I attempted to stay awake with Hulg as he drove the straight shot to Southern California. We are both from the same hometown (big shout out to all the peeps in SCV!! 661 what?!?) and have slayed the demon 5 freeway many-a-time. We stayed up listening to metal and swapping war stories of high school friends and debachery.
After a couple of hours I finally passed out around 3 and awoke 5 hours later in Santa Ana at the Observatory.
Once called The Galaxy, the Observatory is the largest venue in Santa Ana and has hosted all of the major, non-stadium bands you can think of. The last time I was there Metal Blade was throwing a 25th anniversary show with Lizzy Borden, As I Lay Dying, Job For a Cowboy and several other bands on their label from now and then.
After a stretch and a few minutes to clear my head and find my mind, Jesse and I went off in search of a cigarette store, discussing the latest Pahlaniuk novel. We arrived at a dead store but next door was a Ralph’s so we loaded up on food, juice and road essentials before walking back to the RV.
When we arrived everyone was awake and we swapped stories from the night before. With the SoCal sun high in the sky, it was the perfect opportunity for the Orcs to dry out their armor from the previous evening. Gronk had packed some weights and workout equipment, and the two of us worked through a couple routines before eating breakfast.
Down time is a precious commodity on tour. Every night we play a different city, pack up and hit the road to the next spot just in time for a couple hours of sleep, a plate of food and a cup of coffee to do it all over again. There’s never time to rest for hours, let alone have 10 minutes to yourself. So when it happens, you take full advantage of it and we’re starving enough to waste nothing.
The day was spent eating groceries, scarfing In-n-Out, drinking the free beers we’re raided from the clubs, smoking California’s finest and I updated the media for all of you fine readers. It was a golden moment of serenity and we recharged to full capacity.
Load-in was 530 but by then the other bands’ merch tables were already up and there was no more room for the Orcs. With some quick manuevering and slick talking I managed to have the stage manager post me up in the front of the building, right inbetween the ticket booth and smoking patio for maximum foot traffic. After the poor attendance in Chico, we needed all the money we could get.
The fans began stumbling in and immediately I remembered I was in Southern California. Large hair, crazed make-up and fake boobs filled the room and it made me realize just how little of that I’ve seen everywhere else. Growing up in Southern California, you never realize just how fucked your view of the world is until you leave. It’s amazing how destructive SoCal culture is and it’s the primary one being pumped into the world’s brains through our media. No wonder why our country is so far behind.
Since I was stuck in the merch booth sheltered away from everyone else, I had the time & audience to throw out the Carny Barker routine at the metal heads.
“We got stickas, t-shirts, postas, cds nuts! You sir! You look like you could use a genuine, bonafide Orc shirt. You can’t slay any heads without your Orc shirt!”
One after another, metalheads began gathering around and soon I was talking with local photographers and fans, swapping cards & war stories. Santa Ana was a good night for merch, yes indeed.
When everything was said and done, the Orcs had already packed their gear and before I loaded up, I stepped on the patio for a quick smoke & video of the aftermath. There were a couple of girls sitting outside, smiling at me and giggling. The guy they were with signled for me to come over, saying they wanted to meet me. I introduced myself and told them to buy some merch so I could make it home to see a certain person on my mind, then walked away. Yeah, it’s like that.
After packing up, we tailgated at the RV smoking spliffs and drinking the free beer the bands’ friends brought. Jimmy, J.J., Jink & co. Took the week off and drove from Montana to see A Band of Orcs with GWAR. Damn good people.
It was a drunken, blood soaked, meth head trying to bum a cigarette and calling anyone who didn’t cough it up a “faggot” that eventually dispersed our party.
Luckily Gabe Crisp, the bassist for Whitechapel, had wrangled an afterparty with a few blood drenched fans and we stayed awake smoking more spliffs, watching youtube videos by our buddy, Max, and bullshitting into the black of night.
I eventually made my way back to the RV in a stoned daze, sewed a new patch onto my vest and passed out.
We all awoke to Scott “Dad” (one of Gwar’s roadies, slaves and a funny motherfucker) banging on our door, saying Gwar’s bus broke down and we”d need to give some people a lift to Sunset. We gladly agreed and waked & baked with Scott, tour manager John and Ed the lighting guy on our way into LA.
The infamous House of Blues
As I type this I’m with Cretos and Gogog, walking the strip and ducking into Halloween stores. Tonight will be a show not to miss with plenty of hometown homies coming out and Iliza Shlesinger doing a stand-up routine across the street at the Comedy Store. If you haven’t seen her “War Paint” special on Netflix, your life is in serious need of an hour alone to laugh, cringe and re-evaluate your dating life. Until next time kiddies, keep it clean.