Thursday, June 15, 2006

i started this weeks ago

posted by Majestic Ape at 10:41 PM

This is what I started to write several weeks ago:

Oh Apes. How I love us. I really do. My name is Amanda, I’m 32 years old, and I play organ in a bizarre little rock band. This Spring marks the 7th year that Apes have formally been playing music together, but Jeff, Erick, and I have been jamming since we were 15 years old. Paul was the first Ape singer and while we loved him dearly, he needed to move on. Joe was with us for the fall of 2005. He did a great service, learning the songs that he did, and doing a great two month tour with us. And now, we are blessed to be working with Breck Brunson, a.k.a. Luscious Twilight. He is a fantastic addition to our team. We’ve written 7 new songs, have a whole new set, new costumes, and a totally refreshed spirit. And we are 5 days into a 6 week tour with some of our oldest music friends, Liars. We first met Liars in the basement of Brownies in NYC. They were like-minded goofballs and we got along beautifully. We started touring together shortly after and stayed close over the years.

Our first show was DC. Huge crowd, tons of love, good merch sales, awesome to see everyone.

Charlottesville- van died 30 minutes outside of town, the dressing room was really just a rat poop basement, I met a dirty boy named Wonder, we stayed with our college roommate Russell, I ate almost a whole loaf of his organic banana bread made of nuts, thus beginning my decent into the hell of night eating on the road.

Chapel Hill- there was a nice sound man named Mike, the dressing room was stocked,there was a nice loft to watch bands from above, it was the stiffest crowd imaginable, Jeannie and Elizabeth were there (two diehard crazy girl fans from Florida), we had nowhere to stay so we got a hotel. This was the first show with Atlanta rockers, DeerHunter.I woke up early and swam in the freezing pool while sunday morning southerners went to church.

Knoxville- nice bartender named Jason, I made Kasha and salmon in my hotpot at the bar, I had a bro down with Bradford, we saw our friends from Fangs, Mike B. our superfan from Atlanta, showed up, my speaker cable is gone, I had to change clothes in bathroom with Erick. He pees all over the seat which I immediately sit in. There is no toilet paper, no paper towels so I start off the show with pee pee undies, which will mix shortly with sweat anyway. After the show we Drive back to Atlanta to stay with Breck’s mom. I go for about 1 ½ without coffee, without speed….start late night twitching….Breck takes over. I can’t sleep because I fear the wreck…sweat anxiety attacks…take back over at 4:30 am…in mcdonald parking lot ,,,breck pees next to van…We arrive in Atlanta around 6:00 am I am dead.

I snap myself in the neck with bungee cord. His mom has a pretty house …the temperature is very warm…I get a very fancy bed….sheets pulled to one side….so many pillows..don’t bring in sleeping gear…the room has a large vase full of citruc, cardamom, oil and a huge scented ocean breeze candle. The smell is overpowering..i try to sleep on the straight on carpet since I can’t remove linens from the bed., can’t do that because its new house,,,chemicals, itchy, I try to get my stuff from the van. Can’t get out, burgular alarm. Fuck fuck fuck. I sleep 2 hours and wake up, throat sore, nose stuffed..even pretty houses give the blues. They turn on the a.c. around 11 am. Meet Breck’s cousins and aunt and uncle, everyone goes shopping at Publix with Breck’s mom. Go to pick up shirts, go to club, load in. Super fans Tara from Jacksonville, and Paul from Tallahasee. Crowd okay. I do a long intro happy birthday toBradford. Its not his birthday. Its still cool. Miss dinner, ½ cup chick peas. Go in my costume to some gross jock bar and get a salad still in costume. Lots of man attention. Back to breck’s mom. I get up early and bake for hours while she is in the kitchen with me. Good Mom time. Cut my finger cleaning out the van.

Mobile- Drive gets hotter and hotter. I am still having fun. I Listen to my ipod while boys sleep…not looking forward to Mobile. Not at all. 5 years ago, on my birthday…playing the cell block. Notice there is NO traffic going into or out of the city at 6:30 pm. Where is the rush hour? We pull into an alley next to the club. The buildings have a very similar architectural style to New Orleans. Ornate black wrought iron fences…Of course, we are playing the classic rock club bar called The Cell Block. My tour sheet instructions say call promoter on arrival for pizza joint hook-up. I call Kelly. She says , “okay, look diagnolly across the street, see that place called PickleFish? Go in there and tell ‘em Kelly sent you.” Its cool. We do this. Everything we ask the waiter for, he does backward. I order a salad to go…he brings it on plate. And then I see, “ to go?” and he says, Right. After two other backward services, we notice his shirt says Insecurity and it looks like one of those “security” tee-shirts. Over dinner we notice a medium-sized insect next to us. We discuss at length whether it can fly. When I start to take his picture, we find out, he in fact, can fly, because that is exactly what he does, to get away from the pressure of the photo.

We go back to the club and load in. Deerhunter has arrived, as well as another band called The Press. There is a lengthy discussion about set order. The other two bands on the 5 band bill cancel shortly after. Fine with me. The crowd is very interesting. BIG DUDES. YOUNG SCANTILY CLAD LADIES. I learn later that the town is FULL of alcohol and drug problems.

Kelly hooks us up with Sonia who will host us for the evening. She lives out in the country and is a solo musician. She will come to the club and after the show, we can follow her to the house. Show highlights? One of my amps isn’t working. I’m having a mental temper tantrum.

After the show we follow Kelly to her house. It is out on the coast of the Delta. Its dead quiet and you can smell the water. Its all wood and its pretty awesome. I get a bed and AC, if only I could sleep when other people sleep. I finally get up around 9:30 to start making my meals for the day. When done, I run around the water. We go into town around noon and hit the Panera for some free wifi and clean bathrooms. Then we are going to the BEACH! Sonia is going to take us to Dauphin Island. I drive with Sonia. Half block down the road, the van stops moving. Fuck. We turn around. We let it sit. We talk to it. We pet vannie. We tell vannie how much we love her. I call AAA around 2. I also start calling mechanics. I spoke to 7. I checked my cell phone. They all wouldn’t look at the vehicle till the next day OR they wouldn’t work on a ford over 10 years old. One guy told me “there wouldn’t be no point in fixing a vehicle that old.” Unless you are the apes. That’s all you got, baby. We go to the Ford Agency. I go in. The nice service manager tells me his diagnostic computer for cars older than 95’s broke 6 years ago and he never replaced it. No point, he said. He sent me on my way. I go back to the tow-truck driver Wayne and plop right down on the side walk and start calling more people. I notice the steady stream of fire ants begin to move in. Wayne gets on his phone, too. He finds someone in the nick of time. We drive over to Moffett Road, to Sap’s service center. The guys at Saps are no saps. They were the 3 wise men. They stopped what they were doing. They all came over. Together, with 20 minutes, they found a burned belt, fixed it (WITHOUT A COMPUTER) and we are now, happily on the way to Baton Rouge. I’ve just been informed we can’t load in till 8 anyway, they are having a Wheel of Fortune Party at the club.