letting us crash at their pad. and for feeding us awesome food. kudos to amie (sp?) for being the first woman to strip down to boxers at a zookeepers show (and to pickles, clint, albie and myself for our bare-legged antics, too). kudos to doug for rapping the beverly hillbillies theme while i was chasing down an electrical problem in the middle of set #3.

tupie shed another tire today. it was the brother of the pep boys tire that disintegrated on the way to chico thursday. ("more than a woman" is blasting currently.) today's tire shred was a true blowout. i was lying down and thought doug had fallen asleep and was driving through a field. alas, doug was not asleep, and indeed was able to bring tupie down from 75mph to a safe stop while the right rear tire flapped and screamed and bumped.

as we jumped out, doug hollared, "photo op!" we were all disappointed last thursday that we hadn't taken any pictures of that blowout. i think tupie gave us one more so we could get our pictures. we got some nice ones of the pit crew, and of the totally wasted tire. much more dramatic than last week's.

so we threw on our old rotten spare once again. this is the third time we've used that scary old tire. we decided to try to make it the 60 miles to sacramento where we could find a pep boys and get a couple more tires, thus retiring our faithful, albeit rotten spare, and moving last week's tire purchase to spare. woo woo, a spare that we could confidently drive a few hundred miles if necessary.

a couple hours later, mission accomplished. now it occurs to us we'll have to buy a lock for the spare. we figure people have probably been looking under our tire cover for years, but opting not to steal a rotten tire. (it's now "a fifth of beethoven" blaring in the van.)

oh yeah. lan, you have cursed us with your bag of goodies. we've been eating candy, cookies and potato chips all day. our girlish figures!

sat, feb 1, 1:00 p.m.
hwy 58 60 miles east of eugene (at salt creek falls)

we just stopped off at salt creek falls. 286 foot drop. beeeeyuuuteeful. we're on our way to klamath falls. a leisurely 3 hour drive today. if we're lucky, we'll get there before the caffeine from our caramel mochas wears off. we just crossed willamette pass. beeeyuuuteeful.

taylor's rocked last night. rowdy crowd. late crowd. we played almost until 2.

(2:40p.m., hwy 97) looks like my caffeine wore off. i had to attempt a nap. we're almost in klamath falls. klamath lake is on our right. i am sleep deprived. hardly slept thursday night. last night asleep around 4, awake around 8. hope to get a real nap this afternoon. tonight we won't get to bed before 3 or 4, and we have a 10+ hour drive back to LA tomorrow.

i didn't know beef jerky could get stale, but the stuff albie just bought at a texaco proves it.

tupie is running like a dream (knock on wood). and she got some press! in chico, the article in the orion mentioned tupie by name in a caption under our press photo where we're sitting in tupie looking at a map. the valve gasket cover (or whatever the hell it was) that pep boys threw in there last week worked like a charm. she's purring. though i think of her more as a cow than cat. what if cows purred. do lion's purr? albie purrs. tupie purrs. my stomach is purring. i need some lunch.

fri 1/31, noon
I-5 170 north of redding, ca

we rocked chico. or at least we tried. we opened for the uninvited, whose cd we're listening to now. "too high for the supermarket, too high for the grocery store." rocking. check 'em out at we call ourselves party rock, but the uninvited are true blue party rockers.

now we're headed toward eugene. just had 3 grand slam specials at denny's and plenty of coffee in redding. my brain is a little hazy from too little sleep last night. our first night in a motel since november. it always takes a little getting used to, sleeping with 2 other men in the room...

"i don't know who i think i am, jesus christ or peter pan." (more uninvited)

we shredded a tire on the way to chico yesterday. it didn't blow. we couldn't tell what was happening. sounded like we ran over something, but albie swore there was nothing in the road to hit. so we pulled over to discover shredded rubber and exposed steel on our left rear. the tire wasn't in visibly bad condition (unlike in the past when we've driven around on exposed steel for 100's of miles). it just disintegrated. we put on our rotten spare and made it 60 miles to the nearest town (kettlemen city; should be called kettlemen interstate town). bought a tire and ate a cold cut combo at subway. climbed back in the van and made it to chico without incident.

we ate a heavy mexican dinner (not very good), before loading in and hanging out with the uninvited for a while. it's been almost 2 years since we'd played together back in los angeles. so there were introductions to be done (since we are different people now). after we loaded in we hung out for about an hour before we climbed up onto the nice big stage for our hour.

the set was fun. there was a nice little crowd of dancers, led by roseann from the orion (the chico state paper). by coincidence the prior week she had come across our cd on her desk, and really liked it a lot. she emailed us, and as it turned out we were coming to town just a week later. so she did a really nice article for us (thanks roseann!), and also brought some friends out to la salles (the club) to dance with us.

our hour ended a little rough for me. during my harmonica lead in our last song (knocking 'round the zoo, of course), i almost vomited thru my harp. never hapened to me before. i guess it was a combination of the heavy mexican food, the 1 beer i had had, and all the huffing and puffing i was doing. i was barely able to contain what felt like a projectile vomit. as a result, i couldn't breathe for a few seconds - not a great feeling. then, when i could breathe again, my throat was burning, constricted and covered with acid. i grabbed my water bottle and actually walked off stage and out the front door of the club that was right next to the stage. outside i tried to catch my breath and wash down the acid, but it really wasn't working. in the meantime, albie and doug were jamming along on stage, probably wondering where the hell i went and why i wasn't playing along. after 30 seconds, i walked back onto stage and squeaked out the last verse, and struggled to hit that last note. but i made it. the show must go on, puke boy!

we hurredly packed up and watched the uninvited's first set. they sounded better than ever. we had to hit the road at midnight because we had to drive up to redding (about 1 1/2 hours) where we had a reservation at the nearest motel 6 that had a room. the fog was thick as pea-soup; so we all sat on the edge of our seats and stared at the yellow lines hoping they continued straight while albie drove into the mystery. the conversation was a little something like this...

"can you see anything?"


"maybe we should go a little slower."

"oh shit!" (from doug in the back) "ooops, my fault. i thought the yellow line disappeared."

"the uninvited rocked."

"yeah, they were really good. can you see anything?"

"oh shit! never mind. sorry."

More Road Stories - 1998 - Late 1997

Front Page / Tour Schedule / Bio
Road Stories / Photo Gallery / Reviews / Stuff /
Other Bands & Links / Sound Clips / Venues