11.04.2016

ROADLOG: PUKE FOR PEACE





PUKE FOR PEACE


10/28/16


Sittard, Holland.


My touring guitar player Tom


Can’t make the first few shows


Of this tour,


So I got another buddy, Pierre


To come over from London


And fill in for Tom on those dates.


Pierre is old school rock & roll as fuck.


Good guitarist.


Drinks heartily.


Ingests things.


Stays up late.


Plays a Les Paul.


He's from France


But lives in London.


Gigs nonstop.


This dude is living it.


Every time I’ve toured with him,


He is the last dude to go to sleep.


Every. Damn. Night.


The first day of this tour was


Was business as usual.


Pierre trained in from London.


Met up with us at the Bjorn house


Rather than get a good night’s sleep


The day before we roll out,


Pierre heads out to the bars.


Meets up with a girl he knows.


They gets some drinks


At a Mexican themed bar.


Watches a gypsy jazz band play a set,


Then he heads over


To the local punk rock bar,


Mustang Sally’s.


They drink till close.


Then Mir, the owner of the bar,


Locks the front door and they drink


For another hour or so.


Pierre and the girl leave.


She goes to her house.


Pierre walks toward Bjorn’s place


Where we are all staying.


At this point,


He’s really drunk.


Not sure where he is.


But he makes it to Bjorn’s neighborhood,


However, all the apartments look exactly alike.


Confusing.


He sees a car that looks Bjorns.


“This must be his place.”


Pierre puts the spare key in the door


Of the apt nearest the car.


It doesn’t work.


He tries different ways of inserting the key.


Nothing works.


Still locked.


He texts Bjorn and all of us.


“Hey, I’m outside. Can someone let me in?”


But it’s 4 a.m. We’re all sleeping.


No one comes to his rescue.


Pierre throws his backpack on the ground,


Using it as a pillow


And goes to sleep in front of the apartment.


It’s cold,


But he manages to pass out


And sleep.


Couple hours later,


He wakes, cold.


Freezing his ass off.


He tries texting & calling Bjorn


And all of us again.


No answer.


No answer from anyone.


We’re still sleeping


And not grinding the rails


Of the rock & roll night train.


Pierre decides to ring the doorbell


Of the apartment.


Pushes the button.


Immediately, upon depressing the button,


He realizes the buzzer sounds


Very different than when he rang it earlier in the day


Upon his initial arrival in Sittard.


This buzzer is much louder


And has an angry, harrowing quality to it.


Uh oh.


He double checks the address


He has noted in his phone.


Oh, shit.


Pierre realizes he’s at Apt #15


Instead of #19, which is Bjorn’s place.


Wrong apt.


As dawn peeps over the horizon


Pierre swiftly grabs his bag


And walk off down street to the correct apt.


Inserts the spare key.


The key works.


Thank god.


He’s quietly enters


And goes to sleep on couch.


Two hours later,


We all wake, pack the van,


And roll out for the first date


Of the tour in Germany.


4.5 hr drive.


Pierre recounts his adventure


From the previous night.


Drinking. Chick. Bar. Make out.


Key not working. Sleeping on sidewalk.


Buzzer. Bjorn’s. Couch.


We laugh like mental patients.


This dude is so rock & roll.


At one point,


On the drive to the show,


Pierre & I end up


discussing the benefits of cortisone


For vocalists


I’ve pretty much lost my voice.


Even my talking voice is raspy


And quickly fading.


Tonight’s gig will be rough.


And it’s the first gig of tour.


What a nightmare.


Pierre gets on the phone


And calls the promoter of tonight’s gig


And asks for the name & number


Of a doctor in town


Who can possibly help


Get me some cortisone.


You’d never guess Pierre


Spent the night partying


And sleeping on the sidewalk


In the cold outside.


This dude always impresses me.


He’s so composed and professional


On the phone. Articulate.


And he speaks three languages.


Such a badass.


She gives him the number


Of a doctor who is associated


With the venue.


Pierre thanks her


And immediatly gets him on the phone.


Pierre informs him of my situation.


Gig. Tonight. Singer. Cold.


Lost voice. Need Cortisone.


“Come straight to my office


When you get to town,” says the doctor.


Fantastic.


I now have an appointment


With Doctor Mathias


In Worpswede, Germany.


Pierre, you are a certified badass.


“No problem.”


We roll on.


And settle into the ride.


Roughly 15 minutes later...


Out of nowhere,


Pierre begins to moan and groan


From the back seat of the van.


“Can you roll down a window?”


He asks.


You ok?


“My stomach hurts really bad.


I’ve got this horrible pain in my gut.”


That’s weird.


It’s cold,


But we crank down the windows.


Pierre rolls around


Doubled over with pain.


Groaning.


“Ohhhhh…...Ohhhhhhhh.”


We all look at each other quizzically.


What the fuck’s going on with Pierre?


Did you eat something bad?


“No.”


You detoxing off any drugs?


“No.”


You got the DT’s?


“No. This has never happened before.


I don’t know what it is.”


At this point,


Pierre opens the side door of the van


As we’re still rolling stop & go


In gridlock traffic


And hangs his head out.


Apparently the windows


Are not providing enough fresh air.


“You gonna puke?”


“No. I’m hot. Need air.”


Traffic people in cars next to us


Stare at him in mild shock and confusion.


At the next stop light,


I suggest we switch seats.


I hop out


And he jumps in the front passenger seat.


He immediately hangs his head


Out the window like a dog.


A sick dog.


We precede through traffic.


People stare.


At the next red light,


Pierre suddenly


And with no announcement


Jumps out of the van,


Walks through traffic,


Stops and braces himself


Against a chainlink fence


And then begins


To puke on the sidewalk.


I jump out of the van,


Run across traffic


And meet him.


“You ok?”


“I don’t know.”


He pukes clear bile


Or something.


I walk him back to the van,


Which is now


Three blocks up the street,


Because impatient Germans


Began honking at Greg


Who is driving the van.


So he had to ditch us


And find a place to park.


We get Pierre back in the van.


Shake it off, cowboy.


We roll on.


It’s a mystery


As to what is wrong with him.


It’s looks as if two of us


Will be visiting the doctor.


10 minutes later,


We locate the building


Where the doctor’s office is


And park.


The place looks like


A euro mini-mall,


Housing 4-5 business.


Pierre and I hop out.


There’s no obvious sign


That says DOCTOR’S OFFICE


On any of the businesses


In the mini-mall.


Which one is it?


One of the front windows has the word “Medik”


Or something painted on the glass.


This must be it! I say.


I walk in and am confronted


By an dumpy-looking angry German woman.


Like every American asshole,


I assume everyone everywhere speaks English.


“Hi. I’m Brother Dege. I have an appointment


With Dr. Mathias. About the cortisone.”


She looks at me crazy


And forcefully barks


Some frightening German words


At me.


Very angry expression


On her face.


Maybe she thinks I'm


An immigrant who just wandered


In here


And assumes


I will do something unpredictable


Because of my cultural differences.


It’s sounds like she’s yelling at a bad dog


That has shit on the carpet.


It’s ok. We called ahead


And talked to the doctor, I say.


Pointing at my throat.


We have an appointment.


She ain't buying that shit.


She doesn't even know


What the fuck I'm saying.


She stares at me


As if I am a vile rat.


She barks angrier German gibberish


And maintains a safe distance.


10 ft or so.


I get the feeling she


Is about to call the police.


I turn around.


Look for Pierre.


He’s outside on the phone,


Apparently calling the doctor.


“My office is in the back.


You are at the foot care clinic,”


Says the doctor. “Wrong office.”


I wave goodbye to Nurse Ratched


And roll out of there.


The doctor is hilarious.


Good dude.


And he speaks good English.


Laughs his ass off


When I tell him about


Going into the foot nurse lady’s office.


And scaring her.


“She’s not a nice woman,” he says.


Doctor Mathias checks my throat


And quickly writes me a prescription for cortisone.


Thank you.


As I walk out of his office,


I point at Pierre.


Oh, yeah.


Can you check on my friend?


He’s sick, too.


Doctor laughs.


“This band is a mess!”


He then checks Pierre out


And writes him a script


For stomach meds.


We thank him and roll out


To the nearest pharmacy.


Acquire the medicine.


I pop three cortisone pills


In the van on the way to the venue.


Two hours later,


And after much stress,


My throat loosens up


And I can sing again.


Sort of.


Well, it is a passable


Version of singing.


We have decent gig.


The doctor gave me enough


Cortisone to last about a week.


We’ll see how this throat thing


Plays out.


What a fucking day.


Every time I think things


Will mellow out


And get boring,





Crazy shit pops off.

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