Well whatever if you're a rock band from Sweden or I guess any Scandinavian or European band, your dream just gotta be to become as famous as you're getting the chance to play in the USA, the lost paradise for rock'n roll or at least where it was born. The Hymans are no different in this matter... so therefore don't expect any extraordinary tales from a Swedish band doing it over there, this is the truth and nothing but the true story from a tour with a totally unknown Swedish punk rock band that got the chance to play over there...
The 5th of July a sunny Monday we're leaving the Arlanda airport for JF Kennedy airport New York City... A myth bound city that raised my two favorite bands Kiss and The Ramones... the latest with the greatest influence on at least me...
I guess everybody had that very special feeling when we left little Ludvika in Dalarna and had the feeling that we're finally going to the land of the free the land of rock'n roll and Hollywood and Elvis Presley...
Man it' s so hard to explain the feeling, I never thought that I would make it to that country.... I mean I've been on my way a dozen times but it has always come something in the way... But this time we actually took off in time and we came to Keflavik on Iceland's west coast and we took off from there as well. We drank free drinks on the airplane and some of us got seriously drunk...The myth of rock'n roll was about to become reality.
For example Kempa or Uri Geller as we soon started to call him succeeded to throw a drink on a poor American, the Icelandic stewardesses started to become nervous and refused us any more liquor...Anyway, we came to JFK as well we didn't got stopped by
any hard-boiled American customs officer either.. This really started to easy... then Larry Retard met up with us as appointed with his girlfriend Patti.
We went to a rent-a-car service station and was about to pick up a car but then the hassles started....
We had to have a credit card valid for a large amount of money to be able to rent a car.... No one had that much money on the card except from Tina Kempas wife... But she didn't have any driving license so she couldn't rent it... On top of all this it was 102 degrees outside about 40 degrees Celsius... It took us 3 hours of talking bullshit to the manager before he allowed Tina to rent it as she was Kempas wife and he had a drivers license wowee what a start.... We left the airport area about 23.00=10 PM Now we thought it's gonna be a piece of cake to find the way to Manhattan and then out of NYC to New Jersey and down south towards Philadelphia...
Easy to say we got totally lost and had to ask at least 10 -15 persons for the right direction... Mostly we talked to guys that barely could speak English... Jeeezus what's this gonna be like?? Steaming hot and road-signs hard to understand as runestones....
We stopped at a road-stop with restaurant and everything. Slept over in the car some 200 km's north of Philadelphia. You bet it was hard to sleep that night.
On the second day it was so god damn hot that I'm really happy we had air-conditioner in the car...
We drove for a couple of hours out to the Chesapeake bay peninsula where we stopped at Chincoteague and had a swim in the Atlantic ocean...
Great for 5 minutes then the heat took it's prey... We drove down to Norfolk but decided to go further into the Virginian countryside along the border to North Carolina. Just about when we were about to give it all up and thinking we have to sleep another dreadful night in the car, we found Dixie Motel just outside a one horse town called Emporia.
Dixie Motel, Emporia, VA. our car on the right hand side.
We stood there waiting for some kind of activities. No one were there it seemed. Then the man on the picture to the left and below here showed up. I asked him if there was any rooms vacant...
He just started to laugh and said:
-Yepp there is... in fact all the rooms are vacant!
Then the manager came an Indian lady. She was cozy but the man was cool as anything. Looked like 60 years old but had a 25 year olds body....
The prices for the rooms were also decent. 28 bucks each room.. Taken we said and shared each room on 2 persons. 14 bucks each then. Then entering the rooms and surprise no. 2 air-conditioned!!!!
That was juuuust great!!
Now we just headed for some beers and a nice shower........
Dixie Motel rules!!!! Don't miss it if you happens to travel through south Virginia one day.
The day after we had gained new power and started heading west towards Tennessee and Memphis. Our first goal on the trip now since Forth Worth was canceled. We didn't even consider going to Texas any more... USA is a very big country. We traveled through the Appalachian Mountains and finally came through and out on the highway. Kempa suffered a bit from traveling illness as Bempa drove in the mountains... He had to drive himself to get rid of it. We even passed through exotic places like Damascus,VA and Brighton on the same day. That day we managed all the way through Knoxville, TN and passed Nashville and then stopped for another night in the cozy car.
On the 4th day we came to Memphis,TN the town that raised Elvis the King Presley! I have to admit that felt kind of unreal. We found a cheap Motel even in Memphis that I don't remember the name of.
So what do you do in Memphis then...? Well we only know one place you just have to see and that is Graceland....
So the Elvis day slowly faded away in the heat of a Tennessee summer... also something else.
On the 9th we went eastwards again for our first gig on the tour in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The one-day-trip took us 2 days because Kempa had to visit a doctor with a seriously bad knee that was both infected and soared. The doctor actually told him that if he hadn't been there at that time he probably would have lost his leg... Man Kempa AKA Uri Geller had done it again.
The evening in Tullahoma 25 miles north of Lynchburg was our stop for the night-... Bempa went totally nuts over there so we went down to Lynchburg instead where we spent the night in the car.
On the 10th the day The Hymans entered the stage # 1 in USA... we visited the Jack Daniel's Distillery, hopefully to get a smooth taste of Tennessee whiskey... But of course no tasting at all so we went to Chattanooga where our film guy Johan had to visit the hospital suffering from a bad flue and coughing blood....
The visit paid no hassles... but a remark worth telling is that the nurse he talked to didn't know either Sweden or Europe at all... Jeezzz what a Geography knowledge..!!
So we reached the venue well in time... A place called Something Different...
After a while the Dead End Cruisers (DEC) had arrived and we met them for the first time. We put up the backline and made a sound-check No mic-stand!!! And the roof had fell in to the place why the PA system was fucked...
Somehow they fixed the mic-stand or replaced it with some home made broom stick version of a mic-stand.
What about the gig... well not one of the best Hymans gigs ever but it worked.. The audience was like 10 - 15 local punks... They enjoyed it though... DEC was a great live band.... They played us into smithereens...this night... he he.
Next gig were supposed to be in Norfolk, Virginia but the DEC had no knowledge about that so we skipped it and went straight north for Washington DC. On the way we stopped in Roanoke, Virginia on a Motel where we got drunk together with DEC for the first time on the trip....
The next day the 12 Th. we went straight to Washington DC and stopped by at some classic spots.
White House Group fr. left: Dave, Micke, Kempa, Pelle, Neil, Brenta, Graham and Bempa.
After the photo sessions in the rain we went for another thrilling ride in DC... Wowee what heavy traffic and we had to follow the DEC who apparently were a lot more acostumized to the whole thing.
We passed through the rough city and bad neighborhoods everywhere.... Then in the middle of the boiling pot we found the Voodoo Lounge our tonites venue... A Monday nite in DC... No signs at all that we were going to play... This wasn't improving any greater courage into us... After waiting about an hour the owner finally showed up. He was kinda arrogant and told us that of course there were no guarantees just playing on the door once again... He also admitted that there were probably not going to show up anyone tonite as it was a Monday and that was supposed to be a bad day. *Sigh* Another crowded gig huh!
We rigged it all up and the DEC started to play this gig... Just a few songs for no one but us and that was it!
We wanted to play just a little bit more and the place was kinda groovy looking or should I say spooky as it is all red like a sort of Twin Peaks feeling over it.... So we started to play I'm bored 3 times to get good shots from it with the video camera... Weird as fuck. Then when we had played like 8 songs a guy and his wife came to see us... then when we were finished he bought us a drink each. Thanks Jake!
After the gig we went straight to Baltimore, Maryland about ½ - 1 hrs. drive north of Washington. A town supposed to be really rough... We were taking in on a motel just outside town. 5 of us shared the room or was it all 6? I actually think we shared it all 6 of us. Everyone went to sleep pretty exhausted.
On the 13th we went out down town or to the harbor side of Baltimore. We just strolled around all day and went to Reptilian Records where we traded and sold some records. Dave knew the town as he used to live here in the early nineties. In the Reptilian Record store we also found out of a coincidence that we were double booked for that night... We were supposed to play at the Otto Bar in Baltimore and in Long Branch up in New Jersey... Neil double checked it and yepp so it was... A fast decision made it clear that we definitely wasn't gonna leave Baltimore so we had already skipped 2 gigs out of 5... After a while we met thiswhy-lie-need-a-beer-guy..
We stopped by at a bar for a beer or two.
Kempa and Micke at a bar in Baltimore harbour.
The Heaven & Hell car in Baltimore harbour.
Then we met up with a couple of friends of DEC, two guys from a local band called The Fuses. We could sleep in Kevin's ( from The Fuses ) and two of his friends apartment, all of us! Man that's hospitality... A great apartment too! In a pretty silent neighborhood 5 - 10 minutes drive from the venue at Otto Bar...
The evening came and it was time to leave for our purpose here in Baltimore....
Otto Bar a small but pretty cool bar, we even had 4 free drinks from the bar and a nice atmosphere as well... But the most important thing was it was a lot of people at least compared to the previous two gigs, but then what wouldn't have been. A starting band had one of their first gigs and well they played too long otherwise it was ok. I always think that unknown bands are playing too long sets like if it was their last gig and they have to prove they are so great... Be cool instead and play like The Dwarves a real short 10 - 15 minute gig..
I bet the audience would appreciate that more.
Next band up was us...
Here's some photoshots from the gig:
Live at Otto bar, Baltimore MD.
At the venue we also met Baltimore's mr Punkrock himself, Rude-A from The Jakkpots. He was there to see the Hymans play and I guess he liked it because that's what he told us anyway. He even wanted us to be on the next compilation "This is American Punk Vol. 2".
So I guess it was a cool gig, absolutely the best so far. We sold a couple of CD's as well so we had at least got some money to pay the gas.... We even got payed from the bar as The Fuses played for free even if they were headlining. Thanks Kevin and the rest of the band.
Next band up after us was a pretty way over refreshed DEC... They were just to drunk to play but somehow they kept it together and avoided a total disaster. Then there was The Fuses... great band and a pretty good gig... I think they were a bit disappointed afterwards nut that was nothing compared to DEC... They almost got into a serious are-we-gonna-continue-this-tour discussion... Fortunately they didn't.
After the gig we went home to Kevin and had a party... Some of us really blasted out and everyone got pissed or stoned or drugged in one or other way. Even some group-sex appeared I heard the day after... Well I guess it's only rock'n roll...
Next day we just spent in Baltimore as we had no gigs and didn't wanna travel more than necessary. We went to see a movie again and saw a cop-bust. Dave and Graham in DEC told us they had been out for a walk and suddenly there was only colored people everywhere and some really bad news guys shouted at them that they were white trash and things like... - White ass motherfucker, come on and we'll fucking kill your sorry white asses...
A few moments later a cop car stopped by their side and asked them why the hell they were in this neighborhood... You're gonna get killed unless you run outta here as fast as you can, they said and left them there... so Dave and Graham ran outta there and apparently survived with a big portion of fear...
Next day it was time to leave Baltimore for Betlehem, Pennsylvania and our 4TH gig. We packed our things together and left in the afternoon. Neil was driving the DEC car... One of the DEC guys had to pick up his driving license at a police station somewhere in Baltimore... Gee man it was a thrill to hang on to them this time... we decided when we lost them to drive on our own towards Bethlehem..
Neil Curran of the Dead End Cruisers.
The estimated drive time was like 4 hour... I was the driver and everybody else the drinkers... You bet it was like a hog farm in the car and everybody claimed they knew the way so we kinda fucked up big time and had to drive for like 8 hours!!! Well well Second Avenue was still there in Bethlehem and we came just in time for the first band to enter the stage. The Fuxx from Allentown, the bigger neighbortown to Bethlehem. They were OK but I missed most of the concert and we were kinda spinning when we came there, you know lack of concentration. Even here we got free drinks and when DEC played Johan went berserk and had a good draw from the rest of the audience which pleased DEC a lot I guess as they shouted "Long live Sweden....etc".
It was a real gag to see Johan at his party-best!! I can say DEC took a great vengeance upon themselves with that gig! When it was our turn Johan continued his crusade and it was a really funny gig even though it wasn't that many audience.. They even knew our old songs!!!! In USA that was cool as fuck!
After the gig we all went to a house of a girl and her boyfriend and a friend of theirs. She had by the way been an au-pair in Falun, Sweden! Just 70 km from Ludvika!! It's a small world...
At the party we got Blue Ribbon Beer and the local Yuingueling that actually was the best beer so far in the states... almost like real beer with body and character. Bempa dressed up as Superman with his balls almost hangin out of the dress... Man what a sight!!! Unfortunately we had no one to take any shots of him... Except from the girl there at the house... I would love to see one of those photos!!!
Friends at the party-house in Bethlehem.
Next day it was time for New York City and Don Hills in Greenwich Village, west Manhattan.
The drive took us only two hours and some 40 minutes to find the place.... DEC had no map of the town but then when we found out that we gave them one of ours and found the place almost instantly..
Bempa, Kempa, Micke and Peller ouside Don Hills, Greenwich Village, NYC.
Tired as hell we just took a nap in the venue.... Went away to see the classic CBGB'S on lower east Manhattan and the Bowery. I don't have to say it was a moment of history when we walked across china town and entered Bowery... Like "... now I'm on the Bowery can't remember my name bad bad brain...." wow!
Pelle, Micke and Kempa outside the legendary CBGB's NYC.
I guess you have to be a real Ramones fiend to understand what I'm talking about here.
I mean we were on sacred ground as Pelle claimed the first time we entered American ground at the JFK airport.
The only thing that kept us a bit down and mellow was the incredible heat!!! Jeeezzus it must have been at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit = 37 degrees Celsius. Imagine that in a big town like NYC it's not exactly the potion of life like mountain air...
We strolled around for like 3 - 4 hours and then we went back to the Don Hills Club again. It was getting dark now and we wanted to check out what was happening at the venue....
Dave Hoodlum, Graham Mills, Neil Curran and Brent Schumacher of The Dead End Cruisers @ The Bar in Don Hills.
Nothing much at all actually... there was a Canadian MTV band that was supposed to headline that was sound checking... Then the turn came to us for the sound-check...
Wow that was at least something- great sound as hell!
Then there was waiting until we started to play like 10 PM...
No one except from DEC the club-staff and the Canadians were there... Another rehearsal-gig and in NYC...
Unfortunately this was a gig we had had to move from the Coney Island High to Don Hills because Coney Island High had to close down... Good luck isn't our best friend unfortunately...
So we waited for DEC to play and then we left the club and drove out of Manhattan up north towards Massachusetts and Williamstown...
Another night to spend in the car awaited us..
Early in the morning on the 17th I started to drive the car..
... finally we reached the idyllic small Mohawk-country-one-horse-town called Williamstown, probably most known as the residence of Christopher Reeves (Superman). We tried to get a decent cheap motel but everything was expensive as hell... Only rich people seemed to be there and actually we wondered what the heck we were doing in such a place and if it was the right spot at all.... So we asked some kids for the club Mess Café and they told us the way... At least the right town and the place looked like a club but maybe a bit too casual...
The cook let us rest in the restaurant on a long bench couch...
Then the owner Nancy came and took us to her house, a really great nice house that we could spend our time in as long as we were there... Great!
She gave us beer and we could rest, it felt like heaven man! In the evening we went down to Mezzie (the clubs actual name) and awaited DEC to show up. They came around 9 and we had food and then they started to play in front of a pretty small middle-class-television-family-audience... no not that bad but almost..
We played last and the police came outside and told Nancy that we had to turn down the volume or else they'd do it for us... Rednecks!
So we played unloaded and went to Nancy's house for a party... Kinda nice party actually with a lot of whiskey and beer and bullshit!! Met some guys from "Chick Magnet 225", pretty good as well.
We crashed late or early or whatever you wanna call it...
Next day we had breakfast and went away for Providence, RI and a gig at Met Rock Café. The trip took us 5 hours or so... Actually very easy to find and we found the place as well without any big hassles...
Uloading the van ouside Met Café, Providence - Rhode Island.
We played second out of 3 bands with DEC as the main act this night. The first band was a local Providence act called "The Double Nuthins", actually a really great band! The best band so far live except from DEC and us of course ;-)....
The gig went very well.. I guess it was the best so far on the tour...Sold some shite as well. Guess DEC was kinda satisfied as well, Grahams sister Hollie came to look at us and well I guess Graham liked that.
The next two hours were spent at a pub that was really nice or maybe it was because we were on such a great mood... Pelle showed everyone his dick and shouted GG things and tales like many many times before...
A thing with him when he gets drunk I guess. The club then closed too early we got free Tequila shots from the barowner as well so it was really sad that it had to close... just as we had such a blast....
We slept on Ted of the Double Nuthins floor... He's a real nice guy an deserves a huge thanks!
Next day the 19 Th. we went away towards Connecticut and Gaylordsville....
After 5 hours ride in the countryside we found this real tiny little village..... Gaylordsville is a place with less than 100 persons... Jeezzus... and the Village Café was a OK place but were there gonna be any people at all? We went to the neighbor village Kent, where Kempa had to take a shot of him at the city limit sign, to shop around a bit and found a pretty decent record store.
Then we went back to the café where we had food, the owner was a hippie-guy and pretty cool. Another band from Pittsburgh had also arrived so we talked a bit to them outside... The DEC came and we were outside until like 9 PM and then we decided to get the hell outta Gaylordsville as no one was going to show up anyway... The Pittsburgers threatened the owner etc... Well well we went away in search of a pretty cheap motel...
This night we wanted a place to sleep badly. So actually we didn't care too much of the price... We found a place in a small town just inside Massachusetts called Great Barrington.
Next day it was time for Rochester, NY and a club called
"The Bug Jar"....
We went away pretty early and had a sandwich breakfast at a sandwich bar in Great Barrington. Bempa drove the car and succeeded to smash into another car when he reversed in a crossing. Fortunately no bad injury's happened so we could drive away safely
after all. Then Tina found out she had forgotten the band money at the hotel...
Now there was no time to lose.... we drove straight towards the motel and there they were in the small bag... wowee what a relief... hundreds of bucks we just couldn't afford to lose.
The drive towards Rochester had finally started and took us no more than about 6 hours on highway 92. After arriving to Rochester we found a place to park the car and then strolled around talked to some punk kids trying too sell some CD's without ay greater success, not even the record stores bought any from us.
The good thing was that the club the Bug Jar at least had our posters out and added for the gig! That made us on a hell lot better moods.
We went to a pub and ordered some decent Jack Killians beer and even got free pizza!
After a while we all got a bit drunk and went for the Bug Jar which now had opened it's gates for us.
The bartender was a cool guy named Bob as well as the owner, two Bobs...
After a while the DEC boys arrived and we started to carry the gear inside.
Free drinks in the bar and a band called The End was support band, a hardcoreish band from town... We finished off the gig that wasn't that great but neither that bad either. Afterwards Bob gave us all some tequila shots. Outside was DEC and Bempa talking to some hookers. As Pelle found out about that he instantly ran out and started to lick one of the girls tits, that she wanted everyone to see.
We were promised to sleep at Bob and Bobs places but decided to stay at the owners as he lived just 2 floors above the club!
Then it all started to happen real fast... Bempa fell into some kinda black out.... totally fucked up in his head he started to shout about where and when we should meet the day after... No one could talk to him as he didn't seem to hear or listen at
all... Just shouting aimless... Jeesus!
Pelle had it this time and kicked him out on the street, Bempa told him to come on and fight! So there they were in the middle of the street outside The Bug Jar fistfighting or something between that and wrestling... Pelle injured Bempa, of course, who like a shy dog went towards the car to sleep there. I guess he had a quite good lesson there. As they were fighting a police car stopped and I ensured that it was just two friends making up what's uneven between them and that nothing was gonna happen. They accepted it and drove away!!
Then Bob was really anxious, not hard to understand, about letting us sleep at his place. He also said earlier, as Bempa wanted the tit-girl to come up with us, that no fucking way she was coming up to his apartment and that she was real bad news.
After a busy night we all went up to Bob's place and slept over.
Next day it was time for Lancaster down in Pennsylvania. Nothing worth mention happened during our ride down there except from that Bempa threatened not to play the next gig = in Lancaster. It was a pretty long ride that took us like 7 - 8 hours before we reached the town. We didn't have any address but the place name was Yip Rock cafe so we thought that someone had to know about it... we asked one after another but no one seemed to know what it was at all and Lancaster is not that big so we started to be a bit anxious...
We even asked musicians but no one seemed to have a slightest clue about the Yip Rock place..
But then finally we met a guy who knew where it was.
Outside the club the white characteristic DEC van was parked and the guys where there as well and a whole bunch of punkrock kids as well!
This started too look promising indeed. We loaded the gear in side on stage and o'boy what a hot steamy place... Jeezus it was the worst so far... and on top of that, we should be playing here as well...
A local band called The Statiks started up andthey were prety good as well, Kempa even had to lend his bass guitar to them as they played off a string on it and then it was our turn... The gig was pretty good with at least a crowd and dancing kids. After the gig we sold a good deal of CD's as well but o'man it was hotter than hell I was swimming in my own sweat..
Then afterwards a girl asked me if we wanted to stay at her house and that we could have breakfast and everything in the morning when we woke up. I said maybe and she said that she would come back after driving her boyfriend to his house. We packed our stuff together and talked to the club owner, a cool mid age guy, who bought some CD's from us as well. DEC went away and everybody were gone except from us the club owner and a girl. Maybe Chrissie wasn't gonna come after all, typically shit outta luck!
But then she came! She guided us home to her house and made us some pizza, wow man this was great!
In the morning her mother made us pancakes with leaf tree syrup.. Corn flakes, bread etc.. hospitality is always a nice thing that really encourages you!
Time to go again.. towards Cleveland, Ohio where we should stay at Neils parents house. Another free night without hotels awaited us. The trip were supposed to be the longest so far so I guess we all feared for it a bit it's kinda tiring sitting in a car on the highways day after day as everyone that's been touring well knows.
I think we reached Cleveland, or the nice suburb where the Currans lived, about 3 - 4PM.
Immedieately when we came there we were treated really nice by Neils parents. We had some beers and the house was really nice and situated by a small lake... Guess what we did?
Me and Johan took a swim i the shallow lake, the water was really warm, must've been like 28 - 30 degrees Celsius... and the water was a bit muddy but still great enough to take a swim into.
A few hours later the DEC came and we had BBQ in the garden, some of Neils friends showed up and then it was time for the gig at "Talking tongues". The venue was placed in a supposedly bad neighborhood but nothing seemed to affect anyone because of that.
Inside the venue it was hotter than hell...
I think it was even worse than the night before in Lancaster.. pooh man. Two support bands before DEC entered the stage and the first band did as the custom says - played too long... Otherwise they were quite OK.
But the pause-music in the venue was something outta this world... Noise is the right word but not nice noise it was weird as hell... Nothing matched the bands playing, I wonder why some places do that...I mean is it to scare the bands and say that don't fucking come here and think you're something you are not...
DEC played a decent gig and then it was our turn.. Our gig went really well as well but Bempa had to quit after the ordinary 12 song set... it was simply too hot. He almost passed out in there!!! I can admit that I once again had taken a natural shower in my own sweat.... Neat aint it!
After the gig we packed the stuff together and went to a friend of Neil's named Hannah. The gig had given us a decent salary and also sold some CD's so we were on a pretty good mood again!
Hannah lived about 5 - 6 km's from Neil's parents so it was like 45 minutes drive from Cleveland to get there.
The party wasn't too wild but OK. Pelle talked a lot of GG again so I guess things were kinda normal. No scandals this night. We went away with our car around 4 AM Lucky enough and like a miracle almost like divine intervention we found ourselves back to the Curran house.
Next day we had some great breakfast and said good-bye of Neils parents. Now it was time for motor city rock city Detroit, Michigan. Also one of the worst towns in the world according to violence and crime.
We were supposed to play in a real bad neighborhood at a place called "The Gold Dollar". The trip took around 4 - 5 hours so that was a piece of cake. We stopped at a friend of Brent's called Steve up north of Detroit in decent neighborhoods. Then it was time to enter motor city and The Gold Dollar. Rough neighborhood yes but nothing happened while unloading the cars. Inside the venue there were video screens for the cameras outside. Behind the bar a ready shotgun told us that this was no picnic in the green green grass of home. We were supposed to play with a Detroit band called "Motor City Wrecks". We started up this evening and it was not a too enthusiastic gig... DEC were also a bit tired and the Motor City Wrecks weren't that impressing either but me and Pelle thought they were pretty OK anyway which not our bandmates Kempa and Bempa agreed in. This was a pretty calm night a fast loading of the DEC van and our car and then back to Steve's place. We had to sleep in our car again because Steve's apartment were too small for all of us.
The Next day it was time for Columbus, Ohio. A trip that started great and without any greater efforts we found our way outta Detroit. Then we missed a exit from the highway that costed us half an hour. Then in Columbus we found the venue almost directly. The owner was cool and said we had a couple of free drinks and free food so we were quite satisfied with that. The gig was prety fucked up though... really a bore. We played without any enthusiasm at all. Packed the stuff together afterwards we talked a bit to Hannah and her boyfriend.
Went to the managers place and chatted a bit with some of his room mates.
The Next day on sunday the 25th we went up towards Detroit again for a gig at the Belzeebub Club. A thing started by the Trash Brats, Detroits leading glam punk band! The gig was pretty poor again like if we were waiting for something better... Canada perhaps.
Pelle Hyman at a Drugstore in Detroit, Michigan.
Larry our Record label manager had came all the way from Hailton Ontario to meet up with us and bring all our records etc into Canada to avoid hassles with the Canadian customs that were supposed to be really hard boiled ones. Larry went away like an hour before us and he took the bridge over which we did not. We took the tunnel that were supposed to be a bit milder.
But thenlike it always is when you've prepared for hard times it was a piece of cake. We just exposed the certificate Larry wrote for us telling we were not a touring band but a band who were supposed to record in a studio for our label AMP Records. The customs guard got a bit pissed when I asked him if there were any great ice-hockey teams at all in Canada...
Kempa drove the car all the way to Hamilton which took around 3½ hr. drive on the freeway from the border. We knocked at Larry's door around 5:30 AM.. He was groggy after like one hour sleep or so... He took us to J.T. Vapids apartment where we were supposed to spend the nights in Canada. All of us crashed instantly and didn't woke up until afternoon. Everyone had to exchange some cash to Canadian currency. That procedure took us more than an hour!! I silently wonder why it has to be such a byrocracy everytime you want to do something on a bank...
We shopped around for a few hours and what is there to say about our first impression of Canada?
It's more like Sweden, calmer and seems more easy, no bad neighborhoods...
In the evening that day we went to Larry and Patties place for food and beer and cozy living...
Next day we got up late and spent the whole day in Hamilton area, checked out some poor record stores and bout a super cool Black Flag book by Henry Rollins, "Get in the van", I can recommend it to all true Black Flag fans! A real laid back easy day free from al responsibilities it was really great at that moment.
Now it was time for Toronto the ice-hockey crazy town of Ontario... Also one of Canada's major cities, supposed to be a really great town to visit. Only about an hours drive from Hamilton. We spent the entire afternoon walking around on Queens street where the venue was, a place called "Bovine Sex Club" - promising name...
« Bempa, Pelle, Micke and Kempa outside the Bovine Sex Club
venue in Toronto.
The place was soo cool a real Clockwork orange feel of it you could almost cut out the atmosphere around it. The guy at the club was cool and told us it was going to be a lot of people tonite.
Everything looked so cool but then we heard that DEC were supposed to play another venue called "El Mocombo"... We had been booked on the best club for the nite and our buddies couldn't be at the spot that didn't feel good at all.
Anyway there was nothing to do but killing time and that was an easy thing to do in Toronto that really is a great town... Especially around West Queens street, a lot of rock and horror related shops and bars etc... I really love places like that.
We visited a bar and took a few beers as usual and then went back to Bovines... Still no one to take care of the stage but he arrived pretty soon. Then we went away for our stuff and rigged the stage. Now it was confirmed that DEC wasn't gonna play with us tonite... A shame really but nothing that we could do about it.
Bempa, Pelle and Kempa tuning up on stage at the Bovine Sex Club venue in Toronto.
Spolied Rotten , Larry Retard's band started off and to be honest they didn't do their best gigs tonite. Guitar problems and too long set I guess, but in some of their best moments they really rock and are worth seing!
We went on at about 11 PM and played an average gig for a lot of people though and it was kinda nice but Bempa was to pissed and stoned so he missed a lot there.. Pelle was really mad at Bempa because of that and then DEC came.... Neil told me to come out on the street with him and Larry... Trouble in the air...
Neil really spanked his arse on the sidewalk there, not literally but by mouth... Larry had booked them on Mocombo an almost empty place for the night so I can understand Neil got mad about it as Bovine ( our place ) was packed. Fortunately no fighting came around.
Then the girls at the bar decided that DEC was going to play anyway and so we rigged the stage again and DEC started to play like 12:30 PM and then they wanted us to play once again... We started like 1 PM and played a set of Ramones songs and finished off with Elvis Presleys Always On my Mind and now there was some real action... more people and a great crowd!! The best gig so far on the entire tour no doubts at all. A lot of people came and thanked us for a great gig and especially one guy I remember telling me FUCK ON MAN - FUCK ON!
Really a gig to remember and wanting to redo! After the gig Pelle and Bempa started to argue and Bempa said he was gonna quit the band..
No one really complained about that... we had actually talked about give him the butt-foot outta here but never did so now we maybe thought he was gonna quit by himself and feel better about it. Anyway it was also decent pay after the gig $250.00 which was the best so far..
Toronto Rock City I would say rather that Detroit Rock City!
The second last day on the tour was Niagara Falls and S:t Catherine's. Pelle fopund out that he lost or forgot his bag with his passport and everything at the Bovine's.. 2 more days to go and he had no passport, now great!
We told Larry and Pattie about it and Pattie immediately called the Bovine's but noone answered. She told us to go to the Niagara falls anyway and said that she was gonna take care of things. So we drove to Niagara at about noon and watched the "great" falls. Actually they were great and the water seemed a lot more clean than I had expected... As always it was a hilarious tourism business around with souvenir shops hotels and casinos that almost made the falls feel insignificant. Then we went to S:t Catherienes and searched for the venue... some sportsclub. We found it and then we went for some nutritious fuel for our bodies.. We found a chinese restaurant with decent prices but an awful cousine...
It must've been the worst chinese I've ever tasted in my life and noone disagreed. Not even the doggybag for Bempa got all eaten. You see Bempa didn't have any money so he sort of starved himself to save some expenses which in most cases worked as the venues sometimes served us food and in most cases the places we slept on did that as people are very hostile in America!
Well well then we went to see a movie at a theatre in a shopping mall. The only film available was "Lake Placid" with Bridget Fonda.. A lousy poor story about a huge crocodile stranded in a freshwater lake in Maine called Lake placid. After the great horror movie we all went amazed to the venue and waited again for DEC. They came a bit later as usual, a smart think that eliminates boring waste of time. We fixed the stage and then the support bands played: The Subspecies and a nother band from Toronto that I don't remember the name of. We played second last this evening and we did good for a poor audience. The most cool thing about the venue was that The Ramones has been playing there with Richie on drums back in 1988. So we went back to Hamilton and crashe early in the morning once again.
The last day on the tour we were supposed to play two gigs. One at the Sonic Union Music store and one at Corktown Tavern, the first place with our own large sign outside! That was rad! We started at Larrys mother and fathers place where we were celebrating Larrys 31st birthday!
The whole afternoon we spent in the garden drinking and eating.... Hot as always but nice and relaxing.
Larry started to shoot some water gun at us and really enjoyed himself doing it....He he. Then at 5PM we went away to play the Sonic Union Record Store... A pretty good store actually but not many people showed up so we decided to skip it... We gave a way some records to those kids who had showed up.. What a benefit huh!
Then we packed our stuff at the apartment which had no furnitures the last night so we slept on the bare floor... hard and hard too slep as well. We visited The Spolied Rotten's rehearsal room/studio. A really great place, we envy you deeply Candy!
Then it was time for the Corktown Tavern and riggin up!
We met a guy called Imants, a punkrock veteran that had heard so much great things about us from the Toronto gig... People had said that we were absolutely fabulous... Another guy had taken a day off just to see us! This were promising man!
Larry Retard, Micke, Candy and JT Vapid (Spoiled Roten) at the Corktown tavern in Hamilton, Ontario.
As a starter the Spoiled Rotten played a great gig, much better than in Toronto. DEC were up next and then we were supposed to be the main act! We played a great gig in front of a great audience and people were dancing and flooding the stage and all... at least a decent finish of the tour. Dave and Graham boarded the stage and sung with us in some Ramones tunes at the extras... Finished off with Always on my mind and then there was time for the sad bye bye of DEC and everyone...
Micke and Dave of Dead End Cruisers at the Hymans gig @ Corktown Tavern in Hamilton.
I took a shower at Larry and Pattie's apartment then we went towards Buffalo and the USA about 3:30 in the morning. We drove all nite and reached New York City at about 12 - 1 o'clock so we cruised the hectic traffic of Manhattan and crossed the entire island and then we went to JFK airport for the departure to Sweden.
Bye Bye America hopefully we'll come back one day!