Hot Poop on Tour: A Chronicle
"I played in a death metal band. People either loved
us or hated us, or they thought we were okay."--Mitch
Hi, everybody...Sweet Ronnie Coz here, ready to tell
you all about the wonderful tour we just finished.
However, I shan't be discussing this in the form of a
Zine Tour Diary. The dullest writing ever committed to
zinedom has surely gotta be the proverbial Tour Diary.
I'd rather read the Poughkeepsie White Pages from
cover to cover than to ever have to read installments
"Day 9. Gainesville, FL. We got into town and showed
up at the Shattercore House, where Jim of the Turnpike
Sexslaves made this rad vegan chicken cacciatore.
Donnie Ballsac showed up and we watched these killer
kungfu movies until we played the show. Donnie's so
cool. The space we played used to be an abandoned
pickle factory. Isn't that crazy? Then Janarchy gave
Bill Drillbitch an atomic wedgie, followed by all the
guys from Mascara Club dogpiling our bass player until
he urinated his cutoff camo shorts. It's so cool
meeting these people who don't think and act like
people in our hometown."
Lather. Rinse. Repeat ad nauseum until said tour is
The moments themselves that comprise a tour, while
great fun when you're in the midst of it, don't really
translate into exciting writing. Not only that, but
nobody ever talks about the really important things
that go on when you tour.
For example, we all know that touring, unless you work
hard and transcend our crappy little circuit, lacks
the creature comforts of home. All bands have stories
of going on tour and sleeping on couches. That's fine.
But what you who don't get to tour don't realize is
the dirty little secret of touring, and it's this:
Shitting, after a few days on the road, really starts
to enter the forefront of your mind. Couch space,
floorspace, a hammock, the kitchen counter, the
backseat of the van, the backyard next to the
anthills--that's fine for sleeping, but what's up with
the bathroom? Is there toilet paper? Does the toilet
even work? Do your bowels even work? Are your bowels
working a little too much?
Shit happens, especially on tour with PBR, pizza, junk
food, Sparks, and so on and so forth. If you're in a
house with four other guys, or four other bands, and
there's just one bathroom--well, you get floods,
leaks, smells, poisoned colons, among other maladies
plaguing those engaged in the rocknroll lifestyle.
(Our old pal A-Ron knows a little about this and his
disaster onstage at Beerland after too much cheap beer
and too many Frito Pies.)
This is why you should try and wake up before the
other dudes in your band. This insures you'll get the
first crack at the crapper, as well as the last few
strips of the T.P. Sheets. Avoidance of unpleasant
toilets is also why you should always try and stay
with fags and nonpunk women with boyfriends while
touring. These people by and large keep clean houses
and even cleaner bathrooms. The more obvious the punk
rocker, the more disgusting their living situation,
and that's pretty awesome when you're 17, but when
you're an old fart like me, you want something just a
little bit (not much, see, just a little bit) better.
My band is the greatest band of the 21st Century. I'm
also the Greatest Drummer of the 21st Century. I know
this and you know this, and you also know that we just
toured with the Sneaky Pinks who are the Greatest Buzz
Band of This Era. We had some laughs, ate some food,
drank some drinks, got into some fights, stood around
bars feeling shy and bored, called our girlfriends,
got lost in Manhattan, got found in Charlottesville,
VA, and read most of the wonderful book "Drugs Are
Nice" by Lisa Crystal Carver.....but what you don't
know is how it all went down with my poops.
This is important, and you should read this, so
without any further ado, what follows is a Tour Diary
of My Poops:
Day One: Green Bay.
On previous tours, I would get all
backed up for the first few days, and I was nervous
that this was what was going to happen this time. It
was a real drag in Seattle, sitting on the
toilet--brokenhearted--trying to void my bowels while
the other guys partied and Joe Pestilence laughed that
evil laugh of his on the other side of the bathroom
door. I didn't want a repeat of this, and fortunately
for me, this didn't happen. We were gonna stay with
RFA, filled with promises of liquor, billiards, and
video games, but it just didn't work out, so we stayed
with one of Thuh Idiot Strings. I slept in a
pleasantly a/c'd basement on a waterbed below a
painting of Bob Marley. The movement of the water kept
my bowels resplendent in blissful regularity. In the
morning, I did my business in a wonderful Midwestern
bathroom, with crafts and wicker and calligraphied
profundities about the human condition. My dinner, a
shrimp, butter, and white cream pizza masterpiece from
Jake's Pizza, dropped into the water like brown cheese
Day Two: Kalamazoo.
Aside from genocide and child slavery, there really is
nothing worse than having to take a crap in a bar
bathroom. Kraftbrau is no exception. In the summer,
Kraftbrau holds the heat well--as do many of the clubs
and spaces where we practiced our art. It's a dirty
off-white little midwestern bar bathroom, with an open
window looking out on the street. I didn't bother
pooping in Kalamazoo. We also didn't really have
anyplace to stay, so I slept in the back of the van,
the weather dropping 20 degrees as a massive
thunderstorm raged in the middle of our set. I used a
gas station the next day--some marginally filthy
turlet somewheres between K-Zoo and Detroit. My shat
came out like a big brown crescent, comprised of that
Kraftbrau beer nobody seems to agree on whether it's
good or bad, Bimbo's Pizza, and Sparks.
Day Three: Detroit/Hamtramck.
Timmy Vulgar's bathroom is probably what you'd figure.
Toilet paper? Pshaw! But who needs toilet paper when
you have the weekly alternative Detroit paper for to
do your wiping? And who cares anyway! Detroit is a
wonderful place to play our music. Every good thing
anybody has every said about the Spirit of Detroiters
I wholeheartedly agree with. Detroit is the happy
medium between Chicago and NYC, with the best of both
worlds, and, as compensation for Detroit's obvious
apocalyptic decay, God made the Detroit rocknroll
women bee-yew-tee-full. (Memo to the Missus: It's just
an observation.) In Detroit, after no sleep, lots of
beer, and getting jarred out of half-sleep by Vulgar
blaring (of all things) some Leonard Cohen record at
7:30 in the AM, my turds were raw powered bursts of
nervous earthy energy--solid, but just on the verge of
Day Four: Cleveland.
In Cleveland, we played some punk-punk punk rock place
called The Church. God, evidently, hates air
conditioning, fans, and clean toilets. That's cool.
The toilet was in the basement, and it smelled like
all the Cleveland Steamerz ever dumped since time
immemorial. By this point, the Sparks was really
effecting my bowels, and it was hard to work under
such tough conditions. But, I am nothing if not a
professional, and I was inspired by the things I saw
at the Rocknroll Hall of Fame (GG Allin's turds, under
glass; Rick James's coke shits; Johnny Thunder's
blistering bloody junkie craps) to persevere.
Fortunately, we later stayed at the girlfriend's
apartment of the dude who lent the Sneaky Pinks his
station wagon who was going to accompany us for the
rest of the tour, but was stuck working instead. Girls
have clean toilets and lots of toilet paper. They're
far less likely to equate "punk rock" with "living in
a rat-infested dump with hokey band graffiti all over
the walls." This was the Best Defecation in the
Nation, thus far. This was also my birthday, and 'twas
a fine fine way to kick it off.
Day Five: Pittsburgh.
We played the Mr. Roboto Project in Wilkinsburg, PA,
on some shitty little street that looked like a
Hollywood backlot to some 50's movie about
streetgangs. It was a punk rock collective space, so
naturally the toilet smelled closer to shit than to
vanilla meadow air freshener. I didn't bother trying
any doodie expulsion under such anarchic conditions,
and my colon accepted this. I played the shows
(starting in K-Zoo, I double-duty drummed in Sneaky
Pinks and had myself a ball), had a roomful of
hardcore kids (98% male) sing "Happy Birthday to You,"
then I ate the greatest hotdog I've ever had at that O
place or whatever it's called...the place with the
mammothly large french fries. We walked around as the
epitome of a Dude Squad--15 of us or thereabouts--all
guys. There was probably more estrogen in a San
Francisco Leatherman Bathhouse circa 1978 than there
was in our little scene, as we gaily marched down the
road singing Weird Al Yankovic songs. Stayed at Dan
from the Radio Beat's house with a couple other
touring bands, so it was a relief to wake up early and
get to that toilet before anybody else. But, sadly,
the toilet paper was gone, so it was back to wiping
with the free weekly paper. This edition of the
Pittsburgh Weekly (or whatever) had some dreadlocked
anarchist living in the woods because civilization is
dying, you understand, so like, it's time to get back
to nature and eat mushrooms and tree bark. Fair
enough, but in the meantime, it was not unpleasant to
wipe my tour-ravaged buttocks with the cover of this
Day Six: Brooklyn.
When the Sneaky Pinks played, we (I include myself
here since I was technically a part of it by this
point) were faced with a row of papparazzi...like 6
photogs shooting away. This reminded me of how Colin,
Karlic, Canderson, and two or three others used to do
the same thing for sparsely-attended shows back in the
day, and that front row, where DANCERS should have
been, was filled with Ansel Adams types, making the
show look a lot more DRAMATIC than it actually was.
The flashing lights of the cameras and the Manhattan
traffic really made my bowels quite tense. Actually,
to backtrack, before I went on with the Sneaky Pinks,
I took a leak (the club's bathroom smelled really bad
but that didn't stop 2-3 dudes crammed together in the
stalls from sniffing loudly for some strange reason)
and committed the fatal showbiz rule of accidentally
leaving a pee stain on the crotch of my red silk
boxers that I wanted to wear while I played. I hoped
it would dry, but it didn't, so I just carried on like
the born entertainer I am and played it off like it
was sweat or something. Nobody noticed anyway, cause
I'm just the drummer. When the show ended, we all
stayed at 3 different places. Each of our hosts did
insane amounts of blow all night into the early
morning, and talked at us rather than to us, but hey,
that was entertaining to all of us anyways. But, to
backtrack, what was really funny was how I met five
people who introduced themselves by their Goner
Handles. Like, "Hi, I'm Larry, but I go by Dicklick
McPussypants on the Goner Board." It's not to say we
didn't like meeting these people or were ungrateful
for letting us stay in their apartments....it's just
an observation. But anyway--back to the shitting. My
Brooklyn bathroom had all the comforts of home in
Chicago. The bathroom was small and lacked a
homey-kind of warmth, but that was okay. My poops were
dark brown submarines, tapered off at the ends like
Day Seven: Charlottesville, VA.
After the aloof hipsterism of NYC, it was great to be
in the South, where people actually get a little
starved and excited for shows, and like to, I dunno,
call me crazy, but they like to HAVE FUN WHEN BANDS
PLAY! Yeah, I know that's a tough concept to
understand anymore here in this jaded Pitchfork Nation
of Snark, but Charlottesville was a great time, and I
started it off, regrettably, with my only explosive
craps of the whole tour. I ate a free taco salad, and
the next thing I know, I'm in this very clean bathroom
with fliers and posters of different objects and their
names in Spanish just dropping hot burning liquid
deuces. Bowel chowder. These could have been wet farts
had I not been extree careful, and I was, thus
avoiding my name joining the others in their
accidental poop tour infamy. But the toilet paper was
soft, and after this, I was back on even keel.
Day Eight: Durham, NC.
I was scared to use the bathroom of the dude we stayed
with, because he had a sign on his toilet saying,
"We're hippies! If you use this toilet, please fill it
up with water before flushing. If it's yellow let it
mellow. If it's brown, let it mellow." Okay, I think
the sign actually said, "flush it down," but I didn't
want to make any errors. There were drywall buckets
below the sink, and you were supposed to fill these up
with water from the sink and then put it in the
cistern (I think). I ain't got a head for figurin',
especially when I've been traveling and my poops got
minds of their own, and they're ready to escape post
haste. Fortunately, I didn't have to do any dumps
until we got out of there, and it was back to the
road, and the good ol' unhippie gas station turlets
for to do the number twos.
Day Nine: Columbus, OH.
I stayed with my sister, so there were no worries. My
poops alternated between buckeyes and sickles,
buckeyes and sickles, cracked and solid.
Day Ten: Bloomington, IN.
We stayed with two other bands, and that's always a
bad sign, but this time it was alright because Alex
had a 12 pack of TP just sitting there ready to be
used. I slept in the van, drunk, despondent, and
discouraged, but it was just a passing fancy, relieved
when I found relief the next day, voiding that retched
Ohio Turnpike food.
Day Eleven: Lafayette, IN.
Hip record stores have pretty good toilets. They don't
get too much use, and there's usually some magazine to
look at, some music magazine telling you all about the
latest angry bearded abomination. Downtown Records in
Lafayette was no exception. One of my turds looked
like the Prudential Building in downtown Chicago.
Another looked like the Congress Hotel in downtown
Chicago. Still another looked like a brown three flat
like you find in most Chicago neighborhoods. This was
a sign that it was time to go home. I flushed, wiped,
washed, pulled up, zipped up, walked around Lafayette
and drank away a few hours, played the show, and off
we went, back to Chicago, where we played two great
"homecoming" shows and felt ok about it all.
And that's the story, and this is the greatest piece
of writing I have ever done. Be on the lookout for
this as a "Book on Cassingle," as read by Mr. Tony
Sagger. Thanks to all the really great people we met
or reconnected with. Just when you're about to quit
music altogether and write it all off as being Over
and Done, at least in your mind, you find new bands,
new people, and new places to inspire and get excited
about. Huzzah to youse and yinzers, brahs!
Love from your Pal,
Sweet Ronnie Coz.
To read past installments of Anonymous Goy/Sweet Ronnie Coz go here.
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