The latest incarnation of Darwin Deez joined forces at Newark airport: Darwin, Greg, Michelle, and Andrew (me). To kick off the tour, Darwin related to us an emotional account of how he secluded himself in North Carolina all break long, watching season after season of The Hills, and how it led him to a personal revelation about handling ego and dealing with fame.
Our band spent the next 21 hours in the air. We watched a documentary about men who have sex-robot fetishes. We watched a rom com starring Reese Witherspoon and Owen Wilson. We watched a documentary about dissecting a whale. Our airplane was traveling with the path of the sun, so the night stretched out supernaturally long. We crossed the international date line and lost an entire Wednesday. Before long, we were in an airport where they don’t have Exit signs, but instead, “Way Out” signs, which could only mean one thing: Australia.
Our tour manager for the next three weeks, Steffan, immediately flexed his TM muscle by finagling $100 per member from Qantas Airlines due to the fact that our luggage and equipment was somehow left behind in Los Angeles. We were handed the most beautiful currency I’ve yet to lay eyes on, Australia’s deluxe rainbow Monopoly money.
After all these years, this is my first time getting to know Michelle. One endearing and immediately apparent Mash Deez characteristic is her penchant for junk food. After an Australia brekkie (which is pretty much an English brekkie without beans and with American bacon), Michelle immediately led our group to the 7-Eleven for Coca-Cola Slurpies. This tour is going to be extra sugary.
Our Melbourne hotel has a swimming pool, sauna, and jacuzzi. We spent the afternoon soaking up the heat, scattering ladles of water on the hot rocks, lounging in our complementary Qantas Airlines luggage-loss shirt and shorts, and casually discussing Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Greg showed us this special secret skill where he is able to spend indefinite lengths of time underwater in the jacuzzi by sucking the airstream from a tiny hole in the floor. I tried next, and after a few noses full of chlorine, learned the trick. Next It was Darwin’s turn. Greg and I laughed hard because when he craned his upper body under the bubbly water, Darwin’s little pink testicles bobbed to the surface behind him.
We fucked around with Darwin’s Virtual DJ program on his computer in the hotel room and tried to stay up as late as our bodies would allow, trying to reset our disoriented clocks.
This morning Greg and I wandered around town. School kids in prep school uniforms paraded the street, plaid skirts, emblem sweaters, true AC/DC style. I ate a Lamington, which is this coconut covered sponge cake treat down here. We marveled at the cigarette prices, $18, even worse than New York! In truth, everything in Australia is ridiculously expensive. I’m told the 2008 recession somehow skipped this country. Is that true?
Greg and I wandered into a drum store on Chapel Street. I was baffled to find the same ubiquitous glockenspiel that EVERY store in New York City stocks, and that EVERY musician I know, friend and stranger, uses to perform and record with. You know which one I’m talking about. The clean new toy-looking glockenspiel in the turquoise case. I commented about this to the store owner, who merely quipped back, “that’s China for ya.”