The sunflower, the best guy in the world, special signs & war.

Posted: February 28, 2011

In other words I’m on the road again, seeing places that I’ve never been and I’m seeing faces that I’ll never see again.Honestly I’ve been on the road too much for my heart and soul lately, but the gigs have been great and the people even better.

I’ll start at the beginning this time.

I landed in berlin on the 14th and spent the evening at the Sunflower Hostel, where I have stayed before, its a nice spot and I feel comfortable there. When I woke up the 3rd time I went downstairs got caffieneated and wrote for about an hour awaiting the arrival of my trusted brother,traveling partner of 20 years, and confidant, Ansgar.The fact that I woke writing was a good sign, it rarely happens I’m more of a middle of the night kinda guy when it comes to that.

We headed to Prague to do a show for the aforementioned,”best guy in the world”, my friend Adam.Adam booked 9 shows throughout the eastern part of europe in addition to Prague for me.He is one those people who I immediately trusted within 20 minutes of getting to know him.When I say “one of those people”I mean none of those people because it doesn’t ever actually happen to me.This guy is a very special dude.He organizes great gigs in very special venues(last time I played there it was a castle, this time it was the oldest spot in Prague right by the river the origin of the city that other cities wish they could even parralell), he also books bands, raises a Family, works a day job, preforms music and is a die hard a recently reborn in the blood of C.Anthony New York Knicks fan.It was a great night as always, I love Prague…the record store owes me 1 Cockney Rejects CD but thats another story.

After a cool gig in Brno where I met some early 20s crazy ass downhill skateboarders who love Oxbow, we went into Poland. both gigs where amazing, the Polish people are so damn strong and bright.Krakow and its architecture blew my mind.I have been to Warsaw three times previously and Warsaw is stil way fucked up from WWII. 60% still bombed out and not rebuilt I believe so too see the original buildings still in tact as they were in Krakow was stunning, eye opening, and educational.Speaking of a Polish education I have special lesson only available here for those of who have stood by WBTTN waiting for me to get back to writing again.When you are in Poland and you have to use the restroom, they use symbols instead of words or intials.Heres the lesson…the downward pointing triangle is for men,the circle is for women.I dont know why and they asked me not to tell you but I thought if any of you the chance to be there in the future you may enjoy watching your friends do as I did…use the wrong one…and boy did I “use” it…

Anyway as continued through the east we made a point only eating in the local working class dinners and staying away from the kebab huts and the dreaded “American Embassies”.Everytime it worked out we had great healthy fresh food and I cool environment as well.I highly recomend this technique.

We saw our vey good friends Rastio,Marco and Peter in Bratislava it was a gig in an underground bomb shelter, the backstage was behind a shooting range.The venue was boat in Budapest, first time for that.And we got a chance to see the town for a few hours with our friend Balasz.Including a super cool little store run by a nice old guy who only sells replicas and t shirt representations of The Huns.I dropped a few euros there.Hard to forget the story that Blasz told us of a mentally disturbed guy climbing to the top a bridge that we were standing on, lighting himself on fire and miserably failing to make a succesful leap into river.Finding himself splatted but alive on the pavement he wouldn’t let anyone near him to put out the flames because he claimed to be Bruce Willis.I don’t think Bruce Willis is fire retardent,aparently this guy proved not be as well…good night Bruno.

Zagreb was a great show put on by a very cool guy named Mate, it was at a college venue run by students, most of whom were able to handle there alcohol.Ljubjana was great as well, super cool crowd, a nice sqautted venue in an abandoned army barracks that had been held for over 20 years(I tried to explain how insane the thought of that is to an American at that time I didn’t think anyone outside of the states could quite comprehend the heavy handedness of the U.S in matters such as this, I would learn differently in a few days)…

The first Italian show was poorly attended but the people that payed to get in where very cool and respectful and i played the show for them.The single most annoying guy I’ve met in awhile was in full regalia at the show and he wouldn’t shut his drunk ass or stop tromping around in his 3 foot wallet chain for the entire set.You can suck it,jinglebells…

Turin is really cool town I can feel it unfortunately we had no chance to experience it but hopefully when I rturn ther with Neurosis this summer I will.Great show, great crowd,great dinner.Bologna was cold as fuck and the gig was in a very small stone building with no heat causing some old man hands to get pretty slowed up on the fretboard but the vibe in the room was pretty stunning it was so quiet you could here a pin drop.I truly respect that so much.Thank you guys for that.Great free jazz kinda band opened the night,Mombu, Luca and Antonio great guys.We made plans to rock in the future.The Hellfire Family are some of my favorite peoples by the way.

Ok so now I sit on the coast of Italy awaiting a return to Lyon,France tomorrow, a place where I have a lot history with Neurosis and where I will play on yet another boat.After that its Montepellier and on to the cornerstone of the whole tour the shows booked in Spain and Portugal.This is what got me here for this tour, I am really lloking forward too it.Barcelona on the 3rd will be the first show and my 3rd tattoo appointment of the tour.My first was just previous to leaving the states with the guy that I believe is the best tattooer in the world right now,Thomas Hooper,he is a master.My appontment in Barcelona is with Jondix who I only know through email and his website but I expect great things.

The one I had yesterday was a little different then anything else I’ve ever had.I was tattooed by a Siberian writer who know lives in Milan by the name of Nicolai Lilin.He has written a book called “Siberian Education(Family,Honor and Tattos:an extraordinary underworld life)”, go youtue him or google him.His book is out in the states soon.Also soon to be a major motion picture.This guy and his story is unparralleled in my lifes experience.Here’s a few of the highlights, but honestly you need to check this out for yourself immediately, he’s been tattooing since he was 9, went to adult prison at the age 12 for attempted murder, he grew in an exclusivly outlawed criminal community in Siberia at war with the Russian government from the day he was born.The things this guy has been through in his 31 years will leave you in awe.And he has the ability to enjoy life.He is a true warrior for what is right in the world, he has spoken out publicly about the oppressive regime in Russia now, the Catholic churches’ disgusting protection of there pedophile preists, as well against extremist religious dogma.All of this has gotten him a lot of enemys, of which he says he has absolutely no fear.And I believe him, his culture has a respect for death that makes him so.An amazing guy who I truly admire.
Allright thanks to all of you whom I have met on the first part of this tour, France&Spain; you are next…