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Day 333 April 21st - Show 1 - Time to Rock in New Zealand!

Before I even made onto the arena floor, Fletch walks by with smile and says "you are going to have fun tonight!" in his semi sarcastic gruff smirking way. Huh? "You'll see." he says and off he goes. Fletch is a Rigger. Fletch has been around a long long time and though Fletch is sarcastic, it was not 30 steps more before I understood. And yes folks, we have a live one. Every once in while you come across a venue that thinks sound should be more like the Energizer Bunny and keep going and going and going. There is a train station in Chile, a building on the fairgrounds in San Diego, an airplane hangar in Germany that hold some top honors for venues with less than optimum acoustic aspects. Today though is not near as bad as those, it is clear that before even the first note comes through the sound system, from just the sound of typical background noise of a load in, that it is not near as good as the typical arena's we have been running into. Oh well, as usual, I try my best not to overly concern myself with issues that are beyond my control and focus on the things I can.

Today's special feature is none other that the much loved, by us, and often misunderstood, by people more serious about keeping the music they see within certain boundaries, I present the very cool to hang ot with and fun and funny to watch, Har Mar Superstar.

For all of you out there that have ever felt the slightest tinge of stage reluctance, Har Mar Superstar can swat that out of your mind as bold as bold can be, it is hard not to smile

And also rocking with them is Tony Bevilacqua

on Bass who I know from when he played guitar in for the The Distillers and Fabrizio Moretti

who you may recognize from the The Strokes. And never forget to be serious because otherwise you will end up having fun!

**** Sound Nerd Speak ****

So I was faced with an option a few months back. "Dave, there is not enough V-Dosc in New Zealand to do the double hung PA, would you rather go to single hung clusters or use a non-V-Dosc double hung rig?" Hmmm, what do we got a choice of? "Well, Oceana has a enough Meyer Milo there to double hang and they have always been a great vendor on past tours." Then there you have it, we stick with the vendor we like, and go double hung Meyer, besides, I got to hang out with Buford Jones a few months ago when he came to visit me on Peppers tour and he is all about Meyer and I like Buford!

So on Meyer I mix and it went pretty well and was happy enough to use the rig again, I did miss my V-Dosc though and sorry I did not get a better system photo for ya.

**** End Sound Nerd Speak ****

And a Peppers pic to finish out the day,

Stay tuned for more flying roadies tomorrow, we have a plan to fly from high places!

Dave Rat

PS, I really love the comments and they inspire me to stay focused on the blog and appologize for not responding, but I will!!

Day 332 April 20th - Welcome to New Zealand

And welcome we felt. I love New Zealand and just because I love it here does not mean I love any other places any less. Unique and beautiful and not unlike how I love my daughters and my friends and family or love both sushi and mexican food, each lovable entity is wonderful in it's own right. Speaking of Mexican food, how about a visit over to the Taqueria that Grier and two friends own. So off we head on a mission for Mexican food about as far from Mexico as we can be.

Next order of business, hmmm, rumor has it that you can jump off the big huge space needle thing across the street.

So Cliff and I head over to check it out and I must admit I was a bit nervous about the endeavor but then the enlightening words of Gibby Haynes echoed through my mind as I hear the song Sweat Loaf in my head. "Daddy, what does regret mean?" asks the child's voice during the song's intro. "Well, son" Say Gibby quite fatherly, "It is better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven't done, and by the way, when you see your mom this weekend, tell her, SATAN SATAN SATAN!"

The wisdom of this sensei like advice dawns on me clearly and being that I desire not to wish the space needle the ill will's of the prince of darkness, I decided it best to leap of the edge and look back on this day as hopefully remembering something fun. Actually, to be honest, all that is just an glorified excuse and the true motivating factor was the opportunity to wear one of these quite fashionable outfits

So up we head to high places and with bravery in my heart, I fearlessly and boldly prepare to leap

Over the edge while doing my best to navigate a a landing on the target with which I have no control as I have past the point of no return bye bye

And with the utmost of elegance and cat like ease, I transcend to a near perfect landing on my feet bull's eye and for the most part things seemed to go pretty well though perhaps a bit faster of a landing than I had anticipated.

And though that was fun, I think we can do better, Stepping off into thin air was battle between my mind convincing my body that it is ok and body saying "Nooooooooo!" Tomorrow we get to do a rock show for a change, see you then and rumour has it that there are some more thrilling jumps to do, I am scared just thinking about it, cause ya know I am a bit of a sucker for peer pressure when it comes to fear challenges.

Dave Rat

Day 331 April 19th - Swimming in Sydney

Merging time slipped worlds I am in North Hollywood, tomorrow I head out to the desert to hang out at Coachella, a large rock festival about 3 hours east of Los Angeles and not only is Rat Sound is providing PA Systems for all five stage, I am also mixing the headline act on saturday, guess who? Oh, the Red Hot Chili Peppers of course. Anyway, I will blog that adventure when the time comes but in the mean time, close your eyes and let your mind slip backwards in time to April 19th. We are in Sydney Australia and the sunshine is turned on as are the waves and beaches and general happiness of humans.

I have friends in Sydney! And every time I come to town, they are awesome and take care of me. A boat ride

in the harbor makes for a terrible day

And dinner with magic friends

intermixed in the blur of days that whisk by in a flash intermixed with rock shows

and cool tunes

Swimming and running and friends and wine and vegetate toast and happy not being predictable and a few tiny roller coaster bumps and I would not trade these memories for the world. The merging of worlds, as the barriers wash away and today is a great day in a string of wonderful days that were overwhelming enough that I went away and hence, my bloggery delay. Ya know, I could live here and be happy, but wait, I am already happy. Hmmm, ok, I could live here and be also happy. Hugs for all my far away friends that I love and hugs love so strong it is timeless!

No hugs for the cactus though and no hugs for burning hot coals with dancing flames and no hugs for polar bears either, even though they all share the common trait of appearing desirable to touch and just like it looks like walking on the puffy clouds outside the plane window is a fun idea , these are all things I will restrain myself with and attempt to enjoy with my eyes. Mostly and speaking of walking on clouds and imagining the way it would feel to attempt that adventure of plummeting through, I have an idea! How about we do a special bloggery feature all about launching roadies off of high places? I think that is a great idea, I will work on it.

The always happiest when I blindly follow what I feel,

Dave Rat

Day 328 April 16th - Sydney

Even though I am writing about Sydney, I am actually at home staring at my lonely phone. The world stops, no I stop, and the world continues. Once again the rush of tour motion drops me in the place I live, I find myself once again fully responsible for my own humanly self, something I so easy to take for granted when whisked away. The resistance to change. A year ago I was ripped away from the stable patterns that made me smile at home and today I am once again plopped back where I started as if I have been left at a truck stop or dropped off to do homework after a month away at summer camp. The silence of a hotel room is an asset that I frustrate over when denied, while the silence of my home begs me to venture out and find momentum. Acclimation. It is easy to acclimate to a sunny pool side chair or a tropical beach with a daiquiri in hand, a bit harder to acclimate to rocking boat in rough seas and nearly impossible to acclimate to jumping off of a cliff, unless you are a lemming of course and even lemmings can only acclimate to it for a relatively short period of time before splattering on the rock below. It is not that there is a lot to do and it can be a bit overwhelming. Perhaps a bit of the "grass is greener on the other side of the plane ride" syndrome is in in effect.

Oh wait, lemmings don't jump off cliffs, that is just a myth perpetuated by our friends at Disney. Anyway, back to Sydney, where we are actually pretending to be right now as this is the day we are in. Imagine sunshine and beaches, imagine being in a state of happiness and relaxation where everything is ok and so ok that you don't want it to go away, imagine opening the door to your hotel room balcony and seeing

and walking down to the water for a run and swim to start your day or two or five. Imagine being at home 6000 miles or so away and thinking of all the the things you could have done with 20/20 hind sight and imagine that it is still ok anyway as that just gives you something to look forward to revisiting.

And in the mean time, are we thirsty?

Today, as will be the next three, is a gig here

And today is special. Over the two decades or so that worked with the Peppers I meet many people in the surrounding circles but it was not till fairly recently that I have really spent some time getting to know Peggy and Pat, Anthony and Flea's moms. With so many parallel experiences over the years with differing perspectives and having met many times in passing but never past the cordial and familiar hello's, this tour and perhaps the blog has brought the time and opportunity for me to get to know them and they came to visit me at front of house and it was fun!

Oh, and though I rarely take take bloggery requests, I who am I to say no to mom and especially two? So here is a shout out to "Our Dutch Friends" from Peggy and Pat, you know who you are!

Off and away to start my day,

Dave Rat

Day 326 - April 14 - Bikes and Biters

I am really good at some things and hey, not so good at a whole bunch of others. One of the things I am good at but you may not have noticed is vanishing. Not the see through clear kind called invisible but instead the total immersion into whatever project or adventure is at hand. For the most part I try and "parallel project" my life because in the long term that seems to be more compatible with not heading backwards yet the occasional letting go does help me rebalance. I guess you can just look at it as an un announced vacation. For all that were worried about me, well, don't worry! Even if I did meet some trecherous demise, there is not much you could have done about it anyway. Besides, you all that have been been joining me, should know me well enough by now to know that I play it safe and maintain a high level of caution at all times. Which is why the decision to ride a motorcycle out to a go diving with sharks was high on my list of adventures.

So off we head

To Sea World for a dive in a shark tank with sharks of course

Though being in a shark cage no way compares to last time where we we unprotected, we still had a great time, as you can see by our smiling faces

And as it so often is, the highlight of the adventure was unexpected as our aquarium friends took us back stage to see giant polar bears up close in cages. Big, furry and deceptively sweet giant puppy dog looking polar bears that would just as soon eat like chiken wings us as take a nap. No photos back stage so words will have to suffice. The sheer awe and quiver in the voices of animal handlers as they describe the the predatory ways of the bears and recount horrific events both seen in training and observed in person left no room for doubt that these immense animals are not to be taken lightly.

Next stop, the backstage seal quarters and we met a few biters. In fact one handler was bitten just this morning by a seal named MoFo who likes to poke his head out the feeding hole and take a bite out of passers by. I was informed of this as I had my back up near the opening so I took a step forward. And off to see the dolphins to pet and feed. So friendly and cool, big eyes and you can see the smarts.

What better way to end the day than a rock show? None better that is so off we go to our office we call an arena to meet up with 10,000 of our best friends

And while the show rocks on, I often wander off for one reason or another beyond the confines of the front of house roadie cage. I like to hear the sound in various places and make sure all is well an happy and I found myself here and look

It's John! And so completes another day far away. As I play catch up.

Dave Rat

Day 325 April 13th - I am not lost, just distracted

I knew the day would come where the outside world would supersede my bloggery adventure and if anywhere is most likely to do it, Australia is the place. Australia is also a place that is being invaded by the poisonous lick able cane toad. Yuck! But I guess if you lick it you get wasted. I hear these damn toads are causing mayhem to the environment in many places here. I looked around for them in my travels but this is the only one I could find, so I licked it of course but I did not feel a thing.

So these toads were introduced in 1935 to Australia in order to control the cane beetle. The thinking being that toad will eat beetle, problem solved, beetle gone. Hey, that reminds me of a song. Something about an old lady who swallowed a fly. If memory serves, she swallows a fly but we are not quite sure why. So then she comes up with this grand idea of swallowing a spider that wiggles inside her to catch the fly. not being the most forward thinking woman she then swallows a bird to deal with the spider. Meanwhile, the whole time there is a major concern that she may die from the fly as things get worse and worse. Well, clearly the brainiac that came up with toad idea had not heard the song and even though "poisonous toad" was not directly discussed in the song's lyrics, one would think that logic would prevail. Especially considering the fact that the woman ends up swallowing a cow as things get clearly out of hand.

That all said, it will come as little surprise, I am sure, to find out that what occurred was toad ate everything but beetle and now there is beetle and toad problem. Since the toads are full of poison, not only do the toads eat everything but nearly everything that eats them dies. Hmmm, well the natural predators to the Cane Toad are the Broad-snouted Caiman and the Banded Cat-eyed Snake, I have an idea! How about we bring thousands of Caimen (read big biting lizard crocodile thing) and Snakes to solve the problem.

OK, enough is enough and soon I will be back on track,

Dave Rat


Day 320 - April 12th - Double Gig Day Yesterday

Here is something that is not overly common in other parts of the world.

This is the top of a waste bin next to a toilet in a public bathroom. I have seen several of similar ones here in my travels. It is an interesting concept to attempt to politely appeal to the compassionate drug user by requesting they dispose of their used needles elsewhere. Not unlike the "turn off your cell phones while flying" we can once again see the "honor system" awkwardly applied in a situation with a high probability that it will be disregarded by many.

Ok, on a more musical note, Chad is doing some kind of drum clinic thing, never did figure out exactly what it is but I do know that what started as Chad drumming in Federation Square

evolved into a more complex and really cool thing of a differing dimension. Chad plays drums and was joined by John on guitar, Flea on electro-trumpet and Josh on Moog. Cool stuff, throw and go on a small local PA

And speaking of Flea's electro-trumpet, here is the mini rig

So after a 30 minute jam and then we all dash over to the big gig for the other rock show.

 Off to Brisbane,

Dave RAt