Our Man In Amsterdam: No sleep til taco bell tour 2002.
I think it was John Travolta doing his royalle with cheese scene in Tarrantino's Pulp Fiction that made me want to examine this country rich in art history and mysterious goings on.
or possibly the tales of all of my major label friends who while on tour discovered the coffeshops that not only sell coffee but the finest weed, or as the Dutch say... gras and hash. free from persecution, as is prostitution and all things that seem to make Americans quiver in their control uniforms*( to be sure I believe that a certain humanitarian freedom is alive and well in this ancient city that has attracted those who seek this invisible entity. that includes your friendly narrator who at the beginning of this adventure was exhausted from all night recording sessions(thanx to bryce) finishing yours truly's ,,first self titled album and walking my beat as the happy ticket writer of PCC Sylvania as the sun rose over the valley each morn...how [poetic i am............so hold on ... this is a fun ride akin to the 24 hours of lemans spread out over 10 days and possibly a wee bit louder thanx to mr gumby's jet engine snore... but here we go... something that totally blew my mind dear readers,.read on...
I receive an Email from Dr Heathen Scum of the infamous Mentors aka Steve Broy who id just finished recording with in addition to my project 7 songs before his other band Kill Allen Wrench took of for a 3 week tour of Europe mainly Germany. the day before the wrench hit the road Steve asked me if i had a passport and would i like to meet them in Amsterdam, hang out, meet the Dutch equivalent to my favorite : motorhead and fulfill a goal an dream I've had a fantasy about for many years? and he'd get me the ticket, which for me ..my dear readers,.. has been the ultimate stumbling block, and has prohibited me from appearing at several huge open air metal fests in Germany- over the past 4 years. so.. my team of helpful experts lined up my passport stuff and all did was walk through the schedule- kind of like an actor in a movie ya don't know what the scene is about but someone makes YOU make sense- actually i think the prospect of not having me in their airspace for more than a few days was motivation enough to get me in que at the flyport.
apr27: feast or famine ruled that day and as debbi left for the coast with son Ian for a trip we planned i headed for the pDX in my legendary motorhead tee shirt-( the only concert souvenir i have ever or will ever buy ) adidas sweats and plenty of ozzy and snoop dog to get me through the flight, i passed through the light security at Pdx who seemed to be more concerned with the gum wrappers in our pockets than anything else.. getting on the plane i sat down next to a couple who i learned swiftly had just played a gig at Port land's OHM club owned by an old pal Dan Reed who in the eighties tagged along with bon jovi as they conquered the world as support act( good work is out there if ya can get it) this guy was The electric sky church.. one of the guys who practically invented the Rave a one man show gee ( after dealing with idiot musicians that doesn't sound half bad right now). we split in Chicago where he had a show that night and i headed for London.. not realizing that alcohol on international flights was included and armed only with a mere $72.00 on my person to last for 10 days... i hesitated before declining the inclination of a beer at $5.00 US.
as with all comedy scripts they put the two biggest guys in the two smallest seats on a huge jetliner and was trapped in the window seat by a famous kinder surgeon who was going to Scotland to play the historic golf tour with other dr buddies from college-(that in itself would make a good movie complete with Sean connery bawling them out for not exercising the proper discourtesy to women.) the food wasn't bad and the drinks as i soon found out were FREE*
and wouldnt ya know it.. the movie selection had many feel good chick movies or the odd snow dogs on here and there later i found oceans eleven but found as we passed through the time zones in the middle of the night i was flying over ice and the moon was ablaze in its fullest glory so far the trip had been wonderful with all the coincidences i REALLY felt like a TRUMAN.
the Moon in full bloom at 52,0000 feet is like nothing you can see from the ground the craters and all the shading actually takes form and looks like the famous photos nasa spacemen take- (as i soon found out,... Americans take credit for everything,, and discount things like the soviet space program which probably had same photos years earlier damn Yankee pride anyway...) it was so peaceful as we rode over what looked like according to our screen locater map Canada it looked cold and desolate ( and no wonder what with the damn border hassles with customs its a miracle anyone gets to travel to the great white north let alone starving rock bands who want to get stiffed in a neighboring country - but as we shall find out in episode 2 the Canadians maybe a bit miffed that we told the public for 50 years and took credit for it in many hollywood films that is was not our red white and blue fellas who freed the Dutch but the Canadians who liberated them from the Nazis and when i say occupation you will also see in episode 2 what I'm talkin about.
Flying in to London at 7 am you see everything and we had a clear day to view all of London landmarks as well as the fields which I'm convinced were once filled with animals who befell the utterly disgusting mad cow disease and hoof in mouth disorder which so many US politicians suffer from as well ( so why don't they do away with them as well ? simply because they can talk their way out of it which brings me back to pulp fiction: at burger king they call the burgers whoppers and all the same in fact the meat is all imported from the us as i understand to circumvent the mad cows- and possibly joust to give a guy like me who doesn't have a taste for Indian food or curry in the least or Euro McDonald which smells like reaosnably passable dog or cat food patties. and one can only eats many fries with mayonnaise and unlike the Mayo in the us it is a spread much like the burgerville sauce minus the pickles i was going to buy a bottle and bring it home but the $2.99 6 pack of heiniken which costs considerably more in the us caught my bargain eye first! trudging thru londons tiny Heathrow airport i met a Dutchman named calf who had been on holiday 6 weeks of his allotted 10 weeks of PAID MANDATORY VACATION TIME that all Dutch who work for the government must take.. he was bored with Florida and came home. he was a great wealth of info and in his 30's he told me about the celebration of the country that happened to be taking place at this -particular time and then i didn't feel so uninformed - the only info i had was.. my flight times. and meeting point in the Amsterdam airport which for any of you who know your humble narrator isn't enough info to satisfy my suspicious nature or curiosity if for nothing else what clothes do i bring?
arriving 5 hours earlier than the wrench party i was to meet a man named Brian Gunther, ala gumby who seed to be quite a friendly fellow on the email and was part of the mentors live act as the Cruster chorus which i am sure that half of train riders in all of Holland will be talking about for years to come. i had no idea what he looked like as the foot provided he was wearing a black hood as is de riguer when it comes to mentoring. so as i stood under the burger king logo waiting for this guy i decided to tale a walk and located the nearest Heiniken bar and noticed that with the purchase of a huge p[pitcher for a mere 6 dollars you received a free queens celebration hat which a monstrosity that makes those hot dog on a stick uniforms look fashionable.. as i meander back to the meeting point i recognized him immediately gumby is 6 foot something and is kind of like poison ideas pig champion if he were to be put on a stretcher and all of the flesh stayed in place after he cried "uncle" armed with a humongous cone of fries( they come in what looks like a flower bouquet wrap slathered in Mayo curry and ketchup. as he reached his hand out dodged left and hoped for the best a handful of greasy Mayo and French fry grease didn't appeal to me however beer did.. so i suggested we go back to the bar and get a few hats-"no problem just let me get some more fries so there we were in Amsterdam airport with gumbo replete in his black railroad overalls(like his idol El Duce, trains are his fetish he actually is a licensed steam railroader and a miniature rail enthusiast-) that's cool it keeps him off the public roads in an auto eh? pushing his way past the japanesers and other tourist types who are eager to try their pulp fiction Mayo fantasy out look a bit appalled at this giant cutting straight to the front of the line and demanding not one but 3 of the kipcorn sausages that when he brought them back looked how i imagined mr bobbits penis after the home surgery all shriveled and well i just don't trust mystery eat even if it is greying.. gumby devoured all three in record time which made me think of that disgusting food eating championships where the guys ate pounds of mayonaise and raw rocky mtn oysters dropped from a 50gal. vat 20 feet up...as we make our way into the heiniken bar the woman behind the counter sizes gumby up like a hunter and a moose she serves the beer doles the hat and we are off to a rousing start finishing not one but 3 pitchers of my favorite brew before descending upon the denizens of the airport, now mind you we live in a time when airport security is at an all time high and they are on the lookout for troublesome types all around. gumby - thinking that the national tradition is to shoot drugs anywhere in public pulls out a humonguous bag of the greenage and offers me some.. now being not only an American but an Oregonian n top of that small bit of info i decide the proper thing to do is to take it outside as to not bother any of the other people smoking cigarettes all around so outside we go.. like the stranded retards from America which is why I'm sure the police, the military and or the secret service who were questioning people did not give a rats ass who or what we were on a huge screen outside there is a grand prix race which gumby informs me of every little detail- it's not enough that I'm sdurrounded by trivia experts and all subject know it alls in my real life that i have to be subjected to yet another person take on what s important to them it turns out that this gumby man has a relative who has a friend who is a bigtime car racer(in fact almost everything we came across gumby had a story and was the ( it reminded me of me in my 20's and chalked it up to the balance that is pour lives..paybacks are a bITCH!
after much tee hee heeing and literally getting a few sample people (the people who hand out samples) fired for the day by taking up too much of their precious time not me - GUmby by this time my lips were not working properly and as there was a serious language barrier i kept shtum or quiet if you will )trying not to look like a hopeless beggar with my Columbia sportswear coat which is exactly the thing homeless people indeed do wear in Holland everyone is in leather from head to toe i saw more leather pants there than the auditions for the film Rockstar!
finally wrench and Steve show up and we are whisked away to our hotel a nice clean corporate the room i believe... everyday a nice breakfast spread, which was all i ate somedays thanx novatel........awe settle for a minute then its on the tram to the heart of Amsterdam The Grasshopper and the red light district/
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