Dateline Boston Feb. 6, 9:17 a.m. Joe of the Tampoffs lovely posh townhouse.
The boys are all right here next to me asleep in the living room. Adrian and Jesse are on couches and Dave and Warren are on the floor. As I look at them I have to say its official. I love these guys! They are the best group of fellas I have ever worked with. We have been on the road now for some 12 days. We have driven enormous amounts of miles and have rocked and rolled all the way from Atlanta through Canada and now down to Boston, and in all that time not one cross word has passed from anyone's lips. This is one of the best tours I have ever been on and I will be very sad when it is over.
Let's get in the rock n' roll time machine and go back to Pittsburgh where we left off. We left the Get Hip headquarters and made tracks for Baltimore, or as Adrian would put it, B'More. It was business as usual on the Gentleman Jesse Paul Collins Beat road show, which meant we would drive all day and get to town just in time for sound check. Today I have some time so let me give you a bird's eye view of what it's really like on this tour. First order of business is to have at least two or three shots of Jameson's good ol' Irish Whiskey the official drink of choice for the GJPCB road show. Then we start a mule chain and get all the gear into the club. This has been no easy feat in the mostly sub-zero weather we have been in. Then we sound check, have more whiskey and get some grub.
In B'more we had Chinese for the first time on this tour and it was good. More Jameson's and more beer. By this time I am pretty well lit and while Adrian sets up the merch table, I find someplace to nod out and sober up. I am right as rain once Gentleman Jesse hits the stage, and I usually stay sober for the rest of the night while the rest of the band proceeds to get drunk. This works out great because at the end of the night I am in full possession of my faculties to get paid, load out and do whatever else is necessary. In B'more we had a good turn out for a Monday night and we rocked the house as usual. The band -- at this point that's what we are, one big band has melded into one orgasmic rock n' roll experience that starts with Gentleman Jesse and his Men and fuses into the Paul Collins Beat, but it is hard to tell where one stops and the other begins. Anyway the point is we kicked ass as usual and the crowd loved it.
Tonight as I started the Jameson's ritual the bartender was an extremely cute young babe and the first thing she told me was that "Do You Wanna Love Me" a song that I had written back when I was fresh outta the Nerves and that has never been released except for on a CD that came out with the power pop book, Shake Some Action was her favorite song and were we gonna play it? I said "Yeah no problem." I showed it to the band during sound check and we worked it up on the spot and now it is one of the highlights of our set. Like I said, these guys really kick ass! Soon it was time to load out again and hit the road. We had unanimously decided that since we had to drive eight-and-a-half hours to get to Toronto we would skip staying in B'more and just head out and put some miles under our belt and find some hotel on the road to get a few hours sleep before continuing on to T.O.
About two hours down the road I spotted a Days Inn and said lets go for it. As we were driving toward it we saw a Super 8, which is when Warren said that all hotel rooms where the same some just cost more then others. I said I wasn't sure about that, but since everyone thought the Super 8 would be cheaper and just as good we pulled in, checked in and hit the hay. We will get back to this one little point of hotel-ology.
Next morning we were out the door and on the road again. God I love it. There is nothing finer then waking up in the morning and knowing that, that night you will be on stage just a rockin' and a rollin'! We knew there was one potential hitch on this tour and we were heading for it at 90 miles an hour, that was Warren Bailey's criminal record and the Canadian Border. We were shit, showered and shaved as we hit the US/ Canada boarder patrol in Niagara Falls. It was about six o'clock and we all had our fingers crossed, I knew that Warren was nervous, he may look like a rough and tough rock n' roller which he is but underneath all that is a fine sensitive person who has a deep care and respect for the world around him. I knew that in his heart he would have hated to be the reason why we could not play our shows in Toronto and Montreal. The first part of our Immigration experience went relatively smoothly, when we turned over our passports and the paper work we had gotten from the Canadian promoter and it seemed like all would be fine. As we sat and waited I could see the Boarder Agent, a pert little thing, looking at her computer screen, after a some time went by she said, "Warren Bailey?" "Oh shit," I thought, "here's where it gets interesting." "Come with me please." She took Warren into this little room off to the side and we could hear Warren talking bout his DUI. He came out with all his clothes on and she went back to her computer. After a bit she called Warren up to the counter and that's when the shakedown started. She said that Canada would let him in but he needed to buy a temporary work permit. We were ready for this and I whipped out my wallet and put $200 bucks American into Warrens hand so he could give it to the cashier. At this point I knew we were in. Nothing like some greenbacks to smooth the way!
After a bit more shuffling and stamping of papers she told us we were good to go and gave us a little yellow card and told us to go out front and give it to the guards there. I thought that was it but not by a long shot. The woman in blue who looked like she would have no problem breaking me in two while she polished her nails, told me we needed to go across the street to Customs and take care of the paper work for our T-shirts and CDs. OK, no big deal. We'll do it and get on our way. As I stood looking at this four hundred plus pound beast of a boarder patrol guy with his shit hanging out all over the place, I knew it was not gonna be that easy. He starts talking to me like he is God and I am just one more dumb shit that he has to deal with.
Big Fat Boarder Patrol Guy: "You got a Broker?"
Me: "What's that?"
BFBPG: "That's what you need to get your shit across this boarder."
Me: "Listen I don't know anything about that, I thought we had all the paperwork in order. Maybe you could talk to the guy who is promoting the show?"
BFBPG: "Yeah OK, call him up. Ring ring ring... Listen your boys here need a broker to get all this Merchandise across... You're giving it away? ... On a charitable radio station?... Well that don't change a thing it still has a value... I don't care if they burn it on stage... They gotta pay tax on all of it. I don't care what it is socks, underwear, what ever it is they got their names on they gotta pay a tax, got it?"
At this point I knew we were gonna have to do something a little more extreme or we were gonna be stuck at this fucking boarder all night long. I said to the BFBPG, and I raised my voice and said it to all six of those screw balls, that were just hanging around looking for someone to fuck with, "LOOK MAN. I AM HERE TO WORK! I'M JUST TRYING TO DO MY GOD DAMN JOB! I DROVE ALL FUCKING DAY TO GET HERE. IF I KNEW I NEEDED A FUCKING BROKER DON'T YOU THINK I WOULD HAVE HAD ONE? LETS CUT THE SHIT HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU WANT? I'LL PAY IT AND LET ME BE ON MY WAY!
That seemed to do the trick and the Big Fat Boarder Patrol Guy whipped out his calculator and started adding up the Merch count. Then he said "OK, go across the street and pay the cashier." I ran across the street, paid the cashier and we got the fuck outta there before anything else could happen.
We hauled ass all the way to Toronto, threw our gear on stage and proceeded to rock the house like they had never been rocked before. The fans went ballistic and we tore the roof off the sucker and laid it to waste. We were a rock n' roll freight train that God himself could not stop! That night we played with a very cool punk band form the late 70's called Zero 4 and they kicked ass as well. A good time was had by all and we wound up at Mark the promoter's luxury high rise drinking and cajoling until 4:30 a.m., at which point I threw all the liggers out so we could get some kip. ...
In the morning we blew town and drove all day to get to Montreal. The weather was sub zero all the way but we were hotter then a pistol.
To be continued...
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?