Seattle - Thursday, September 28

Arrived at airport picked up by Bosco and taken down to Sub Pop to meet the folks there, changed out of our traveling disguises and into our normal slobclothes, went to a bar where Band of Susans was playing but left after two songs and went next door and drank in there instead, went out drinking with Bosco every night until we played, he had a party on the Friday night attended by Jonathin, the Mudhoney dudes, the Dickless chicks and Ed from the Thrown-ups, despite our quick reputation as big beer drinkers, I was beaten by Yagermeister and passed out. We were excited at the prospect of seeing the Butthole Surfers and ended up playing with them 'coz Bullet Lavolta didn't seem like they were gonna make it. They showed up, must've driven like crazy to get there. Gibby gave me a mushroom, so I watched the Buttholes in the perfect condition.

Next night we played at the Hollywood Underground, our first official gig. Everyone seemed to dig it, so we were off to a good start, left immediately after the gig for the long slog to Minneapolis, saw our first real American rednecks giving us dirty looks in a diner in Montana, saw one talking to a moose in the snow-covered Rocky Mountains. The moose thought he was an idiot.

Minneapolis - Thursday, October 5th - Uptown Bar

Upon our arrival in Minneapolis we went to Amphetamine Reptile and met Haze and Peter, much to our delight Pete had some Yagermeister in his fridge. Circling Maggots opened for us and we were amazed at Tom's brutal guitar style on stage. We were all shagged from the long drive but played for two hours. After the gig I passed out in the Van from Yagermeister again (I was only drinking it because it was supposedly opiated) and woke up freezing, then we had breakfast with Tom, Pete and Mac and headed off for Madison.

Madison - Friday, 6th

Turned up just in time for soundcheck, played with Killdozer and Jesus Lizard and it was a pleasure to play with these two great bands. The barman wouldn't let any of our friends into the bandroom, so we went outside and smoked pot and took nitrous oxide with Chris Johnson from Black Spot. Michael from Killdozer and his charming girlfriend, Eydie invited us to stay with them in Chicago, so we drove there after the gig, and hung out there 'til Monday.

Chicago - Saturday, 7th

We played at a huge theatre called the Riviera and Killdozer were good enough to play first so we'd get decent exposure. The Laughing Hyenas played as well and they were really wild. Afterwards, we all went to a party at Lisa from Touch and Go's house where there was a huge feast of lasagna waiting. We were enthralled by their piranhas and vicious parrots.

Kalamazoo - Monday, 9th

We arrived in Kalamazoo and did our soundcheck, then we ate a pizza cut into slices as small as postage stamps. The opening band were these young guys called Hypno Flywheel; they did this sort of Flaming Groovies music, except one of them was into Sonic Youth and went Ching, Ching up the end of his gu itar at the start of every song, which was amusing. Afterwards, we drove to Ann Arbor and stayed with the Laughing Hyenas for a few days. They left us alone in the house while they went of to do a gig in Kentucky. We stayed up tripping and watching the corporate congregation on TV. Then Guy cooked a curry and we sat up drinking with them. They gave us the low-down on New York and we watched this ridiculous video of G.G. Allin supposedly doing some readings and then doing his turd act, then they told us about how he got in jail and I knew that G.G. should be shot like a sick dog and die pathetically. None of this glory bullshit on stage. We wished the Laughing Hyenas all the best in Europe and left for New York, New York!

New York - Thursday, 12th

We finally drove in to New York at about 9:30 PM. "I'm home!"' declared Ren and we proceeded to wind down the windows and yell out "Motherfucker," "Hey, fuck you" and other De Niro-ish things at people. No, actually we decided to do some touristy things like fuck Lydia Lunch, getting our picture taken with William Burroughs and killing a few random strangers. It just occurred to me that the thing The Bowery immediately reminded me of was Sesame Street presented on the day of our arrival by the letter C for Crack. Within an hour Ren had smashed the Van (details censored) and didn't feel like driving in New York anymore. That night me and Ren slept in the van and the next day no one would let us use their showers, which was annoying seeing as I'd had a wet dream with all my clothes on during the night. In fact, I got no opportunity to shower from Wednesday in Ann Arbor until Sunday, the day after our Philadelphia show.
Anyway, the CBGB's show was very strange. Having little money as it was, I proceeded to spill three beers, the Hard-Ons turned up, Lachlan from Thug filmed us, Hilly, the owner of CBGB's showed me around the pizza bar he's building next door whilst an all-girl soul band with a six-month pregnant singer proudly boogying and showing her stomach, played. We also had to sit through a band doing completely styleless blues covers and a jolly old Folk singer doing wacky tunes. We finished the night with a big jam featuring Johnny Thunders, Richard Hell, Joey Ramone, and Deborah Harry playing a 20-minute version of "Anal Injury" and then we all hit up some Chinese Rocks with a communal syringe and holy water from CBGB`s famous toilet. We slept in the van again, I in my crusty jeans, and drove to Philly the next day.

Khyber Pass - Saturday, 14th

Khyber Pass is of course Cockney slang for arse. Nevertheless, the people that ran it were great and Guy and Ren spent all night sleazing drinks off the two friendly barmen, discussing what was the worst breakfast, Australia's Vegemite or America's Twinkies. The crowd was a bit layed back, although Ren managed to get himself a root. There was a girl at the party afterwards rumoured to have a pierced vagina and we all wanted to have a look.

Middle East Restaurant - Sunday, 15th

The food was good, opening band Hullaballo were good. The crowd was really wild, our Number One fan, N. McIver, Jr. was there; he turned out to be a bit of a hood, which was good. All the people at the front were yelling out "Raw!" and shoving their fists in the air. They bought all our remaining T-shirts which meant we had some money for a change and we left in high spirits.

Things take a turn for the worst.

We headed back to Chicago and hung out at Michael and Eydie's again. Michael was on tour in Europe at the time. We watched the earthquake details on TV and discovered that King Snake Roost had arrived in SF that day but were OK. Then we decided to get self-sufficient by buying a van with what little funds we had left. We went to pick one up in the suburbs from a woman with acid washed jeans and too much make-up on and followed Eydie back into town. Just as the rain started pelting down a windscreen wiper fell off and visibility became impossible. The steering seized up and the van just fucking ceased to function. We lifted up the hood and saw a loose electrical cable that seemed to go nowhere. Guy got under the van lying on a blanket but it was in vain. We got inside the van and a cop pulled up behind us. Luckily it was a friendly Black cop who drove me to a phone to ring Mac so he could pick us up in the rented van. I told the cop that we'd played at Chicago's Riviera Theatre where George Clinton was soon to play and this evolved into a pleasant chat about Funkadelic and Parliament. When we got back to the fucked van it was snowing, it was the first time we'd experienced snowing so Guy and I spent the next hour and a half freezing our nuts off as the snow covered the windows. Then the other cunts finally arrived and we drove to Madison in the snow and played. The opening band had slid out on the ice (Snailboy) so we had to do two sets. There were only about 20 people there, half of whom were Soundgarden and their crew. They felt sorry for us and gave us $20 to get breakfast the next day; they were real nice guys. We felt stupid though, accepting charity, but this became par for the course for the rest of the tour, constantly being broke and thanking people for putting us up and money and the other idiots in the band would immediately blow it on bourbon which infuriated me.

Minneapolis - Saturday, 21st

We arrived in Minneapolis on Friday and became the creatures that lurked in Tim Mac's basement for about a week trying to figure out a way to get to California for our shows there. On Friday night we went to the Uptown and saw the Cows who were great. We should have played with them instead of the derivative Sixties pop band called the Magnolias who we played with the next night. Me and Martin even washed dishes at a Caribbean restaurant there. I hadn't had to do that since I was broke and stuck in London 5 years before. Eventually we got a Greyhound bus to Seattle. Needless to say, that really sucked. When we got to the bus station in Seattle, I rang up Sub Pop and they sent down the Babes in Toyland to pick us and our gear up in their van. That night we went to party halfway to Tacoma with the Babes. There were these sort of hippies there distributing mushroom tea. First a band played with a nerdy-looking guitarist who started pogoing while he was tuning up! Then the Babes played and me and Ren decided that Cat, the singer, was the sexiest and wildest little thing we'd ever seen in a band. The Babes were just a fucking great band. Intense!

Portland - Saturday, 28th

The Babes drove us all the way to Portland, bless their cotton socks. Fucking weird place Portland. First thing we saw was zombie-looking people pushing shopping trolleys around and the only place where we saw lots of pinned people and fits (syringes) lying around the streets, apart from New York. In Sydney they're everywhere. This place, the Blue Gallery where we played; the front bar was alright, they gave us lots to drink, but on the walls were really pathetic paintings on like plates with pictures of Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan on them that looked like spastics had painted them with their feet or mouths. The place had the worst sound of anywhere we played and on top of that the mixer couldn't mix. I yelled at him, shoved him out of the way and had to set up the sound myself. While the opening band, a local bad industrial band played, we went down the road and watched Nice Strong Arm at Satyricon - if only we'd played THERE - the place was great. Back at our gig a zonked-out girl with a mohawk offered to strip on stage with us so naturally we accepted. She'd take off her clothes in one song, go and put them on in the next and take them off again in the one after. She was frotting with me and I was dry rooting her and twiddling her nipples. At least the show was visually interesting.

Vancouver - Sunday, 29th

Those good old Babes drove us up to Vancouver where we were all given the third degree at the Canadian border. We told them we were going up there to be in a Cronenberg movie where Martin was to play this meatty thing which bursts out of Harvey Keitel's arse, so they wished us all the best and let us in. Club Soda was a real rock club with pictures of cock rock bands like Pink Snake, etc. all over the walls. Every band received the smoke machine treatment unless they specifically requested not to, which is what Nice Strong Arm did, but we got the whole treatment. After we played, we judged a pumpkin carving competition and then proceeded to kick the pumpkins all over the place and because our friends won anyways, we all reaped the prizes. Denise, the promoter of the show, had us, Nice Strong Arm and the Babes all over at her house and cooked us a great meal and put us up afterwards and Denise and her partner Kate really helped us out a lot. They came down to Seattle with us and hung out for Halloween there.

Seattle - Tuesday, 31st - Vogue

This was the wildest gig we played. It was us, Nice Strong Arm, the Dwarves and Dickless. We turned up just in time for soundcheck and had no time to organize costurnes but the Dickless Chicks were decked out for the night. The drummer Lisa, was a nurse killed by Richard Speck in a bloodied nurse's outfit. Kerry was a clown and Kelly the singer was Gene Simmons shrieking like a wildcat. Lisa was the funkiest hard-hitting cool drummer. Then the Dwarves came on with their hilarious mock violence. By the time we played the stage was like an ice skating rink. My feet were sliding apart and I was on the verge of splitting in two the whole set. Guy was covered in green goo and looked so hideous his chance of getting a root was almost nil! Unfortunately Nice Strong Arm's set was cut short as things were running behind schedule. There was a bit of violence at the end of the night as frustrated bouncers spent about ten minutes taking it in turn to kick one guy in the head over and over. It was impossible to tell who had real blood and who had fake blood on and when the cops showed it was definately time to leave as we were all tripping and that would have been TOO much. So we all ended up at Tamara's warehouse, where a mysterious fridge full of beer awaited us a heaven of sorts.

And so it was we bid a fond farewell to the Babes and NSA and caught our connecting flights to San Francisco.

San Francisco - Thursday, November 2 Covered Wagon

Off the plane and round to Liz the promoter's house as close to Haight Ashbury as you could get. By now we had no equipment, so we had to arrange to borrow some. We were playing with the Mentors but they were already borrowing. Good news, bad news, good news was I could use a Marshall, bad news, it was only 20 watts. At the soundcheck El Duce was playing along with "Staying Alive" as it came out of the PA. The Covered Wagon had some earthquake damage, the electricity was fucked so all night we were getting zapped off the mikes. The first band, Jung Lee, were really good. Id always loved the Mentors' records but they were, as you say, 'lame" live or one might even say they sucked. El Duce drummed like an old woman patting a poodle and Sickie Wife Beater was just a show-off, doing this dumb "chop" of his with his hand over the top of the fret board. While I was getting El Duce's autograph some prick came up and started hassling him and trying to bang his head into the wall. Despite their patheticness I'd rather have watched their set than the cocksuckers called Harsh who muscled in on their set just because they'd lent them some equipment. To top it off, they stole Martin's drumsticks. The gig had been poorly organized to start with, consequently we got less money than expected and were thereby stuck in San Fran for 5 days with no money! Denise came all the way down in a van and picked us up to take us back to Seattle for our recording session and the highlight of our trip there - apart from the fantastic burritos - was when Denise's dog, Bass Guitar Dude, pissed on a businessman's back in a park when we were walking the dogs.

We got back to Seattle and did our recording with Jack Endino. Two tracks for a Sub Pop single and one for an Amphetamine Reptile (Dope Guns Vol. 4) EP. They turned out really fucking good if I do say so myself! We hung out in Seattle for about a week and a half and had a really great time hanging out with the girls from Dickless, Bosco and James and Dean from Catbutt. We'd get really drunk then go and jam with Lisa at Dickless's practice room and take mushrooms. We invented Slam Disco dancing, which will probably become all the rage this year. Then we did another gig at the Hollywood Underground and the people that ran it were real assholes to everyone, so all the bands we knew swore not to play there anymore.

Off to LA

We bid a fond farewell to our Seattle friends and headed off to San Francisco with a band called The Alternatives. We drove along happily tripping and bonging and drinking except that their van had a slow puncture and if stalled would not go for ages. 30 miles from San Fran the tire shredded. The Alternative guys got towed into SF and we got a taxi to a hotel where the airport bus left from at 5 AM. As luck would have it, a young Hells Angel and his dad gave us a lift in the loudest, most hopped-up pickup truck, all the way to SF airport and we were off to L.A.

LA Gigs

Despite hearing that LA was a dead spot for non-Glam bands, we arrived to find we had 5 gigs there and radio interviews. I even got some extra work in a John Waters movie (Cry Baby) starring Iggy Pop and Tracy Lords there. They cut my hair rocker style for it. Unfortunately they took so long in paying that I still didn't get it before I had to leave. We played at a place called Coconut Teazer where everyone uses the same amps and the bands ranged from pouting Glam bands to Hardcore bands right through to brilliant, innovative, unclassifiable bands like us!

We played in Rhino Records where we were paid in records, burritos and beer. We blew our Thanksgiving night show 'coz we were too busy eating turkey and drinking Bourbon with the Alternatives and our friends, Grace and Lauren.

Then we played a place called Helter Skelter at the Stardust Ballroom where there was a riot. First of all, some dogshit stole my Wah-Wah and a lead while I was setting up. The club was mainly full of these Gothic Fuckwits, but a lot of people were enjoying it. The place wouldn't give us any drinks so we were drinking some Bourbon we brought back from Mexico on stage. The drum kit was falling apart and some mike stands got knocked over and next thing, these bouncers were all over the stage shoving us around. One of them stomped on Ren's guitar and broke it and another was dragging him round in a headlock and the crowd was yelling, "Death to Helter Skelter." We packed up and left and by the next day all these bullshit rumours had been spread around by the club. So at our next gig, XYZ, Club Hollywood, we heard that the two other bands from Helter Skelter were gonna fight us after the show. They claimed that we were throwing eggs at them! L7 played with us at XYZ and they were pretty wild and were nice enough to lend us some equipment. After the show we went and finished the last of our Mexican booze with the singer from the Dwarves. The next day we went to the Amok bookshop but it was closed so we went for the obligatory drive up to the Hollywood sign and got our pictures taken there. I also got mine taken pissing in front of it (was this some kind of statement? you ask) We'd already checked out the ruins of Errol Flynn's house and tried to find Sharon Tate's house, of course. We saw Rod Stewart's house; it was all pink - I'd expected it to be leopard skin! The only famous person I saw walking around Hollywood was the singer from the Cars. Big deal! We were now preparing ourselves for the big letdown of our plane trip back to Australia. Despite having joked about it constantly whilst in America, next time we come over we really are gonna marry some all-American girls and stay for good! Get ready, girls.