Click on this one if you want to see the whole gang and I'll give you a run-down. This photo was taken at the end of the tour in San Francisco (by Mike Kittlestad) but it's the one good group shot of Girl Trouble and Satan's Pilgrims so I'll show it now. The guy sticking his head in the way of K.P. Kendall is John Pilgrim's brother and I forget his name. He just showed up in SF to stick his head in this photo. So after him, left to right, there's K.P. Kendall, me, Scott (SP guitar), Dave (SP organ, guitar), Kahuna (GT guitar), Robert (SP guitar), Dale (GT bass), Ted (SP drums) and John (SP bass). In the center we have Mike, the most formidable tour assistant we have ever encountered. He came with the Pilgrims but he helped sell our stuff too which was a huge favor to us. Thanks Mike. Mike is Big E in the Brothers E show with Ted (Lil E) and you can get more info on that down the page. At this point we were really tired and ready to go home but let's back up a bit.
It doesn't really matter where this pic was taken; just thought you should see what we spent a lot of time doing. Since we were the opening band for Satan's Pilgrims we found ourselves getting very few soundchecks with more hours for goofing off. We have pretty much come to the conclusion that soundchecks are a big fat waste of time and that pool playing will actually help you prepare more for the show than arguing with the soundman about how loud the guitar is. This was the most valuable lesson we learned on our trip.
The show in Sacramento stunk for us but the Joes sure had a good time afterward. Dale and Kahuna are avid GI Joe collectors. Together they have enough Joes and accessories to launch a major doll (oops, action figure) assault. They got the brilliant idea to take "travel Joes" along on this tour, I think mainly to annoy K.P. and myself. This photo was taken shortly after we sabotaged their bags by placing a sickly Barbie and extremely effeminate Ken in with the GI Joes for one big dolly orgy. Kahuna and Dale were shocked and not amused.
Now you see front and center why we love LA. It's our old buddy Nick Scott from PopDefect. He was the host with the most when we finally made it down there. That's Dale, Nick, K.P., Adam (from Nick's side band Masher) and Kahuna with full bellies after eating a delicious huge meal at Millie's. Yum! Later we were lucky enough to see PopDefect Al but Charlie was out of town on his bike trip from LA to New York (He actually made it!). We stayed for several days at the Punk House with Nick, Misty and Greg of Paper Tulips. It was great to have temporary G.T. Headquarters there. But why is it that whenever we come to LA they have a hot spell? I can't remember being in LA and not having somebody say "oh, this is unusual for this time of year. It never gets this hot so early." It's probably a trick they play on anybody from the Northwest and we keep falling for it!
Anyway despite the heat we had a blast. We mainly came down for our main man Lee Joseph's Dionysus Demolition Derby. It was packed with people we hadn't seen in ages. We especially loved seeing our old pals Russell Quan (who is now drumming in so many bands I can't keep it straight) and the always amazing Zebra Stripes. There was lots of excitement, some of it intentional and some not. The planned excitement for us was getting to see the Davey Allen set. That alone was worth the trip for us. We also got to see the very informative Tiki lecture/slide show in the side room. Before we played some jerks tried to rip off the vendors. There was much scuffling and before you know it the security guys were out in the parking lot spraying the perpetrators with pepper spray. A panicked, choking crowd stormed into the room. Then everyone in the room started choking including us. We ran too. I've never had the opportunity to be in contact with spray but now I can say from experience "That stuff is nasty!" It was perfect for our first night in LA. That, however, was a minor inconvenience compared to the event. Hats off to Lee and Amie for all the preparation that went into this. They went above and beyond for all the bands.
I think you've got the idea that we don't handle heat very well. So of course it makes perfect sense to drive to Arizona in the non-air-conditioned tour van. What were we thinking? We drove at night, stopped at the scariest rest stop we've seen in years, passed by authorities arresting a whole truckload of illegal aliens, and drove through scenery that looked like we had landed on the moon. Wow, just like in the movies! I slept while Dale, K.P. and Kahuna ate at some space age diner. Unfortunately the only space age part was the sign out front. They were disappointed. In Tempe we got an air conditioned motel and lazed around. We weren't prepared for what awaited us at this gig. I figured we'd mosey over to the club about 8 until Dale, who happened to run into Satan's Pilgrims on his way to the bowling alley, told us we'd better get over there because we play at 8:30! We scrambled. The club was absolutely gigantic. It was exactly what I would have described as the typical ROCK club, a club we have no business in, for any reason. There were all these guys running around doing who knows what, but they sure did think it was important. Jeez, they must have thought Aerosmith was going to play with the effort they were going to. You just wanted to tap them on the shoulder and tell them they could relax for the night, it's only Girl Trouble, but you didn't want to disappoint them. I'm not sure where guys like this come from but they all seem to have the same look, speech, attitude. My theory is that they come from another planet.
This was one of the times that being the opening band paid off in a big way. While Satan's Pilgrims were lounging around in their hotel pool at 4 pm after a long hot drive a car pulled up and started honking at their van. This guy hollered at them to get out and get over to the club for the important soundcheck, they were already late. They got out of a nice cool pool to an excruciating two hour soundcheck. All the experts bumbled around for an hour and a half until the big cheese got there and worked out the problems. Thank the rock god it wasn't us.
So we played to about 25 people (5 of them looked enthused). There were more staff at the club than paying customers. But that didn't stop them from using the full throttle light show on us. I've never had so many lights flash on me as I reigned supreme on my gigantic drum riser. What a joke. But we did get to meet an old friend who I use to write to. It's Godfrey and he made a magazine called Wagner's World. Wagner is the plaster bust that's been everywhere, seen everything and met lots of major stars. Well, Kurt unfortunately high tailed it back to the motel but Dale, Kahuna and I got the chance to actually hold Wagner and get our photo taken. We also gave Godfrey the latest Wig Out. If you've got that issue you no doubt recall the letter from Nick Von Robison about the Mojave Desert phone booth. Godfrey decided it was his quest to reach somebody on the number that Nick provided. I'm not going to tell you what happened. You'll have to check that out for yourself on Godfrey's Amazing page. Wagner has really gone high-tech.
I think this photo illustrates the temperature. This was somewhere on the Arizona/California border as we high tailed it out of Phoenix. We'd driven all night. It was 7 am and we stopped for gas in the most remote, depressing area possible. It was about 90 degrees already. Kurt asked the attendant how hot it was supposed to get that day. 110!
We beat it back to LA where it was still too hot for us. We played at a club called Spaceland where we met up with friends Rich Coffee and Lee Joseph. How Lee managed to show up after hosting that gigantic music spectacular I'll never know. Must be good livin'. We had a gab fest about all the latest happenings. Al Anderson finally showed up from his trip to Seattle. Wow, talk about timing! We got to see I'm sad to say the final show from what probably would have been my new favorite band, Foreign Object. These guys were incredible. Mixing wrestling and hardcore makes so much sense. We were all mesmerized. And these guys aren't just a bunch of chumps with masks who occasionally pretend to wrestle. They are going the full route brother: smashing each other on tables, hitting people with fold-up chairs (and denting them!), verbally abusing and viciously pummeling upstarts from the crowd during the whole set. They had a ringside announcer who was way too good not to be the real thing. Because it was really their last show the singer brought out a big bag and threw out everything ever associated with the band including all their left over CDs. Dale got a wrestling watch.
The next day was our one day off. We were all tired and undecided about what to do. After playing so many gigs I was starting to get bugged. I wanted some sort of vacation out of this but it didn't look possible. At the last minute Dale, Ted, John and I decided to check out Disneyland. We had a blast even though our Happiest Hours on Earth were pretty limited. With careful planning we managed to ride just about everything we wanted to. We loved the new Indiana Jones ride. Ted told us some hilarious family lore about an accident one of his relatives had on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Apparently it WAS too wild for her. After that I was less bitchy. So would you like to know what K.P. and Kahuna did all afternoon long while we were gone? click here to find out.
We played a lot of cool places but not one measured up to the Foothill Club in Signal Hill. Jeez, what a beautiful place. Everything is pretty much in tact and our jaws were just dropping the whole time. From the red and pink velour wall paper to the giant old photos of the top C & W stars of the day (like the Collins Kids and an autographed Johnny Cash), it was Girl Trouble Heaven. Steve Zepeda, the guy responsible for keeping this place going, was nice enough to show up early to give us some history on the place. He pointed out the booth Elvis sat in. Of course we could hardly wait to get in it ourselves.
If you're in a band you no doubt know that once in awhile there's a show that everybody and their dog is going to . Our guest list was crammed. And then nobody shows up. Well, at least our old pal from one of our all time favorite bands, Tex and the Horseheads showed up. We were thrilled to see Mike Martt and we all sat around blabbing with him. And then our buddy Pat Todd showed up in the company of the whole new lineup of the Lazy Cowgirls. Pat and the Cowgirls also rate at the top of the GT fave rave list. Hey, with Pat as the frontman how could they not? Well, look forward to their new CD coming out way before we can get one released. Click here to see Pat and his swinging Cadillac that is in such perfect condition it's kind of scary. Of course all the swinging PopDefect crew came out and that's pretty much all you need for a good show anyway. See Al Anderson sitting at the booth with Ted and Dale. Hey were they discussing the formation of a supergroup? The incredible Rayovacs opened up the show and even though the crowd wasn't gigantic it didn't matter. It was a great show. See the newest country/western star on the horizon, Cowboy Kendall, posing in front of the Johnny Cash photo. It was hard to say good-bye to PopDefect and Misty and Greg but we decided to drive straight to San Francisco to beat the heat.
We got a motel. That was the most important thing because we were starting to drive in circles. Okay, we usually drive in circles but we were doing more of it than usual. We were getting kind of tired out. Our last gig of the tour was at the Kilowatt Club. It'd been three years since we played San Francisco. We'd heard good things about this club but that didn't mean anybody was going to remember who we were. That made it all the more surprising when the place filled to capacity. It was a complete shock when all those people packed toward the stage and started shouting out our songs. The show was a good one to go out on. Everybody danced and acted like we were a real band or something. Don't tell them, okay? Their energy pumped us back up so we put on a show like it was the beginning of the tour instead of the end. Why the hell did we take so long to get back to San Francisco? We won't make that mistake again.
Besides having the best show of the tour - maybe of the year - we got to hang out with a lot of our old friends and make new ones. Russell Quan showed up with the always lovely Tina to hang out. Our old friend Mike Kittlestad was there. We've known Mike and Russell for years. Mike made the cool Living Sickness magazine and Russell was drumming in the Mummies. We hadn't seen him in a long time. The guys talked movies, GI Joes and we forced Mike to take photos. The Gearhead Magazine Guru himself, Mike LaVella, came along with gal pal Kathy. Gearhead is one amazing magazine that I highly recommend to everyone. I went over to the bar and talked about all the latest happenings with them. Then Girlyhead Magazine Guruette, Sunny, showed up to play her "you guys are so fun" joke on Kahuna. Kahuna hates this compliment after he's just about killed himself during a set. She played this joke very effectively at the last Garageshock to the rest of the band's hilarity. He finally figured out it was a joke after steaming about it for awhile. So click here for a really friendly photo of: sitting at the table Mike Kittlestad, and behind him left to right Kathy, Ted Pilgrim, K.P., Dale, Mike LaVella, Dave from the Kilowatt and Kahuna.
It was just about time to say good-bye to Satan's Pilgrims. That's always the sad part. When we traveled with Crackerbash in Europe we made an attempt at making a small pyramid. I just stood next to them and laughed. This time somebody, I'm not sure who, got the idea that if both bands and tour boss Mike got together we could make a 10 person pyramid. They decided I would be on top. Now this didn't sound like a real great idea to me but they'd already quickly made two rows of it before I could stop them. I'd be lame if I didn't try it. They were next to the stage so I'd have a good start from the stage to jump on Kahuna and John's backs. I will freely admit that alcohol had a hand in this decision. I was just loose enough to give it a shot. See the assembled masses just before I fell and it crumbled into a sea of sweaty guy bodies. If it had not been for the quick split-second timing of photog Mike Kittlestad no one would have believed this story. Thanks to Mike I don't have to convince anybody. On the bottom is left to right is Dave, Mike, Ted and K.P. The next row is Scott, Robert and Dale. Then it's John and Kahuna. A kinda drunken me, making a face I try not to make when I'm sober, is on top. We now challenge all other touring bands to beat this pyramid.
Okay this got way out of hand as usual. I did want to share a couple of really fabulous photos of The Brothers E that I took. Girl Trouble was lucky enough to open up for the Brothers E in Portland for the 20th anniversary of the passing of The King. We'd never seen this spectacular tribute but it was worth the drive. The Brothers E band skillfully backs up Big E (Mike) and Lil E (Ted) for one incredible show complete with back up singers and fog machine. At one point two chicks in white cotton underwear strut out and have a pillow fight. I don't quite remember that being part of the King's show but I'm sure he fantasized about it. Click here to see the Brothers E for yourself, in the dressing room as they prepare for the show. Click here to see Girl Trouble and the Brothers E after the big event. Click here to see Red West (Scott Fox) forcibly ejecting a heckler (K.P.) before the show while Kahuna looks on.