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Day 68 - Japan - Conclusion of the Japanese Tour Leg - Fly home

Wow, it seems like just yesterday we all headed to Japan and here we are near the end this journey. With a sad heart and fond memories I bid thee farewell. Like all great things, this must too come to an end. I feel that a brief synopsis may be in order to accurately relate. First we flew here, then had a day off, did a tv show, Fuji festival and now we fly home. Mathematically, approximately 116 hours will have passed from when I left till I return with only 46 hours spent in planes, trains and automobiles. So that comes out to about 60% of the trip was actually spent on solid ground!

In the mean time, I will just sign on to the internet and work on being boring. Whoa, what do we have here?..... Uh Oh, this does not look good:

Now what am I going to do? Or more importantly, what have I done? Time to get out the antenna because the the threats from the 'allegedly' free hotel internet is making me nervous.

**** Later this same long day ****

I have landed, made it home and just as you loose a day when you fly to Japan from LA, you actually land before you left when you come home! You do not get your lost day back but the super long day acts a consolation prize.

First order of business, food. Unlike the series of delectable meals I experience on the road, at home I am relegated to consume a much simpler grub. Look what $30 at the local mexican market gets me:

Oh, this is going to suck as torture myself with shrimp tacos and home made salsa. Ummmm, I got to go...

The very hungry Dave Rat


Day 67 - Japan -Fuji Festival

Last night the rest of the crew took the bus up the hill but I opted to stay in Tokyo for the night and ride the bullet train up with the band party. Being that the gig is a 'throw and go' and Nick the Fly has no problem getting the gear dialed, interfaced and under control, the lure of actually having an internet connection was too tempting to pass up. Flea, on the other hand, did the opposite and had Clara with him (his older daughter). They cruised up to the ski resort with the crew after the TV show to enjoy a day out of the city.

The bullet trains are really cool and super fast and smooth to ride on. Roadie Jason can be seen here petting the bullet train, which is generally ok to do,

Though whtever came over him and inspired him to touch its eye is beyond me. It is well know that touching the eye of a Trainosaur, could anger it and he is clearly at great risk on being bitten. Roadie Jason is clearly fearless.

Immediately upon arriving at the picturesque venue site we went on an expedition in the general direction of the dressing rooms. And even though the rain was light, I do not know what we would have done without the 8 natives acting as umbrella technicians.

As you may be aware, one of the more challenging aspects of touring is maintaining a healthy diet. After the train ride and mountain drive, I was overjoyed when I found my concerns unfounded, at least for today. Feast your eyes upon this delectable spread the still even had something reminiscent of warmth located towards the middle if you stick your finger in it, may I say "Yummy?"

I love Sonic Youth!

I love their music, I love them as magic and wonderful people! And do you know how you sometimes meet people that have a profound effect on your life? Well, Sonic Youth was the first band to take out a full Rat Sound PA system since the 3 Black Flag tours in the mid 80's. After the Flag tours, we at Rat decided to stop touring and rebuild the sound gear to be fully tour perfected based based on all we had learned from the vigilante style punk rock style tours. When we were ready, as with many things in life, no one wanted to risk taking us on a 'real' tour unless we had experience doing 'real' tours. Catch 22. Back then there just was not a lot of bands/managers that both cared who Black Flag was and also were big enough to carry a sound system on tour. Well, Sonic Youth had grown out of the punk rock/SST Records world and they gave us our second big break and took us Rats out on the their Goo tour.

Looking out over the crowd from stage we see many pretty colors:

And the gratuitous snapshot of the rock show, the way I see it:

And following a long day in less than optimum weather, the show was awesome! The crowd was so excited and filled with energy, the steam rising off the audience, and whether the audience got the energy from the band or the band fed off the energy of the audience, the two mixed together with the mountainous japanese retreat and it was all good.

In order to reward ourselves for having so much fun, a celebration was most definitely in order. Here you can see the plush interior of a Japanese tour bus filled with celebratory roadies:

And tomorrow we fly home!

The portable Dave Rat