Clayton's Log: Stardate 4/20/12 - Spring Tour

Ah, folks, what can I say about this tour that hasn't already been said about the movie Titanic? We've laughed, we've cried, there's been adventure, violence, romance and always the outside chance that we'll all end up stranded in the ocean, (figuratively) clinging to a barn door. Oh yes, it's certainly been an adventure and it would probably be the best tour we've ever taken, were it not for a LONG string of mishaps whose causes ranged from simple carelessness, to overzealous police presence, to downright acts of nature. (For instance, just the past day has been incredibly trying: Jay Tea spent two hours typing his own version of this blog and I spent another hour editing it, only to have it completely dissapear the minute we uploaded it to the site. Also, I dropped my phone in the toilet, and it was working again till I dropped it again, now it's dead like disco. Oye vey.) So here goes: I will attempt to recount the events of the last month by referring to my trusty datebook.

We blew a trailer tire before we even got an hour outside of Atl. This one ripped off the fender as well, and if you've never woken up to rubber and metal flying everywhere at 75 mph, take it from me, it's not recommended.

We began on March 22nd at The Loft in Augusta, Ga. Always a favorite hangout of ours, The Loft is a great bar run by our good friends Dickie Ertz (yes, actual name) and Adrian the giant Texican. The hospitality and open bar policy at this place is second to none, let that be a lesson to all you janky bar owners! We started the tour off in style, partying with the bands 57 Flip and our friends from Athens, Karbomb and Lowdive. We love youse guys!

Next came Gnat's Landing in Statesboro, Ga. Anyone who's ever been to this town knows that there's no way you're leaving sober, and this night was no acception. Add that to the fact that Al, the owner of Gnats, is my ex-roommate from my hometown, and things are bound to get ugly. Thanks for the good times and for being a passable drunken hype-man, Al.

Next came the Wee Pub in Brunswick, Ga. This is always a good show, and we had a blast but we made one mistake: We smoked A LOT of really heady pot with a group of very nice young ladies. (I know, it sounded like a good idea to us, too!) We left Brunswick and headed south overnight, aiming for Orlando, where we had already booked some studio time to record some new material. But literally as soon as we crossed into Florida, we were greeted with the dreaded red and blue flashing lights. And guess what: they smelled weed.

Now, apparently all vehicles with trailers are expected to weigh in at the agricultural stations on the borders of Fla. Of course, there is no signage to that effect, and the officer admitted that it's basically a scam-nobody actually realizes that they're supposed to weigh-in, therefore the cops can pull over whomever they choose. AND we were informed that they had busted a white van similiar to ours earlier that week, and found a couple hundred pounds of weed. Lucky us.
Long story short, Wes goes to jail for having less than an eighth of weed, but the cop says if they hurry and book him, we should be able to get him out first thing in the morning (Sunday). So we sleep in the jail parking lot and wake up at 6:00, just to be told that he didn't make it in time, and now he won't be out till Monday evening. Awesome. So we soldier up and head to Orlando and spend the next two days recording at SoundLounge Studios. Late in the game, Wes gets bailed out, and comes in just in time to record his parts and finish the recordings without missing a beat. "Ain't nobody gonna break my stride, ain't nobody gonna hold me down, oh no, we've got to keep on moving!

On to Jupiter, Fla, to a lovely little place called Guanabana's. It is an outdoor bar/venue that looks as if it was built by The Swiss Family Robinson, and it's paradise. Wes and I get to surf a bit, and then we play a really good acoustic show as the sun sets. If you've never seen our acoustic act, I suggest you check it out. Special thanks to Matt and the staff at Guanabana's. Also special thanks to Shawn and Amanda for always letting us stay.

The West End in Sanford, Fla is a great little spot. We actually almost skipped our first show there a few tours back, believing that no one would come out. Well 2 or 3 shows later, the place is packed on a thursday! This is the beginning of a new trend in Bastard shows: the "Who the fuck are all these people and what are they all doing out on a schoolnight?" shows. We like these a lot, and we had a bunch of 'em on this tour. Thanks to Paul and everyone at The West End. Sorry about all that trouble yall are having with that kid getting shot. That sucks.


Next up is Filthy's in Vero Beach, Fla. Our good friends Nick and Angela have been getting trouble from the local sign enforcers because evidently tourists mistake the bar for a strip club situated right next to an antique dealership. Can't imagine how they could get confused by a huge sign that just reads, "Filthy's". Weird. Anyway, we play to another packed house and it was awesome. Oh, and Bobby and Jay Tea get some fresh ink at Deuces Wild Tattoo. Thanks Scott and Bull! *I totally forgot to mention that a food network cupcake challenge winner came to our show with five personalized cupcakes. I got to try his winning one. Booya.

Beachside Tavern is in New Smyrna Beach, and its another oldie but goodie. Thanks Mark, we always have fun here, even if you don't show up for our shows all that often. It's cool, you only used to manage the band! Also got to see Levon's dad, which is always good.

Coaster's Bar is our second home. We've played that stage no less than twenty times in the past few years, and it is always one of the best shows of the tour. Even on a Sunday, it was amazing. I mean hell, I met my girlfriend here, it's gotta be good. So anyway, more debauchery ensues, yadda yadda, and I honestly don't remember the rest of that night. Thanks for that, Rick, Chad and Jan!

Now at this point we're all a little road-weary. Eleven consecutive days will do that. And this is why the next two days were so amazing. We relaxed in Navarre, Fla with our good friends Kim and Judy. We surfed, went out in Corey's boat, my girlfriend came down, and it was heaven. And then came dinner. Our friend Kim is sweet on our tour manager Bobby; one might even say that they're a bit of an item. Either way, she loves her some Bastards, and she illustrated that by going WAY overboard while shopping for dinner. For starters, SHE BOUGHT A NEW GRILL. Then she picked up some locally-caught Cobia, Mahi and Amberjack, along with some beautiful steaks and even a few lamb chops! Then she made the incredibly well-informed decision to put me and Bobby on grill duty, and we all stuffed our faces until we literally started to feel guilty about it. Thanks Kim, you know we loved you already, but after two straight weeks of Taco Bell, we frickin ADORE you now!

Ok, that's enough for now, in my next installment, we leave Florida and head West. There'll be hidden marijuana-grow communities in North California, there'll be chick fights, and even more illicit drug use. Trust me, you don't wanna miss it!




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