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November 13, 2005


8:40 AM
I've done a horrible job taking any pictures on this trip....as is the case of my entire life. Just thinking of the pictures I would have if I had just pushed the button on the camera has me dizzying in disgust. The photo ops of the bands I've toured with....... ARgggghhh... I could have early pictures from bands like NO DOUBT, SUBLIME, BLINK 182, GREEN DAY, FUGAZI, and the shows I've gone too... Oh man... What if I took photos at shows. Like at the PUNKS WITH PRESSES old warehouse. Bands like BIKINI KILL, RANCID, OPERATION IVY, BOUNCING SOULS, all playing in a small room, but no.... camera for me. Oh well.

So I'm relaxing here in Exeter, England. The promoter paid for a hotel right down the street from the club. Only 27 pounds, but no bathroom and a soft twin bed that barely fits my enormous 6'1" frame. The room is not much bigger than my closet at home. No joking. But I'm still more grateful than one can imagine. Upon arrival, I treked through town looking for a club. With a phobia of asking strangers for directions I tried to find it on my own, but I was unsuccesful, so I broke down and asked a lad, but he gave me some bunk directions. I ended up finding it on my own. Traveling through nooks of alley ways. The church bells are ringing outside. They were pleasant at first, but they've been going non-stop for a few minutes now. DAMN!!! Still going.

The club I played at was called the CAVERN CLUB. I had been there about 3 and a half years earlier. Playing with my band at the time... I remember it being a good time and I remember the owner being a beautiful woman named PIPPA. Well, she's still beautiful and her name is still PIPPA. At 5 PM, I waited around for a quick soundcheck and then PIPPA gave me a check to bring to the hotel, along with 10 pounds for dinner. Nice.... It was a bit past 7 PM and I was falling asleep, but with no alarm clock I was wary of sleeping through the night and missing my set. The small hotel TV offered 4 channels, one of which had an American Idol type of show. Simon Cowell was one of the judges, so that's probably where it originated. Next up was WHO WANTS TO BE A MLLIONAIRE. And that's in BRITISH POUNDS, so it's a way better deal here than in the US. The US dollar is only half of what the BRITISH POUND is. Geeeez... But that's good for me as I'm getting paid in pounds. Nice eh??

The show was titled INDIE NIGHT.. And PIPPA had told me that the club will be packed and they turn away hundreds of people. Great right?? Well, being the pessimist that I am I already viewed the show as a drinking night for the youngsters and a desire to dance to the DJ, not hear my acoustic music. Well, I got to the club at around 9:15 and the opening act was on stage. A young British man from Essex. I believe that's where he said he was from. Super amazing guitar player with a good voice. He played solo, but had pre-recorded beats and other instruments to go along with his music. The crowd was very young, but since the drinking age is 18 in ENGLAND, it was full of spirits and pint glasses galore. The show turned out ok. I felt like Jenny Choi, yelling out profanities for no other reason than to show them my vocabulary is pretty sparse. As soon as I was done, I packed up, sold cd's, got paid and then headed back to the hotel.. I asked a random kid to help me carry my stuff through the crowd. Fortunately he was willing to help. Nice boy. Back to my tiny hotel room, I trekked through town where the drunks were out in full force. GODDAMN!! I hate drunk people, especially white frat boy looking drunk dudes. I want to scream. Fortunately the hotel is a short distance away and I'm safe. But now I'm hungry. I didn't eat dinner with the thought that I would eat after I played, but I noticed all the shops were now closed. DAMN!! I have to go back out, so I treked out into the yelling and screaming of drunk fucks hoping that nobody would talk shit to me. I found myself crossing the streets quite a bit just to walk on the other side of somebody coming my way. Sad isn't it??

Well, where the heck is the food? Nothing. Walking and walking, but nothing until a KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN. The worst of the worst. But I had no other choice and got myself some good ol' KFC. Damn, what a sad way to end my day. I took the food to go, trying desperately to make it back safely to home base. But I got lost and there was no way I was gonna ask someone for directions. Eventually I made it back, but it took 50 minutes. ARGGHHHH!! Back home I ate my food and watched a move called ALMOST FAMOUS. Not bad.... Well, good enough to keep me from falling asleep. At 7:50 AM I woke up and headed down for free breakfast. And why not, it is a bed and breakfast. It wasn't quite 8 AM, the start time for breakfast and I found myself alone in the dining room, but there was cereal on the table so I started going at it. juice and shredded wheat cereal. A lady came in and asked if I wanted tea or coffee.. Tea please... I had an English breakfast with beans and toast and an omelette. WOW!! Good deal there. Well, I better pack up my stuff and get going. I'll write more on the train... Peace, mike

1:54 PM
I am on my second train of the day headed towards REDHILL. Where that is?? I have no idea. It doesn't show up on my map, but that's where I need to go in order to get to BRIGHTON, my final destination. There is a 5 minute cushion between trains in REDHILL. Things like this stress me out. I feel like I'm doomed and will miss my train. I stocked up on some snacks for the initial train ride. I was gonna get a bottle of water, but my eye caught the 2 FOR sign.. DO YOU KNOW THE 2 FOR.... It gets me everytime. That usually means a deal. And I like deals. 2 FOR 1.49 POUNDS and it was a PEPSI and a fruit drink. So I got that and some potato chips. Little did I know these were sugar free drinks.. BLAH!!! It tasted like medicine. BLAH!! I threw them both out. Geez... I still have two hours left on this trip. Getting a bit stir crazy.. Hmmmmm..
peace, mike