Madness at the Core of Time Tour – Day 1 Pregame. How did I get here?

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“Those of us who had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.” – Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Easily one of my favorite quotes by the great doctor. The humor is in it’s simple honesty. Some of us need more than the poser pick-me-up of caffeine when the stress-starved teeth of sleep sink into your brain.

Today was one of those days.

While I’m sitting on Southwest Flight 3789 from San Jose to Seattle, the new morning sun is climbing over the hills, on its endless cycle. The sweet, psychedelic sound of Dead Meadow trips through my headphones as I silently type, reflecting on everything that led up to me working the “Madness At the Core of Time” tour, while I wait for my whiskey and coffee.

This is the first breakfast I’ll have before 10am in months.

When Kyle Moore, the drummer for A Band of Orcs, approached me at the beginning of the year about working merch for them while on tour, a couple things crossed my mind: 1) he must be crazier than I thought if he wants to take me on the road again after the Stellar Corpses tour of 2011 and 2) It’s almost a year away, I’ll have plenty of time to think about it and get ready.

HA! Oh be warned ye who tempt the gods of fate.

This year quickly filled itself with work, news, weddings, deaths, and even a couple of music festivals . Soon it was August, and Kyle was creeping around again asking for my decision. It was rash and my answer came quick, “Of course I’ll tour around North America with you guys. Why not? It’ll be a helluva ride.”

In my experience all of life’s best, and worst, decisions are made from the gut and on the fly. But you never know which way the outcome will fall unless you live it. “Everything moves according to the whim of the Great Magnet,” another poignant Thompsonism.

That one decision has rained a whirlwind of welcomed chaos into my life, between my 9-5 day job, my deadlines for various publications and finding an hour or two to sleep each night (which, actually, all sounds about normal to me). Since then I have emailed countless editors, scheduled several flights, hunted down hotels and have contacted numerous friends in various states across the country. I’ve had 2 months covered at my day job; stressed out over social media and getting my website up and running before I leave (still not running, but almost!) and saved every last goddamned, worthless penny I could since I won’t see any new cash for 6 weeks. I’ve filled out government paperwork, missed deadlines and still don’t know if I’ll be allowed into the great white North of Canadia in a few days. Which, needless to say, is slightly nerve wrecking.

Yet come Hell, highwater, or a hurricane, I’m on my way to meet up in Seattle, with coffee & whiskey in hand and 5 hours of sleep in the last 30. I will be working merchandise for A Band Of Orcs, along with documenting the tour via video and written media. We are doing 38 cities in 44 days, 22 states and 2 countries. There’s a total of 4 bands including hardcore act, Iron Reagan, metalcore stars Whitechapel, and GWAR, the homicidal, alien metal musicians complete with their brand of blood, sex and gore.

“Yeah, Jebus, what did I get myself into?” I wonder, finishing my drink and contemplating another shot. Shit, when in doubt, rememer the mantra. “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” Cheers to you, Doc.

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