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the fuck chronicles with your host, Eugene Haggis

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Hi. My name is Eugene Haggis - my friends call me Gene. I am the acting U.S. tour manager for the 1997 summer/fall fuck tour. It’s not a great job, but it’s better than what I was doing before I met the fuck guys (I was head of security at a dumpy west side thrift store in Portland, Oregon). Anyhow, acting U.S. tour manager for a small-time band like fuck is not a particularly demanding role. Consequently, Cool Beans! was able to convince me to spend some of my free time documenting the trivial and meaningless details that pass for life on the road.

July 24, Day 1 - Los Angeles

OK. July 24th. Day 1. Our mission is to drive from Oakland to Los Angeles and arrive in time for a radio interview on KBLT. We leave Oakland two hours late but somehow make it to the interview on time (sort of). Since I slept through most of the trip, I’m not sure how we made it to Los Angeles in near record time in a big underpowered van on one of the hottest days of the year, but the smoke pouring from our vehicle’s engine compartment could be a clue. Our host at KBLT is Paige and she is absolutely charming. My suggestion of canceling the tour and moving in with Paige is discussed briefly, but ultimately voted down.

After the interview and a tear-choked good-bye, we’re off to our sound check at Spaceland. I should diverge for a moment and comment on what a fine establishment this Spaceland place is. Mitchell and Linda standout as some of the best club bookers in the country. While we are loading in, we meet Dave, Tim and Steve from Two Dollar Guitar, who are sharing the U.S. tour dates with us. I can already tell that these are cool cats, much more interesting than the duds I am traveling with. I notice that they do not currently have an acting U.S. tour manager and make a mental note to investigate the possibility of a career move.

The show at Spaceland is uneventful. Two Dollar Guitar serve up a grand set, with lots of songs from their last cd and lots of new stuff I haven’t heard. We hook up with our ever gracious and entertaining host, S. Quinn, who has always functioned as a sort of guardian angel to fuck (she taught them how to silk screen t-shirts, gives them a place to stay in LA, and helps them find good local car mechanics). I suggest we cancel the tour and move in with Quinn, but Quinn and the band say no.

July 25, Day 2

There is a photo shoot scheduled for tomorrow and another show at Jabberjaw on Sunday, but no official band business is planned for today. Ever enterprising and productive, the fuck guys create some official band business by parking illegally and letting the van get towed.

July 26, Day 3

Today we head out to the Santa Monica Pier for a photo shoot for Bikini magazine, where we are greeted by our lovely photographer, Rebecca. After the required pictures have been taken, we retire to Hot Dog on a Stick for vegetarian corn dogs and lemonade. Across from the hot dog stand (which is staffed exclusively with darling young high school girls) is a women’s volleyball tournament. Certain that my life could never get any better than this singularly perfect moment, I quickly lobby for the idea of canceling the tour and spending our remaining days on earth with Rebecca at the Santa Monica Pier, but no one is listening.

After the pier, we visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Ted says it’s great and Ted is usually right about these things.

July 27, Day 4

An interesting Sunday show at Jabberjaw tonight. The guy at the door tells me not to wander too far from the club "for my own good." Wow. The opening act, some solo guitar guy, shows up for sound check but then decides not to play and goes home. Does he know something we don’t. Or is his seemingly bizarre behavior best ignored? Not being one to take any unnecessary risks, I spend most of the night in the van, hiding under the back seat.

We leave for San Francisco after the show. On the way home, the van’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic and frightening (I am easily scared by unexplained car issues). We make it all the way back to San Francisco safely, but it is obvious that something automotively foul has cometh our way.

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July 28, Day 5 - San Francisco

I am of the opinion that nothing can bring a semi-successful tour back down to earth quicker than the onset of debilitating vehicular mechanical problems. I have also learned that when car troubles are afoot, my talents are best plied elsewhere. Consequently, today is a shopping day for me - I guiltlessly abandon the fuck boys and their dysfunctional Dodge drivetrain and embark on a relaxing day of sampling the wares of a capitalist society run amuck. When I return to fuck world headquarters later in the evening, the van remains unrepaired and the noxious fumes of doom are everywhere.

July 29, Day 6

As the band continues to struggle with the errant van, I manage to polish off an entire box of out-of-date peanut brittle and six gummy bears I found under the sofa . After my nap, I do what I can to help prepare for tonight’s show at the Great American Music Hall. Much to my surprise, the band manages to rise above the threat of impending immobility and offer up their best set of the tour. Special guests U.S. Saucer are exceptional, and Two Dollar Guitar are characteristically splendid. The show is a great success in every way and I graciously accept all the credit.

July 31, Day 8, Seattle

After limping for 500 grueling miles up I-5 all night in the battered Dodge, we meet up with Geoff, Tim and Two Dollar Guitar in Eugene. Over the course of our trip, I have concocted a clever plan which will allow us to get the van fixed without missing any shows. On the way to Seattle, we stop in Portland, locate a credible mechanic, have our diagnosis confirmed and make an appointment to return first thing tomorrow for the necessary repairs. We then continue on to the show at the Crocodile in Seattle.

Seattle has always been strangely friendly to fuck. Along with New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Moorehead, it has become one of the preferred fuck tour stops. At the Crocodile, we meet up with Christine (Crocodile booker), Meg (Velvet Elvis booker), Diane (Crocodile cocktail wait person) and Cece (Sub Pop publicist extraordinaire). Inspired by the proximity of these four irresistible vixens, I decide to commence the breeding dance and select one of these females as my mate for the season. Unfortunately, I am unable to make my choice quickly enough, and the moment is lost. However, the balance of the evening comes off quite nicely, with superb performances from fuck, Two Dollar Guitar and Seattle locals, Juno.

We leave for Portland immediately after the show, and after a brief repose in a fine Washington State sponsored rest area (they offer free coffee and cookies), we make it back to Scott at the Portland Arco station (our mechanic/host) in time for our prearranged van therapy session.

On to fuck Tour Diary part 2 ->