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Mike Randle's

Countdown To A Decade:
Shows 66-70

Show #66-August 6, 2002-Buffalo, NY.-The CONTINENTAL

This particular show was a make-up gig, due to our inability to “access” Toronto. But the good news was that so many Canadians drove 2 hours from Toronto to see the show! If that doesn’t say something to you about Canadians, I don’t know what does. And, although I think a “thanks” ought to be in order for the club to book us on such short notice, I really can’t, considering how they treated us like crap and pretty much anybody could have come backstage and stolen anything because they didn’t really care. Hell, I couldn’t even BUY a drink! The fans dug it so it was worth it. And I don’t like to knock club workers either. But that night, they didn’t give a shit…and you know, we drove from f*cking Cleveland for that?

The only saving grace was that our hotel was RIGHT FRIGGIN’ NEXT TO HOOTERS so I got to eat some wings, drink some beers, look at some titties AND catch the ballgame.

Show #67-August 8,2002-Boston, MA.-MIDDLE EAST CLUB

Ok, first off, Boston is my kinda town. I dig the city, the beer, the chicks, and the food (don’t like the Red Sox or the Celtics…DODGERS, AND LAKERS…BABY…). We arrived in Boston on the 7th and stayed in the city till the 10th when we drove to NYC. So we had a few days off to chill in Boston and get in some trouble. The Middle East club had an EXCELLENT restaurant upstairs and we found ourselves there more than once!

When we finally got around to playing the show, it was packed and even a Boston cop was spotted checking the show out! I found it to be one of our not-so-good shows but if anyone out there thinks I’m wrong, go with your own experience, please…because it really is a personal thing.

Afterward, chilled with Tony Goddess of PAPAS FRITAS for a bit…I’m a HUGE fan and it was great that he came down…I think everyone should buy ALL their records…

left Boston in a cloud of dust, Saturday morning…and what came next is really wacky…something I’d never write about but it’s so fucking funny I say what they hey…just keep it between us, ok?

Show #68-August 10, 2002-NYC, NY.-Bowery Ballroom

ok, on our way from Boston to NYC, a certain member of our group (who shall go nameless) was finding that his drinking problem was getting WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY out of hand, ok? So this drunk SOB got in the van, drunk, around 11am (a dedicated drunk) and started talking sh*t to a few of us in the passenger van. I looked at the SINGER and flashed him a look that said, “could you please stop this drama? make (name withheld) stop!” But (name withheld) would stop and get so far as to tell us to f*ck off. At that point, Gene said, “Look, if you don’t shut the f*ck up now, I’m gonna pull over and let you out in New Hampshire..so either shut it or get the f*ck out…”

So, our drunk “team member” quietly passed out and wnt to sleep until we reached Manhattan. But that’s the kinda ridiculous drama musicians sometimes deal with.

So we played that night at the Bowery Ballroom and it was simply heaven. It was my 3rd time playing (once with SHONEN KNIFE, and 2 times with THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS…) the BB, and nothing had changed; the same awesome, complaining New York crew, the same SoHo spots around the corner…the same great new yorkers…we gave it everything we had and we felt great leaving the stage…it was so much fun…and the crowd was unbelievably supportive…

Show #69-August 11, 2002-NYC, NY.-Bowery Ballroom (2nd nite)

this was by far the best night, in my opinion! The soundcheck was great…after soundcheck, I saw my friends, Juliana and Chris waiting to be the first to get in so they could claim their spots up front! it was starting to feel like England! After soundcheck, Gene took us to his fave Chinese eatery. Funny, but we saw Lisa Rosenberg crossing Bowery street as we walked away from the club…

Came back to our hotel, which was around the corner, and chilled until showtime. Had seen Andy bell (Oasis) and Ebbot (Soundtrack of our lives) outside and made sure they were on the list, as well as the rest of oasis (or who wanted to show up) and the Black Crowes.

like I intimated before, this show was the better of the two, despite the video drama (again?) and the rumor that oasis was throwing bottle caps from the balcony! It was so great to be in NYC…we didn’t want to leave…let alone be exiled to Philadelphia…………..

Show #70-August 12, 2002-Philadelphia, PA.-The NORTH STAR

Ok, this club (and out hotel) was straight up in the HOOD, yall. It had the WEIRDEST loading situation (i won’t EVEN try to describe it…can someone else chime in here?) and NO AIR CONDITIONER!!!!!!! It was over 130F in the club… i mean, is that like 60C or something? Don’t people bake Ham at that temperature?

But, what we lacked in the air was made up for with the people’s enthusiasm. We played as best as we could, with an awful sound system (but super cool sound guy) and horrible acoustics. This is also the show where a fan camped outside our hotel with his guitar…he was bummed cause he was only 20 (not 21) and the fascist club workers wouldn’t let him in. The SINGER made sure the guy was his personal guest, getting him and his girl in and letting them sponge off our beer and food backstage.

the next day, we drove back to Los Angeles (The SINGER and roadie flew) and Gene stayed in NYC for another day before flying home to Stockholm. It would take 5 days to drive from Philly to Los Angeles (with a pit-stop in Las Vegas, if ya know what I mean..and I think you do…), which gave us about 4 days to prepare for 3 1/2 weeks in Europe of touring but a lovely holiday in Greece at the end… (stay tuned…)