Clayton's Log: Stardate 4/27/12 - Spring Tour

Hello again, my loyal literary companions. As I type, I am perfectly content.
Having arrived home yesterday after our grueling Nationwide tour, I promptly took an hour-long shower and collapsed on my bed a la "Almost Famous" and slept for a good 10 hours. Then I awoke, hugged my dogs, kissed my lady and promply ate a steak that would have fed a small eastern-European village.
Folks, I tell ya, into every life a little rain must fall, but there are also days when I'm near-blinded by all the sunshine. Peaks and valleys, that's what it's all about. I'll try to relate a little more of our cross-country trek now.


We left Shangri-La feeling better than we had any right to feel. As we drove through the twisting Northern California landscape, we were obliged to pull over and gape, stupefied, at the majesty that surrounded us. The Yuba river is one of those rare, mountanious, pale green torrents that straddles the gap between pure elegance and sheer vicious, raw power. (I know that last part sounds like a bad travel writer's rough draft, but I don't care. It was one of the top five views of my life, and I've been to Africa.) I took some video and if I can figure it out, I'll upload it to the site shortly.


And so we blundered along, high on life, high on the local supply, high on Mother Nature and high on breakfast-food porn, happily oblivious to the fact that, as I said before, into each life a little rain must fall. And fall it would.


Santa Cruz was the site of our next show, and it was truly a record-setter, to say the least.
The reader must bear in mind the fact that we were on a roll-a string of good weekday shows at venues in whom we were less than confident, and finally, some of the good luck which we were so sure we rightly deserved. That's why the four people at the Santa Cruz show were kind of a bum-out. Not that I don't thank them for staying, it's just that they represented all that was left of the first two bands. I'm assuming they drew the short straw and were forced to hang around in order to get payed. Which we didn't. At all. Record-setting indeed.


From there we turned back East, breathing a collective sigh of relief. A month on the road without much rest can get to anyone, even those of us who actively seek out this semi-sado masochistic lifestyle. For the duration of the trip, every mile would bring us closer to home.


We stayed the night in Reno, Nevada at the semi-famous Sands Casino. Kind of a weird scene: Although the surrounding landscape is undeniably beautiful, there is a certain smell that surrounds the various gambling establishments. Cigarettes and despair, I suspect.


We played the Bar Deluxe in Salt Lake City, Utah and Hodi's in Ft. Collins, Colorado in quick succession. Both were the sort of shows that I've referred to before: weeknights with a surprising number of attendees. I memorized as many names as I could in Ft. Collins and thanked them all from the stage. We stayed with Lori and Ken, and had one helluva night. Special thanks to their three children, who were the coolest little people ever.We all left feeling encouraged and refreshed.


The peaks and valleys continue to reach new highs and lows, and we feel pretty good overall.
We know what awaits us in Denver. We know that if the small shows preceding it are any indication, 4/20 in one of our biggest cities is going to be something special. Well it was special, and humbling, and mind-bendingly awesome, but you'll just have to wait to hear the details, because I'm still getting over the van-lag and this is all I've got energy for at the moment. In the words of Downtown Julie Brown, wubba wubba wubba and God bless.


Clayton's Log: Stardate 5/2/12 READ THIS LAST


Ah, Denver. Where the weed grows as fast as....well......a weed. Colorado has always been good to The Bastard Suns, and Denver has been downright awesome every time! We've had more fun here in the past than any other place in the country, we always have a warm place to stay with our good friends Scott and Wendy and their family, and people here tend to be very generous with the pot and the shots.
That's why, when I realized we were going to Denver on 4/20 this time, I immediately got a huge grin and said, "OOOh, that's gonna be a GOOOOD show!"
What we got was a legendary show. I had the time of my life, and I owe it all to you, Denver.
As I said, we all knew it was going to be a decent show, but when you take into account the number of concerts and parties going on in a pot-friendly state on four-freakin-twenty, you can see why we were a little skeptical about turnout. I mean, Cypress Hill was performing at The Odeon across the street. Yeah, we were a little worried. But then I left the confines of the dressing room, and realized that the line of people that stretched around the corner was for us. I went into the parking lot, and was immediately stopped by a nice couple who, "Just want to smoke a bowl with a Bastard." Of course, I obliged, and as I was obliging, another group came up with the same intentions. And then another group, and another! By the time we were done, the entire parking lot was one big, hazy circle, and I had to keep reminding myself that despite my anxiety, we probably weren't going to get hassled for this at all.


The Marquis Theatre is a decently-sized venue, (especially if you're a band from halfway across the country) and the entire place was packed and electric during our show. It was spectacular. The opening bands killed it, with special mention going out to our good friends in No Bueno. I've only played with these guys a dozen times or so, but I have to imagine that this was one of their best shows ever-they were absolutely incredible. Well done boys, thanks for gettin 'em riled up!


Then it was our turn. The show was so amazing, so hazy and frantic and sweaty and emotional that when I try to look back, all I see now is one big smoky, colorful blur. But I will say the very thought of that blur makes me smile even now. My Cousin Chris was there, Scott and Wendy and their family were there, some people were there from Atlanta and even our friends Cassie and James came all the from Palm Beach, Florida! I saw an old friend Corey and his two companions, and then I realized that Corey lives in Ohio! I asked him why he would drive 15 hours out of his way when all of our remaining shows were in places like St. Louis, which is MUCH closer to his home. He simply said, "Yeah, but none of THOSE shows are 4/20 in Denver fuckin' Colorado, are they?" Well said, my young friend. The force is strong in those three.
We all drove away from that show feeling a renewed understanding in our goal. It's never really about the money, or the girls or the status, music and touring is all about fun. (If you're doing it right, that is.) And, in the words of the late, great Dudley Moore: "Isn't FUN the best thing to have?" Thanks for lighting our productive fires again Denver, we needed that.


The next two days were spent in sheer bliss. Scott and Wendy are great hosts, and we all needed a bit of a re-charge after weeks and weeks of nonstop shows. Everyone enjoyed a lot of sleep and a nice grill out, and then we bade a tearful goodbye to our Denver family. Ok, it was just me crying. Whatever.


We were only three consecutive shows away from the end of our tour, and because of Colorado, we were ready. First was Lawrence, Kansas. Lawrence is a college town and it was really clean and beautiful. I'm sorry to say that I expected something a little different, but I really liked my first experience with Kansans. In fact, a local bandmember (another Corey if I'm not mistaken) put us up in his apartment, and overall the show was really fun. Thanks Kansas, we'll be back now, ya hear?


Next was St. Louis, Missouri. I was excited to see the arch again, because to me it signifies the entrance back to the South. And be it ever so humble, I've always been proud to call the South my home.
The show was ok, these few locations were all new to us, and on weeknights, so we're ready for some slow ones. But in old St. Louie it looked like we would be doing something that all of us dread: spending a night together in the van. Then, late in the game, a young girl offered to let us stay at her apartment. "My mom is out of town and I don't have class till one o'clock tomorrow, so you guys can sleep in. It's just a little bit messy, hope you don't mind."
(And believe me, we don't mind. We've all slept in some pretty precarious spots in order to avoid a night sleeping six-deep in the fart-tube. Wes' feet, if left unattended, can literally kill plantlife.)
Now I don't want to sound ungrateful, but calling the flat that she and her mother shared, "A bit messy" was a bit of an understatement. I'm not saying it was Grey Gardens over there, but it did take a good bit of moving clothes and stuff before we could see the color of the carpet. Also, she neglected to mention that they shared the place with a sweet dog, a less-than-sweet cat, and two really rowdy ferrets. Now anyone who has seen "Beastmaster" will tell you that ferrets rule, but trust me, they do not rule. They smell like piss and body odor and evidently they never sleep. They just scramble around nibbling on things and trying to steal shiny stuff. Its like sharing the floor with two tiny hobos. The dog wanted to sleep next to me, but there was simply no sleep to be had. The ferrets would bite the cat, the cat would bite the dog, the dog would yelp and freak out and wake me up in the process. And my air mattress deflated. Twice. And so I was wide awake when the young girl came into the room at 7:00am to tell us all that her mom was coming home (very) early and we needed to be out in the next hour. Killer.
At least the boys who opted to sleep in the van didn't get any rest either. Apparently just as they started into a deep sleep, a previously undected train track carried an equally unexpected train within a few feet of the van. And this continued, about every half an hour, for the rest of the night. Ah, the glamorous life of a rockstar.
Anyway, we finished up in Nashville at a really cool new bar, and then headed straight home overnight. By the time my head hit the pillow, I was so exhausted that I started to hallucinate. My girlfriend told me that my arms and legs jerked around for hours after I had fallen asleep. I guess my body didn't get the memo-we can finally rest.
Special thanks to everyone who made this entire tour so much fun, we'll be seeing you all again really soon.


This is Captain Clayton of the USS Fart Module signing out for now...

















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