Solex' Westcoast tour 1998:
touring the East Coast for two weeks, we're finally in Seattle. We arrived
last night and spent the night at Rob's. He's a friend of David; our sound-engineer
from Eugene, Oregon. We did the East Coast tour by ourselves and got quite
used to low-budget touring in those weeks. To cut the costs we often stayed
at people's houses for the night, something quite common for American
bands, but unknown to Dutch bands. We've all been looking forward to next
week. The band, because we finally play with Cornelius (who we toured
with in Europe) and the Notwist (who we toured with in Germany) again.
Also because we stay with Cornelius in a so called 'sleeper van', and
so we don't have to worry about were to sleep, and how to drive. David
is a happy guy 'cause he's close to home after being on the road for two
months non-stop. The first show on the West Coast is in Seattle, in a
club called Aro-space. The cabdriver that takes us and our equipment to
the venue tries to rip us for $20. 'Everybody's got to make a living,
right??' Yeah right.
Tuesday 11-17-1998: We can take a shower in Camiel's hotelroom. Camiel is Cornelius' Dutch tour manager. The sleepervan stayed in Seattle. Cornelius is a rather spoilt band 'cause even though there is a tourbus, the band and the crew stay in nice hotelrooms. So much for rock 'n roll. After we take a shower we get some genuine Seattle coffee on the street. Nice, 'cause we haven't smelled a decent cup of coffee in weeks. We leave for Portland at noon. The Notwist travel by themselves in two vans. One with the equipment and one with the band. Solex and Cornelius shere the rented backline. Traveling in a tourbus with 15 people aboard is very cozy. Listening to music, talking, watching weird videostuff and playing games are a few things you can do on those busses. Before this tour we were used to sitting in a minivan for hours. Now we can even walk around and drive at the same time. Portland is only a few hours away from Seattle. Tonight the German- Dutch-Japanese Musicrevue is staged at the Satyricon, a rather small club (300 seat), that looks kind of shabby. The sound in the venue is OK. Again Cornelius soundchecks for three hours, which means no soundcheck for Solex or the Notwist. It's amazing the Notwist sounds cool under these circumstances 'cause they have at least as much electronic stuff as Cornelius got. David finally sees his girlfriend after eight weeks of celibacy. The show goes down well. The crowd, usually with a fair amount of Japanese people, likes all three bands. We sell a lot of stuff on the road, and so does the Notwist, who seem to have Cornelius as their new fans. After the show we take a shower in Cornelius' showerrooms at a hotel nearby. It is very nice to go to bed right after a show on the parkinglot of a venue. In the middle of our dreams the bus starts driving towards San Fransisco
Wednesday 11-18-1998: San Franpsycho!!!! Everybody talks to themselves on the street, a lot of panhandling; crazy stuff. The drive from Portland was very nice though. A good sleep, beautiful scenery at breakfast and of course very nice weather. In Holland it's freezing right now. At three o'clock we're parked right outside the Phoenix hotel. The swimmingpool was designed by Andy Warhol, and everybody who wants to be somebody in the world of rock and roll stays here. Rob Zombie's bus is right next to ours. We take showers in the Cornelius rooms. We're not playing until tomorrow so there is time for some serious sightseeing. San Fransisco is beautiful. We walk to Chinatown and buy lots of stuff. We eat dinner at a Chinese restaurant and write some postcards. For coffee we go to Starbucks where we sit outside for some time. In an hour time we meet three local lunatics. San Franpsycho Then we go back to the bus. We go to bed early, 'cause the busses' generator is off to save electricity. Something is wrong with the generator. David goes out by himself to see the Groovecollective. I wonder why he goes by himself
After our daily 'to go' breakfast, we take the citybus to Golden Gate
park. From there we walk up to Ashbury Haight. Lots of hippies and panhandlers,
but still a very nice neighbourhood. Amoebarecords is a gigantic recordstore
that sells new and secondhand stuff. Anything you hope you might find
one day is here. Amazing!
11-21-1998: When our eyes open themselves at 11.00 am, we're already right
in front of the Troubadour on Santa Monica boulevard. It is bloody hot
outside. In front of us is Beverly Hills, Hollywood in the back. Geert
suffers from tourfatigue and stays in the bus. David, Elizabeth and Robert
go for a hike through the Hollywood hills. We walk on Sunset Avenue, where
all the wannabees meet. Los Angeles is a very dirty city.
After breakfast (coffee, bagels and OJ) we leave for San Diego. Tonight
we play a club called 'the Casbah', which is right under the landingstrip
of San Diego airport. This club is rather small, and not built to have
three large bands play at one night. Even through the (always loud) Corneliusset
you can hear the planes flying in.
Monday 11-23-1998: With our eyes only half open, Solex and the Notwist have breakfast at Denny's. Hamburgers for the Notwist, eggs and pancakes for Solex. Not exactly what we eat at home, but we got used to it. Then we say goodbye to the Notwist. We see them again in two months time when they play the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Then we take a cab to the airport, where we say goodbye to David. His plane leaves two hours after ours, but unlike David, we've got a twelve hour flight ahead of us. Touring for eight weeks is pretty tough, so we all look forward to going home.