Entering California from Oregon, there is a small border patrol booth you have to stop at. The state trooper addressed us in a friendly tone.
“You guys are in a band, so I take it that means you’re open-minded about seeing the world in a different way, and I was just wondering if you’ve ever heard of the movie Thrive?”
A fitting welcome to the Golden State.
The mountains of California are a real force to be reckoned with. Last time the Deez passed through, two years ago, our van broke down, we had to call a tow truck, we had to rent an SUV, we had to cancel our San Diego show, we had to race back up the California coast to fetch our repaired vehicle and scurry back. It was a mess. But this year, we were equipped with a new van and feeling optimistic, maybe even a little cocky. We ordered grade D pseudo-mexican at the same pre-mountain Taco Bell that we visited last time, not intentionally, but not exactly unintentionally, either, laughing at the idea that we were tempting fate. Our proud van emerged victoriously on the other side, seemingly unscathed, so we raised gas station Coors cans and watched late-night TV at the Super 8 in triumph.
That morning, we turned the key in the ignition and nothing happened. Yet again, the Interstate 5 mountains had gotten the best of Darwin Deez, this time in a time delayed sneak attack. We wrestled with the dead vehicle for our first few hours in sunny California, stranded in the hotel parking lot. Fortunately, the solution was not as expensive or time-consuming this year, and believe it or not, we revived our van by hitting one of the mechanisms beneath the hood with a hammer.
San Francisco began a wonderful streak of beautiful California DD shows. We met up with our old friend Yoko there, who explained to us that she was polyamorous now and breaking girlfriends’ hearts all over Oakland.
In LA, we played the Echo, and hung out in that upstairs room again that is always too dark and has that eerie white sofa and kinda feels like a vampire den. This was my third time playing the Echo. This was my third time playing a lot of the venues on tour. We were seeing many concert flyers throughout the tour advertising Thurston Moore’s new band, Chelsea Light Moving. I looked at that Thurston flyer at the Echo and I thought, wow, will I end up playing at this place like 20 more times? It could be so.
The next day played San Diego and that was the most magical. We played this spot called The Casbah. It was one of those gritty dens of rock ‘n roll where excitement seems to bleed out of the walls and everyone has a dark, dirty, elating night.