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.


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.


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.



We all look at each other quizzically.

What the fuck’s going on with Pierre?

Did you eat something bad?


You detoxing off any drugs?


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


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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