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Day 293a - March 12 - The Goodbye US Crew Special!

It is the last day that this entire roadie crew as we know it, will be together. As the show evolves and the gear changes as does the vendors and specialized skills required to make it all work, so evolves the roadie crew. As many prepare to the scatter, here is a parting shot that Lampi Leif so brilliantly orchestrated. This is one of the pictures he lined up that includes everyone traveling in the non-band-party except the truck and bus drivers. Quite a task indeed and I was amazed it actually happened. I then took it upon myself to do a bit of hi tech and professionally skilled labeling so y'all will know who who is who

If you are curious to know a bit more about our FOH roadie, Lampi Leif, his web site is

Though I will see them soon, I still felt the desire for a goodbye hug

Shhhh! Scott and I sneaked the tigers into a road case so they will travel to Japan, we cant be doing a show with out mixing tigers, can we? Had to really stuff them in though as we also do not want to be carrying a excess stuff to far away places. I guess it is just a matter of the various perspectives on the definition of excess.

Finally to leave the tour and a sweet note, if you are so inspired, take the time to give this stuff a try. It is an awesome delicious way to make sweet that lacks the overwhemingness of honey and the drudgery of sugar. Yumm!

Good night sweet night,

Dave Rat

Day 293 - March 12 - Oklahoma City The Makeup Show

OK, we are in OK. Round two as the first attempt was temporally delayed due to overwhelming coldness and airy ice.At least we knew the ropes of the load-in though when I say we, I must give credit to the "we's" other than me as they are the heroes of the techno build and I am more of an observer and documentationer at this point in my career as a roadie.

Hey look, it's our riggers Gabe, Fletch and Chuck! Try and get your head around this perspective

Mickey Avalon opened and perhaps impatience or perhaps it was too raunchy for a pile of the locals but stepping back with a smile was easily amplified if you let yourself listen and watch though. Mickey playing the show was a direct request from our Peppers so it was interesting to see people boo an artist that is embraced by the artists that they came to see. Oh well, in any case I mixed Mickey's sound, as I rarely do for support acts, but the exception was created when requested to do so by my Peppery band friends. Scott did lights and we had a blast! All good. Not only was the music enjoyable but for some strange reason I found it difficult to avert my eyes from the performance, perhaps it was his shirt

As far as the Peppers show, well we got some some more Josh when he played on Wet Sand

We got some Flea trumpet which I always enjoy

And though I did not get pics of all the goodbye's, I will end today with saying bye bye to Chris, our awesome merch roadie

7 AM lobby call tomorrow, time for bed, night night!

Dave Rat

Day 292 - March 11 - Travel to OK

Perhaps you may be beginning to notice a distinct connection between being a roadie and spending a considerable amount of time subjected to being transported around the world? Today was no exception. Not unlike the plight of Guilligan and his isle, often something intended to be a short story can evolve into a meandering novel of epic proportions. The original delayed flight was of little consequence but when the guy in the work-suit carried the boxy thing with wires hanging from it out of the airplane cockpit, our roadie intuition kicked in and we collectively agreed that there is a high probability that is not dandy. Then add in the fact that there were free tequila shots between the airport bars at various locations peppering our path on our way to board the earlier plane in Mexico combined with the "arrive two hours early, plus a spare hour, plus a spare spare 1/2 hour, when traveling with large roadie herds," and you end up with a pack of 50 well tuned roadies with a lot of momentum and no where to go except the bar of course.

That is the part where the fun begins. Roadies are funny, usually unless they are whining and bitching in which case they are annoying, unless they are really good at whining and bitching and that if done right can be funny again. Well, being the well rounded crew that we are, we have all bases covered. Roadies are also very curious so naturally when they took the that little thing out of the plane, I headed straight over to see what was going on. Look! they actually let me into the cockpit to take a picture of me posing below the place where they took out that boxy thing with wires.

It turned out that the plane was not really that broken and the only problem was just a small issue with engines being overly stubborn and refusing to start up. Unfortunately though, without their windy thrust, we were locked into a top speed of zero miles per hour, so they decided to fix it with half of our roadies sitting on the tiny jet plane. So they shut down the power and impressed everyone by by showing off how quickly a sealed tube of humans reaches a high level of swelter. While many roadies puzzlingly endured the thermal bummout, the highlight was when roadie Scott came dashing out covered in sweat as if being chased by a critter with claws. Here we can see Scotty after he has has located a cooling breeze.

Finally after much waiting they cleared the plane and instructed us o return in half an hour, so Scott and I wander off seeking food only to get a text message 20 minutes later, mid meal that the plane was fully boarded and they are fitting to leave without us. At that point Scott and I decided it was a wonderful time to get some excessive and demonstrate our synchronized wind sprinting skills to 'da plane, da plane!'

It is time for another comic

**** Scott the Lampi Comic #4 ****

**** End Scott the Lampi Comic #4 ****

Oklahoma City tomorrow. Last show of the official US tour. Yep, there may be some scattered state-side dates and usually is if history is an indicator but no real gigs on the books other than Coachella, that I know of. At least we have a little break coming up and when I say little, I mean little. Monday OK City, tues fly home, wednesday is relax, holiday, vacation day and most of the crew flies to Japan on thursday. Fortunately, the backline techs and I are not needed yet so we get twice as long at home and leave on the following day, this Friday.

Now, it is time for me curiosity myself into some other direction and offer farewell till tomorrow or the next day or some day soon to come, but most likely tomorrow.

Dave Rat

Day 291 - March 10 - Mexico City Show Day

You know those days where you look outside and there is water all over the air? Introduce gravity and the water droplets align in a harmonious migration earthward blanketing all that lays below in a layer of wet. Well, this is one of those and the added layer of sluggishness accompanying that, makes things a bit of an uphill swim. Yet the momentum of the roadies press the day forward and through it we pass while and there is much to enjoy.

Modest Mouse, amazing music and one of the many answers to "Dave Rat, what music do you like and listen to?" Plus it was cool for several tour people to say "Hey, that opening band played the song that you put on as walk out music at some of the shows!" Their song list for the evening

and a shot of the band from my very distant mix area as seen through the wet air

So good, so happy, great music!And then this! Some things make me so happy that they leave me speechless and make make my eyes water. Look what Chad requested and Lyssa B made as one of the jump suits he wears at the gigs.

I am a very fortunate roadie indeed to be so lucky to have found wonderful and magic humans in which to travel my life. Outdoor show and things change Mexico gets a new show look and more new looks to come as the tour travels and evolves to far away shores.

Up closer with the audience water rain steam rising

Till the grand finale with, surprise! Josh is still with us and Flea trumpets

Often good ideas backfire. At times good intentions result in not so sparkly outcomes. What was I thinking when I agreed to let Scott have a vocal and unedited space to comic on the blog? Clearly he is suffering from much confusion! What could I have possibly done other than to post pictures of Scotty near naked and in every goofy and compromising angle I can. Arrrgh! But as they say, "payback is a bitch" so here goes and feel free to skip over this next part

**** Scott's Confused Babbling's ****

**** End Scott's Confused Babbling's ****

Stunned, I must now go and regain my balance and plan important adventures like capturing and hiding his passport.

Dave Rat

Oh one more thing; over the course of the blog, I have received many requests for links to other blogs written about the would of touring. Well, here is one that comes from a different angle and I found it an interesting read.

Day 288 - March 9 - Mexico City - Off

So for a wander I go and see some things to be seen. The pond of radio control boats was cool, looked like you could rent time and pilot a tug

But easily the coolest watercraft was this innovative design seen here with it's proud creator

With full RC control, this is just too cool!

Next stop, is a quick look in the liquor store where they not only sell alcohol but also guns

Two great tastes that go great together. But there guns are filled with tequila and what a wonderful way to spend a day swigging shots from the end of a firearm.

**** Issue of Yesterday Continued ****

But wait, rewind the tape and look! A glimpse of a man in a black suit walks into the camera view and back out, almost right behind me unseen by me, as I turn left away from the tea table and walk towards the bags the flash of a hand is seen and then the black square of my phone vanishes. Then, still out of my view as I rotate back to the the table he is seen for a flash walking back past the camera. Look, the guy got the phone!

Rewind, I ask but Jose, the hotel operations manager stops the tape and says, "ok, give us a half an hour, where can we find you then?" It seemed like that they recognized the person and also appeared that the scooper was wearing the same black suit as the hotel employee. Forty-five minutes and several free margaritas later, Jose informs me that they have located the person but he is not telling them where the phone is, I have this image of a not so friendly interrogation in the basement and someone losing their job for acting on a not so good idea in front of a camera.

I was 20 minutes late for the crew dinner when Jose Portocarrero walked up and handed me my phone. Relief, happy, stunned and a bit tipsy, I must say that the and the staff here at the W Hotel are truly awesome and I can not thank them enough for caring and going above and beyond, the actions and effort made by the staff not only erased the negativity of the trauma but actually left me feeling happier than I did before. What runs through my mind is; like so many things in life, something negative occurring can bring out the positive. Perhaps also, but I will never know, though it would be cool, that this event may be the trigger for the phone-pocketeer a glimpse to see things a bit more clearly and follow a better path that lacks capturing items belonging to others.

Oh, and ha ha, I knew someone captured it! For once I did not lose it all on my lonesome. Now the extra shirt I brought to the crew dinner, well that is another story and a short one at that. Brought it in and left without, bye bye shirt. Now that I think about it, where did I last see my sunglasses? Arrrgh.

**** End Issue of Yesterday ****

Finally, as a farewell image to leave you with, look how playful roadies can be as I was able to snap a shot of two in mid frolic.

Till we we meet again,

Dave Rat