WAND HO! (Tour Report, Pt 2)

posted November 10th, 2015


October 31st (HALLOWEEN), Vancouver BC

We drove to Olympia after the Portland show. Corey (from Vexx n GLOSS, insane drummer) had secured us a house to catch a few hours of sleeeeeeeeeep. We were greeted by friend Alice who woke from her slumbery haze to greet us and give us a tour of her room. We talked about Hole and Manson fam and interior decorating. There were shards of broken mirror all over the floor.


(A letter from Cory's attorney. Cory needs this letter every time he crosses into Canada to prove he was wrongfully charged with assault 7 years ago. It's so redic...)

We woke up at 8 in the wet Olympia morning to make a matinee 1pm sound check at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, where we were scheduled to open for a Canadian superstar. We missed sound check and showed up 20 minutes before our set time -- v. stressful but our Canadian helpers did their darndest to put us at ease. All exhausted from 3 days of near no sleep and "treadmill" drives, we played a truncated and dangerously undercaffeinated version of our set. Went shockingly well. The average age of the crowd was 16 and a half. A lively bunch. Cory did a video interview he doesn't really remember, and was led half-alive to a good poutine spot. Lee managed the merch alongside the venue-employed merchant who sold the Canadian superstar's records, shirts and assorted wares -- all of which the merchant took to calling "his shit".  He funneled us Canadian change and made some jokes about selling "human shit." Old heads at the Commodore. In our delirium, we dug the vibes. Finally, we left and crossed the border back into the USA. A huge collective exhale. The border guard gave us a lil grief. The standard tough guy stuff. So it goes. 

A couple hours drive and we were back in Olympia with plenty of evening left to burn celebrating Halloween with friends. We arrived to an overflowing basement show of top quality cover sets, and got to see friend MJ (dressed as "Fate") play bass for a ferocious Crucifucks set, followed by a totally unbelievable Alice Cooper set featuring friend Alice (dressed as Carrie) on vocals. We were blown away. A much higher concentration than usual of true believers in Olympia, WA?

The party was like a good movie about a party, so of course it had to get broken up by the cops. We all jogged down to Ralph's and I got some cinnamon gum. 

"This is not DISNEYLAND 
This is not PUNK LAND

November 1st, Seattle - Narwhal

Then everything toppled into crisis in the home front. Cory had forgotten to sell a tape machine he left at his mom's house on Craigslist. This realization fueled a momentary high-stress near-nervous-breakdown. Oh, he had tried to sell the machine before; the device in question -- an oven sized Tascam 85-16b 1-inch tape machine -- was purchased in October 2014 (one year ago) on a modest recording budget to demo out and potentially record 1000 Days. Here's Cory's account of the machine:

"I bought that machine off of some Foley Sound artist in Ventura, who had it shipped from a studio in Cleveland. I didn't know much about larger machines, so my education began right away. He seemed trustworthy, he had clearly done his homework, at least he explained aspects of the machine which I didn't even know existed. He assured me that there was a 'brilliant' technician in the valley who had worked on the machine before, even had a proof of repair sticker on the underside of the carriage. We shook hands on the purchase. I took the machine home, did some homework on tape heads, it turned out the record head was busted; totally opened up beyond repair. I called the 'repair technician' whom the seller referred me to, they insisted with some poison that they didn't work on 85-16b's anymore, that those machines were 'a nightmare', and that I would be better off 'throwing it away.' I felt betrayed by the seller, as I have by most of the men who have taken on a 'father figure' role in my life. Still, being someone who hates to waste money, I set out to repair the machine myself. I sent all the heads to JFR Magnetics in New Jersey. They were able to repair the damage to the sync and repro heads, but the record head was toast. Luckily the sync head is the most important in the case of a multitrack machine, so all was not lost. I received the heads back in record time (no pun intended) and popped them back into the machine. They sounded great, recorded and played back brilliantly, and biased easily. Unfortunately there were irregularities with the speed and tension, for which I lacked the tools to do the proper maintenance. The machine was used to transfer the 1000 Days basic tracks and compose a handful of demos, and then was put into storage at my mom's garage in Hermon. When my mom moved out of the house I moved in for the unoccupied interim month where I lived with no fridge (just a cooler), and no furniture. There was free wifi. I moved out in a huff just before tour, and had completely forgotten to deal with the machine, so I was forced to Instagram a photo of the reel to reel in the street and issue an open call for a pickup. The machine was scooped up within the hour. God bless whoever owns the machine now. Hope they make a lot of great wobbly records with that beige beast."

The Seattle show was "fine." We stayed with Lee's cousin and her two genius children. They are the weird future. We are just falling apart.

********This concludes Report 2. More tour dates here!

Artists in this story: Wand