By Kris | August 6, 1999
Transcribed by Darren Stockford
Monday 19 July – Cheltenham Attic
Today’s show was the first of the tour and, I would imagine, the weirdest. It really was like starting life all over again. The Wildhearts never played these venues before, and the audience were a little freaked out that it was so different. Danny was there with me for moral encouragement (!!!!) and I found out that our audience came to the front of the stage whereas The Yo-Yo’s’ first shows had everyone staying away from the stage. Probably because they were too bloody loud!
But teething problems aside (they are to be expected) it was a great first gig of any tour. This diary will no doubt get stranger as it progresses. I’m still a little worn out from a night with Ritch Wildheart last night. Oh, that boy.
Played Unlucky In Love on XFM this morning. Julie Thompson, from the album, came down and sang for us. She performed like the goddess that she is and sounded like the star she will ultimately become. Just watch her go… stand aside Cerys Matthews.
So, I have finally played my first ever show in England. At last. Dream come true for me. Playing in England reminds me a lot of my home town Chicago (at least based on this show). Of course, I was asked to leave there pretty quick… So at least I have that to look forward to.
On a more serious note, the trouble with Clam persists. If anything, it might be getting worse. Tomorrow I’ll be running those tests on the hose. Will be keeping everyone informed.
Tuesday 20 July – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms (read our review!)
The whole show came together today, after just two days on the road. Clint and I sound like we came out of the womb together armed with a bunch of tunes to challenge the perceptions of the world at large. Or just rock people for one night of their lives… either way, a good time is being had by all.
Joining us on this tour so far have been Tyla and Danny Wildheart. Danny has been appearing onstage with Tyla and warming up the audience in preparation for our sonic onslaught. This is the first tour of the UK that Tyla’s done for ten years. There are a lot of happy Dogs D’Amour fans at these shows. And of course there are hundreds of raving Wildhearts nutters proving, once and for all, that they / you are the best, most loyal fans in the world. It feels like you guys already know who we are and that feels mighty grand.
Hey, English people are nice. Very loud, very welcoming, very drunk and they know how to enjoy themselves… and that’s just Clam and Tyla. Good show, technical shit coming together nicely, blah blah blah.
Ah, good. We’re alone again… we must be secretive about our communications. Now, the hose test came back negative, so I have no conclusive proof concerning the blood and excrement samples from behind the doorway of the first hotel. I take this as a good sign or a very bad one… a very, very bad one. Oh shit, must be off, they’re back.
Wednesday 21 July – Southend Chinnerys
Spent the day getting blasted, hammered and fucked up with Tyla (a good drinking buddy). Went to Southend fair where he and I got stuck inside the water chute, Homer Simpson style, and had to scramble our way back on to the raft and finish the ride soaking wet.
The show was the strangest one yet. Arses and tits were signed onstage, Wildhearts fans sang Geordie In Wonderland and various Wildhearts tunes to my accompaniment, and Beautiful Thing You got a stage full of people singing the chorus. This shit is working. It’s still weird playing to tapes and not having a drummer to blame for mistakes, but we’re slowly warming to the idea. You are making this very comfortable… we like you. Very much.
Them was some damn fine globules of love, dirty pillows, golden bozos, knockers, jugs, bouncey-bouncy, titties, utters, boobs, rack, set o’ headlights, front end, hills, love lumps, daddy’s not-so-little helpers. I love things here that aren’t over whar ah come from, ya’ll.
Still no further progress on Clam’s problems. Tell no one, but I saw him sleeping underneath the most enormous pile… damn, they’re back. Will contact later.
Thursday 22 July – Leicester Princess Charlotte
Tonight felt like we’ve been on tour for years. Tight and confident. The crowd were brilliant and the laughs were elongated. Radio interviews are a very silly thing that should not be encouraged. Having said that, I love doing them. You’re given a microphone, and an audience of thousands. And the best thing is that you can say what the goshdarn you want. And I do. Frequently… until they stop me doing ’em, that is. Then I’ll shut up. And get old. And die… (Hope your job is still OK, Chaz.)
Tyla acted as a decoy for me today. Someone thought he was me and followed him up the road, leaving me to enter the venue without a hitch. Dunno which of us should be offended.
There are some crazy girls in this town… crazy in that cuddly little bunny holding a razor blade against your mother’s neck kinda way. You know the thing.
The lovely Yvonne sang with us again tonight, which made us look like the superstars we are surely to become. The craziest of all crazies arrived today, and will no doubt appear every day – a chap who goes under the name Ginger Wildheart. Well he goes under it because it is indeed his name. Deed Poll and everything. Some people are just nuttier than squirrel shit.
The gig tonight was so good that I’m going to have to amputate my genitals. You just see if I don’t. That’ll teach you. Eh? Eh?
Tyla and Clam have been at it again with the whole impersonation thing. I wish one of them would realise how offended they should actually be. I love here more than there, and why here has taken so long is anyone’s guess. Sometimes I feel like a pony.
Will have conclusive info on “the condition” (although we have lost our taste for insects at last) as of tomorrow. But tonight, we will first and foremost rock. Be free with your love.
We’ve introduced further yodelling into the set. Our plan of global subversion through the ancient punk art of the yodel seems to be working. Good thing we’re bringing yodelling back to the people before someone else does…
The anti-American sentiment I soooo desperately feared is becoming more and more evident. There have been some threats made, but so far the severed pigs head is the only real sordonificatory sign. Welcome to the most subtle descent into hell, but we go willingly in the name of all that is rock.
The bus is beginning to smell really bad… perhaps more is afoot than I had ever expected.
Friday 23 July – Leeds Duchess Of York
Well, the genitals are still there. Guess I’m full of shit. Leeds Duchess… has been the grounds of many a happening in the past. Happenings of the bizarre variety. Strange, weird things that you’d do better not knowing. In fact I shouldn’t have mentioned it AT ALL. OK? GOOD.
I love Leeds… but I much prefer rhythm, so what does that say? Absolutely nothing I’ll wager. Which is precisely where I came in. Did I mention that the show was great? Oh! Well, it was. And we had the first stagedivers of the tour. Stagediving to Clam Abuse is very difficult. One has to guess where the heavy bit would be if we had one. Some imagination these people.
Did my first in-store signing today – something I vowed I’d never, ever do. What a fool I’ve been. There’s free CDs and everything. I love free shit. Even more than spending money. The beautiful people at Crash Music are worthy of religious devotion, but since I’m not in any way religious let’s just say that they are sexy motherfuckers with just the right amount of panache to overturn the monarchy. Or something.
No sign of The Who live or otherwise. Disappointed as only an American can be. Still no sign of an elevator, but I have faith. Bunch of people jumped on stage and began disrobing while yodelling. The primal ferocity of this sight is both exciting and intimidating. We all found ourselves running through the streets of Leeds yodelling and naked, singing “we are a herd,” and we were!
The “problem” has returned vis-a-vis the Clam thingy. The behaviour on the bus is becoming more and more surreal. My God, man, the sights my eyes have seen in the last few days I wouldn’t wish on my mother’s new husband. Ta Ta.
Saturday 24 July – Edinburgh Venue
If there is a prettier place than Edinburgh then they haven’t been open for long. (And no one I know has been). Yes, this sure is one pretty place. And they don’t like the fake accents we do. Come to think of it, people are getting the wrong end of the stick and beating about the bush with it as far as the accents go. Anyone who has not attended any shows yet will be mightily confused right now.
So, with no accents and too much lubrication we eagerly set out to the stage. I think they liked us… but I think EVERYONE likes us anyway (apart from the guy who reviewed us for NME). Anyway, I’m bored with talking about how great we are every night. I wanna tell you fine people what we did with our day. Edinburgh is built on top of an underground city that used to house the poor and diseased. So me, Alex and Tyla decided to visit. After missing the start of the trip – three times – we eventually made our own way underground, and scared the shit out of the guy who was playing a ghost, supposedly to scare the shit out of us. One visit to Calton Studios Nightclub (a very cool place with three different different rooms playing the entire musical spectrum) and then it was off to bed to the sight of naked strippers running through the corridors of our hotel. It’s a tough life.
Glas… I mean Edinburgh. How much fun can you have and still not get arrested? Well, now I know, thanks to these lunatic fucks. Beautiful scenery and all, nice greenery, etc. But as an American, as we roll over this beautiful, spacious, historical, fertile, magnificent countryside, it makes me take a big pause… a big pause because you’re wasting all this space when you could be building parking lots and mini-malls and cineplexes and worshipping the devil and eating unholy pestilent…. Oh sorry, got a bit carried away there.
Why has it taken me so long to get here?I love this more than a bunch of stuff I love that I can’t write about here because of the laws of the British Isles. By the way, some people on the bus have started to fancy one another. See ya tomorrow, must meet beer quota. (This fancy lark has fack all to do with me, love…later, Tyla.)
Sunday 25 July – Edinburgh Bar Java
The hotel we were staying at (the Bar Java) was so wonderful it was actually twoderful. So we decided to stay and spend our day off playing the hotel, in return for a free night’s stay. The day was spent drinking copious amounts of fluids and the show in the evening was just about the weirdest experience of my or anyone in the history of the world’s life. What started off as a typical run through of the songs slowly degenerated into psycho jamming. Which, to the uninitiated, is the most self-indulgent public display of sonic masturbation possible. I’m not proud of myself, and I don’t wish to talk about it any more. It never happened, right? Oh, and the gig was free….so WHERE WERE YOU?
Went to a rock club with one of the new couples on the bus. Gigs (tour manager) reminds me (or “us” as you “lot” “chinwag”) that I visited a castle by “meself” at “half four in the morn aye”, drunk a lot of the liquid courage, blah fuckin’ blah-de-blah, hung out with my friends, saw some beeaauuuteefuul scaineree, and was seduced by the siren’s call of the word “Fooking Gleet”. It’s reeeeelee fookin gleet gleet gleet. Then I guess we did a gig in someone’s hotel room and got heckled by the drunken ghost of Janis Joplin and Andre the Giant. Tyla reminds “us” that he went over gleet. The “lads” have “warned” “melot” “about” “yobs” and the “Glashgo Kissh” and that all the people there were actually almost as stupid as Americans – if that were even a possibility – and then they made me cry, and started poking me with sticks, and now I feel really bad.
Monday 26 July – Glasgow G2
Glasgow, Glasgow, Glasgow… how many times can you say Glasgow in an intro? Always mental, always fun. Deep fried Mars Bars and Americans believing that haggis is a small rodent with one leg shorter than the other. Sheesh. Sort of dreamlike gig which culminated in myself throwing my guitar at someone in the crowd and hitting the wrong person. OOPS… sorry. I don’t know. I just get so bored. It’s not my fault. It was my parents’. They used to lock me in a darkened room and feed me spiders until I could recite the alphabet backwards. At the age of four I had ran away from home 12 times. Unfortunately we lived on a desert island. It wasn’t very large and finding me was not difficult. Not that they bothered of course. They would put me up for adoption and let the new parents find me. Etc, etc, etc.
The show was great.. Or GREEEEET as they say in America.
I’m home. The best show so far. I don’t remember it. But it felt good. Clam had a tantrum and proved once and for all that his aim sucks. Then there was something about sex and then some more stuff about everyone masturbating together. A lot of love in the room. Meet some of the gleetest people ever and “canno” wait to come back. Beeeaautiifuuuul women with huge “fookin’ gleet” torpedoes. Had a yelling match with the second biggest “fleek” I “eeeeeva” “meeeet.” I’m having so much fun I could “sheeet gleet logs.” Beginning to recognise a bunch of “puntaas aaiyye” from past gigs. Fookin’ Fleeks!
On a sombre note, and in an entirely different vein, the “problems” of which I’ve been writing to you… there are serious signs of mental erosion and even a potential cannibalism on the tour bus. This morning, with the break of dawn hanging over the murky swamp, a swamp which held no love for no one, I found some of us licking some other of our elbows, except they were holding a knife in one hand, a fork in the other, and in the other was a SALT SHAKER. DEAR GOD. It’s happening, really is happening to us. Oh dear, sweet, tasty scrumptious God, protect us from our taste buds.
Sigh. Another North East venue goes to the dust. R.I.P. Riverside. So this new gaff… any cop? Seems fine, actually. Full of Geordies, in fact. Mad the lot of ’em. Angry young men and sexually motivated young ladies. And that’s just us lot.
There is nowhere like Newcastle, and if I didn’t come from there I’d be very jealous. Even my folks came down. Japanese people flew over for the gig, grown men wept and stars fell from the sky. Played an in-store in the smallest shop in the world, Changes One in South Shields. Very odd, very cool. Saw all my mates and had a monumental drinking session that seems the only way to drink in the North East. Tired, emotional and hungover – the less said about tonight the better. Except to say that even with my clouded and prejudiced judgment, Newcastle is the best place to play in the world. The girls are the prettiest and the men are the most mental bunch of reprobates in the western world. And they’ve closed down “VAUX” breweries, which means you can’t buy Lorrimer’s best scotch any more. I don’t know how upsetting this is for you, but I’m inconsolable. Gutted. Bastards. Penguins. Ambulances… or should be that Ambuli? I don’t know nor care. For that matter, does anyone care any more? I think maybe they do. And I’m always right on matters such as these. Oh yes.
Oh dear, where to start apologising. I, as an American, and as an individual, I do so very much apologise for just about everything ever, and even things that haven’t happened, ‘cos we’re bigger than you and can take it. But, uh, holy “sheeet”, man. I’ve seen things. I’ve seen some things and then I’ve seen some other things that were different, and this was most of that without the parts you end up regretting but were secretly glad you did ‘cos it would have been worse not to do it.
Well, we broke the loudest yodel record in the presence of an actual judge from Guinness Book of World Records, so you’ll be seeing us in that as well as some other magazines that do appreciate us for the genuine musical and overall top of the marquee, Vegas-sized, huge, megaquantum, monumental, pivotal, godlike, queen-bitch, bring me my water boy or you shall perish at merest whim-type guys that we accuse ourselves vehemently of being. And I’m standing firm on this. There is nothing wrong with Newcastle, and you owe it to yourself to go there and meet as many of the people that I did as soon as you can. Nuff said. Rock out with your cock out.
Did an in-store today as well. Met more greeeet people but I wouldn’t go camping with ’em if ya knows whhaaaaat ahs mean y’all. And again, when it comes to being sorry I’m the vesivialiast ever. Really.
Wednesday 28 July – Sheffield Boardwalk
Everything is turning into a stream of stuff… sprawling and desperate. I am struggling, as we converse, to make sense of the basic primaries of life. They have taken my soul and replaced it with the spirit of Mal Manson and his hordes of demonmongers. I HAVE NO REASON, THEREFORE I AM REASON. Clam lives. Clint is dead. Long live The Beatles. Or, for that matter, Beadle. It is because that is the way it is.
The gig was OK too.
More familiar faces. I think we’re being stalked. It’s time to call the cops. They (them, you know, those that are not us) know our every move, can sing our every chorus, bounce with our every bounce, make out with each other just ‘cos we asked ’em. A little skeptical about the yodelling at first, but yeee know whaaeeet theeeeeeeeeeey seeeeeeaaay – once you yodelled once, you’ll always yodel once again. Time to try fellatio on myself again. Yippee, what’s goin’ on here? What lies ahead in the creamy shadows of dawn’s most precious breakings?
Thursday 29 July – Manchester Band On The Wall
Another day on tour, and to tell you the truth, I’m getting a bit bored. This kinda thing happens on tour. There are only so many days you can do the same thing. Maybe you’re different, and don’t have such a low boredom threshold. Sometimes I don’t really enjoy touring. Sometimes it’s the most exciting thing, while other times it’s a case of “oh, this again.” Gig was great, really tight… blah, blah, blah.
Hey, how you doin’? I’m doin’ fine. Thanks for asking. Well, another show, more chaos, more fun, and more questions left unanswered. Deep, dark terrible secrets abound. The gigs serve as a backdrop for the impending hysteria and arson and cannibalism that we call the Clam Abuse tour. How does one express elation and madness at the same time? Go on tour and then learn to play geeeeetaaar, babies.
I’ve started to be able to make some grotesque generalisations about you guys over here on the other side of the pond:
1. You all smoke a whole fuckin’ lot.
2. You can drink more than an ocean of fish.
3. You know how to “party” like the day the world was born.
4. Your “chicks” all look different from each other, and their breasts are real and really greeeet.
5. Finally, you don’t realise that you’re playing soccer, you ride on “elevators”, and hygiene would be much easier if you had one spout for the hot and cold water with separate knobs to direct the proportion of both extremes of temperatures, therefore allowing for scald-free cleanliness.
6. You think that Americans are all opinionated know-it-alls making unfair assumptions about a culture rife with tradition and beer.
Saturday 31 July – York Fibbers
I’m getting that feeling that something bad is gonna happen. York: beautiful scenery. So why do I hate this place? Played an in-store performance to a bunch of people who didn’t seem into it very much. This is a very humbling experience and one I’m not very keen to repeat. Went out for a curry and sampled the delights of York after dark. Found out there is no York after dark, and ended the night wishing I was anywhere in the world but here.
The gig was horrible, the place had no dressing room and Clint kicked a hole in the wall, probably out of sheer tedium. The rip-off bastards at the venue advertised it as Ginger, presumably to sell a few more tickets to people who would leave very disappointed indeed… which they did. Don’t bother playing or visiting this venue. The ice machine only makes two ice cubes at a time. And there’s a big hole in the wall.
The party was the maddest thing about today. I met Chris McCormack’s lovely new girlfriend, “Ginger”. And a friend had a marble statue land on his foot and split it up pretty bad, putting him in hospital with two broken toes and 27 stitches.
Gleeeet in store. Lots o’ folks, familiar faces (stalkers?), and much fun. Received several offers of sex with myself, but as I’m a nun and priest, it’s not in the Bible that I can, although I relish the opportunity.
In spite of the all the love in the air, I’m filled with a sense of forboding and trepidation. The madness and mayhem of the flesh-eating bus adventures seem like a pleasant memory of fluffy kittens and butterflies. A darkness is on the horizon. Maybe it’s just the beer, pot, hallucinogenics, lack of sleep, and being born with only half a brain, but something’s gonna happen.
(Later)… Well, I’m glad we’re only here for tonight, because the bad thing has happened. While onstage, a very good, fun, sweaty and exciting show, Satan took over my body and made me destroy some things. I tried explaining this to the club owner, adding that he should send the bill to Hell. As I’m such a well behaved guy, it could only be Beelzebub’s fault, and I’m sure that he’d be more than happy to pay. He didn’t believe me either. At least we’re leaving tomorrow.
Sunday 1 August – Liverpool Lomax – cancelled
Another day in the dullest place on this planet. Woke up feeling just about ready to leave this shit hole, when up pops a fascist bastard with too much flab AND A HISTORY OF BEING PICKED ON AT SCHOOL. Yes, a policeman. After getting a bit shirty, I told him he was a fucking Nazi and was promptly arrested, thrown into jail and generally treated like a piece of shit by our wonderful police force – a bunch of bullying, ignorant pricks. I hate the police. I hate York. If I had a home I would want to go there.
Just got back from the party we had for Panda in the emergency room after he tried to save a five hundred ton marble boulder from crashing to the floor in a very fancy-schmancy hotel bathroom with what’s left of his bad right foot. Yes, we were kicked out of both the hotel and hospital for having too much fun. I didn’t even know it was illegal. Thank God we’re leaving in a few short hours.
(Later)… So we’re leaving York, packing the van. Everyone is in the van and we’re about to leave (all completely stoned, mind you – after all, it was already 9:30 am), when this little fat asshole non-sexed cock sucker nobody of a nothing, decided Clam was a problem. Enter an arrest. What fuckin’ bullshit. It was just like being in LA again.
Monday 2 August – Still in York…
FUCKING BASTARD YORK AGAIN. GROUNDHOG DAY.
The filth dropped the charges after realising that they were not only wrong, but were wasting the tax payers’ money pissing around airing their insecurities. The lawyer’s bill came to £200 and we lost a lot of money having to cancel Liverpool yesterday while I sat in a prison cell for no apparent reason. Sorry, Liverpool.
Later in the day I went to rehearse with The Wildhearts for our Japanese gig. It was wonderful. To go from playing with a drum machine to Ritch Battersby is a bit of a shock to the senses. WOW, we sure sound good together. I realised how much I miss the boys. And I thought I already knew.
Lancastettettchersterster… In lieu of being arrested and wanted by the law, or even having nothing to do (sorry Liverpool, I can”t say how much I wanted to see your city, ‘cos it might be illegal to), we, Tyla and me, valiantly decided to blow Clam and his problems off, and come here and do a gig. I remember it like this: driving and laughing, going inside and laughing, and bathing, and laughing, and eating, and smiling, and not knowing any of the songs in Tyla’s set and playing with him for a couple of hours, and clapping, and everyone singing, and more laughing, and this annoying endless drone of people chanting someone’s name for about 45 minutes after he left the stage, and singing tunes really loud for another half hour, and I saw people respect a guy who doesn’t even know he’s a hero, and more laughing, and Tyla falling asleep in the park, and laughing, and then another drive with laughing, and then seeing Clam again, and then the laughter stopped.
No, I’m kidding. Clam was out and they ended up backing down, and we were all together again now, and in the sleepy little village of Clam Abusingingsingingingtonirington, there was not only laughing, but rejoicing to be heard as well.
Tuesday 3 August – Bristol Fleece & Firkin
My mate Bear Hackenbush of Bugs and Drugs fame turned up tonight, and a jolly good beer was had by all. Show was a bit of a blur, so that means it must have been good. Bristol is a very great land. Like it lots.
I don’t remember and my head hurts.
Wednesday 4 August – Dudley JBs
Sack Trick turned up tonight to play their peculiar brand of Primus meets Kiss sonic madness. Steve the Gardner (as heard on the Clam Abuse album, the guy with the ukelele) also played and the show was great. Weird. Hot.
The tour finishes tomorrow. It will be very boring living a normal life again.
Whoa, this place is big. Sack Trick played with us. When I saw them they had a giant mouse playing note perfect Ace Frehley solos to reggae songs and a rainbow flavoured koala bear with a human head who exploded while playing. They were lead by a fighter pilot and a cartoon character. Seriously, go see these guys.
Audience hated us but we were really trying to be good, I swear. He made me do it. It wasn’t my fault. Whhaaaaaaaaaaa! Man and Van (the old school snippets in between tracks that sound like a guy with a ukele playing from the record) blew us off the stage, and they weren’t even wearing any make-up. And to think, we taught them everything they know. We brought these two (Steve and Gary) into this crazy business we love to call “rock.” Also, everyone left.
Thursday 5 August – London Dingwalls
It was a clear day that last August night. It seemed as though the storm had settled and the cannibalism and salacious and copious amounts of what they euphemistically and in hushed tones – the tones of people,nay men, who had been survivors of a destiny only too familiar, and yet, still, shamefully looming nearer then farther and then a little bit nearer and then kinda to the left and then a step to the right – called “rock.” That’s right, “rock.” Oh baby, I swear I mean the “rock.” As in ‘Buckcherry lovin’ baby let me felch your lovin offa yer yeeeahhh haaaa hairy-backed oven-o-shovin” “rock.”
You want it
You got it
C’mon people lemme me hear ya shout it
We like “rock.”
P.S. I wanna thank a few people for this award. Receiving this signifies a lifetime of pursuit, good times and bad times, hard work. And mostly a belief that if you really want anything bad enough, no matter how impossible it might seem, how out of reach, if ya just keep rockin’ fer the common good, baby, alla yer dreams can come true. Really! It’s weird. Check it out sometime.
You’re all really, really weird over here. You’re actually a bunch of lunatic freaks, to be honest. So, after I live most of my life in different cities in the United States of America, I come over here for ten days, and end up spending half the year here, with all of you nuts walking around. And, to top it off, I start feeling right at home, like I belong. But it can’t be! How could it possibly be? Perhaps I’m a weirdo, too, like you.
Actor: So, thanks for the great time. I hope you had one too. There’s always someone more fucked up than you.
(Cue music in background with long, slow pullback shot.)
Actor: I’m working on an album for you now called AntiProduct. That’ll be here soon.
(Start dimming the lights and camera still dramatically pulls back.)
Actor: About the web site, I’m sorry. I’m a fuck up, but I’m working on it now. Soon, it too will be.
(Raise music to drown out raving actor and dim lights completely, leaving Actor in the Dark (Dio / Schenker) and the camera travellin’ mightily into the ceiling crashing into A Beam In The Night (Tate / Dianno).)
Actor (now screaming hysterically): I say thanks, to everyone everywhere, who made all this possible. If it wasn’t for the little people, there’d be no one to step on. If it wasn’t for tall people, there’d be no one to climb over. And if it wasn’t for all of us, there’d be no one to exploit. And then…
(Actor’s head explodes among the flame and carnage of the burning studio. Roll credits.)
Thanks. See you soon.