Smugglers Texas Tour 1999
Starring Your Smugglers with The
Donnas and the Cuts, and Lookout Records gang Utrillo, Tristin, Chris and JayMo.
Thursday March 18
SxSW Lookout Showcase, Emo's, Austin TX
(w/ The Donnas, Pansy Division, The Hi-Fives and The Cuts)
Us Smugglers were all really excited to do this tour, as it marked
the first time we'd been back to Austin since '97 and the rest of Texas since - holy shit
- '94!!! And for our first night back, a five band Lookout Showcase in the thick of SxSW
1999. Doing these big showcases right off a plane sounds glamourous but is always a little
tough. It means we've usually gotten up at the ass crack of dawn, flown all day,
dehydrated ourselves with mile-high booze, usually transfered a flight or two, and lost a
few hours to time zones here and there. Then you gotta get up and rock out in front of a
packed club filled with "music industry big wigs", "rock stars" and
"famous people" in amongst the attending fans from around the world. Actually,
come to think about I guess it doesn't sound that bad!
This show was certainly cool, in world
famous Emo's, usually the hub of SxSW, right on the strip. It's typically warm down in
Texas in March, and though it was humid, it also fucking POURED rain ALL NIGHT. Because
there's usually so little sky water fallin' in Texas, a lot of the clubs are "open
air" with like, no roof, open to the stars. Emo's is half and half, with, thank god,
the stage area covered. On this night the heavens literally opened, sending drenching
sheets of water down onto Austin, flooding the city and the club. There was an actual foot
of water in front of the bar, and several inches throughout the club. The only saving
grace from all the rain? After all these years, finally, for the first time ever, NO ONE
asked us why we were all wearing rubber boots.
Though thoroughly soggy, the show went off
well and everyone had a great time. No one got electrocuted, and during our set ol' Joe
Queer even jumped up and sang a couple of Queers songs with us. Chris from Pansy Division
judged the dance contest, and we saw friends from Seattle, New York, Atlanta, Chicago,
Florida, England, Toronto... shit... all over the place!
That night us Smugglers were at our thrifty
best and managed to hustle our full fivesome into the motel room of lovely Tristin and
hairy Utrillo (he was sporting a brand new mustache for this trip) from Lookout. Now
course we had other things on our minds besides sleeping and vainly tried to whoop it up.
Surely we hurled a few slurred passes at Tris, but being the Lady she is, she brushed off
our drunken advances like an old mule to a swarm of pesky mosquitos. We all passed out
pathetically in various corners of the room, leaving Tristin to clean up our mess before
she shit the sack. I mean hit the sack!
To our utter horror, minutes after losing
conciousness, we were awoken by a screeching death wail from Tristen's torrid talk pipe.
There she was, pointing at me, jaw agape. Clad was I in but a ghostly pair of gig-ginch, I
had mistakenly passed out spread eagle on her bed. Unbeknowst to me, hanging out of the
"trap door" of my Canadian gonch like a greasy rat from a sewer grate, was...
none other than my shy little friend "Mr. Peepers"... if you know what I mean.
Otherwise known as "Sir Richard Cheese", if you catch my meaning? To be blunt,
the cheesey end of my dirty ol' fuckstick flopped out onto her bed and she freaked out.
Friday March 19
Galaxy Club, Dallas TX
(w/ The Donnas, The Cuts)
We awoke to fuzzy rays of Texas sunshine
streaming through the motel window, compounding our headaches, but getting us up and
raring to go, only to find out that because of a few age restrictions and weird
"Texan Laws", the Donnas were unable to rent their own car for the trip! Since
all us Smugglers are well into our forties (JUST KIDDING)... we stepped in and ended up
taking shifts for the rest of the trip, chauffeuring the Donnas in their swanky rented
Jeep Cherokee while we followed along in our mommy minivan.Beez took the first Donna
driving shift, and was a little dismayed to find that the Donnas like to spend their van
time listening to the likes of RATT, Iron Maiden, Sepultura and Motley Crue CRANKED. Since
Beez usually likes spending long drives quietly discussing each chapter of "I'm OK,
You're OK" at length, or listening to either Wings, or a Margaret Atwood
cassette-novel, he felt slightly ill at ease.
The club that... afternoon... (early show)
was in one of those designated "party zones" that many American cities like to
set up... South Street in Philly, the Flats in Cleveland, 6th Street in Austin. Bar after
bar after bar; total cruising all night long. It was a fun show, our first time ever in
Dallas, and lots of kids came out, danced around, bought stuff and said hi. Dave has
family in the Dallas suburbs, so we were lucky enough to crash out at their sprawling
estate, with the Donnas staying at a motel nearby.
around the burbs' highway exits there's a bunch of "party themed" restaurants
with names like "Howdy Hungry Hicks With Chicks!", "The Yeeha Surprise
Surfin' Shack 'n' Snack Attack!", "Wacky Goodtime's Giggle Stop 'n' Pop Some
Booze Now!" and "Mexicali Mike's Stinky Pits". We eventually got a table
for ten at the "Chilli's Chunder Factory". These restaurants are basically built
for suburban yuppies afraid to go downtown for fear of getting shot by a black person, so
they drive two blocks in their Land Rover to get shitfaced in a strip mall with their
fiances and buddies. They serve all sorts "party drinks" like the panty remover,
the cock sucker, the blue spew. Since the Donnas are all under twenty one, we had to play
pimpin' sugar daddies (no problem) buying double the amount of booze, then cooly sliding
the extra drinks across the table. For instance... "I'll have a five gallon bottle of
Bud... and a double jizzy twizzler, please". Worked like a charm and we left the
place on hands and knees!! YEEEHAAA!!!!
Sat March 20
Fitzgerald's, Houston TX
(w/ The Donnas, The Cuts, REO Speed Dealer, Zeke, L7)
We spent the morning exploring Dallas' eery
Dealy Plaza, and joined up with a damn good walking tour by a guy from the Conspiracy Museum.
We stood on the Grassy Knoll, touched the wooden fence, visited the JFK gift shop, paid
our respects, and pointed the party caravan south towards the Gulf.During the drive down
to Houston, our two vehicles got into a "sign war"... the Donnas would pull up
beside us with a sign that said "Impotence. Definition: Smugglers". We'd then
pull up to them with a sign that said "You are all bitches". Creative stuff like
that. The sun was out, the weather was hot, and we had a great drive.
Fitzgerald's is in a rural area of Houston,
and from the outside looks like a huge old house on a dirt lot. Inside there's two
sections: a big concert room where L7 was playing that night, and a smaller, cooler room
downstairs where our show went down. Besides being treated like TOTAL SHIT by the club
management, we had a really wild time at this place. An out-of-control crowd helped fuel
very inspired performances from the Cuts, us and the Donnas. The Houstonites were in a
dancing frenzy - great to see - and Chris Appelgren from the Peechees joined us on stage
to sing "Buddy Holly Convention" and "She Ain't No Egyptian". What a
wild showman! He simulated giving me a blow job during the guitar solo!
The club gave us somewhere in the
neighborhood of zero beer tonight, so thanks to the craftyness of the Cuts, we managed to
sneak about 100 cans of Old Milwaukee into the dressing room, and we all went pretty nuts.
Grape nuts, in fact. Moustachioed merch man Utrillo didn't have to look after the CDs
tonight since Tristin offered to do it (Tristin and Chris drove down from Austin for the
show) so he got L-O-A-D-E-D. L7's dressing room, right beside ours, had all sorts of fancy
food and candy and stuff - a rider that we would only ever see in Europe or Japan. Texas?
Forget about it. Nonetheless, Utrillo kept sneaking in there stealing stuff, until he
eventually came into our room with a ripped open jumbo box of Grape Nuts and, while
screaming "The L7! The L7!" sprayed the cereal all over everything and everyone
in the room. Beer, fruit, canned tuna, wet clothes and rubber boots followed, until our
room was a total disaster. Utrillo then followed L7 out to their van after the show, screaming
at them "The L7!! Bitches, I fuckin' just used to fuckin' LOVE your shit, man!! I
mean, it's you, fuck, it's The L7!! Brotherman, whooooo!!! Thank you so much for some of
your... fuck, your early singles, lady loves!!! Fuckin' some rocked hard cock on that
shit!!!! Ah, what's wrong, little baby? The L7! I don't believe it! Party jamz! Fuck, I
missed your set tonight, but dude, fuck, I just wanted to get to giggin' with the band-
oop!!! I dropped my bottle a wine!!!!".
Sun March 21
White Rabbit, San Antonio TX
(w/ The Donnas, The Cuts, The Heartattacks)
While all involved in the previous night's
embarrassing debauchery nursed a hefty Houston hangover, us Smugglers wanted to make
tracks to San Antonio early so we could drag the Donnas to the Alamo. The sun was baking
southern Texas, and finally it was my turn to drive the Donnas. All along the side of the
highway were endless meadows of blooming wild flowers, but my suggestions to pull over and
run hand in hand with the Donnas through the pretty roadside meadows were met with
disgusted stares, middle fingers, a vicious punch to the shoulder, and a crank of the
volume knob. Twisted Sister.
We made it to the Alamo, which is right
dead centre of downtown. It's wide open to the public, and the grounds inside the fortress
walls, once filled with 19th century carnage, now boast bright flowers, tall palm trees,
and weird tropical plants at every corner. A visit to the gift shop, a photo with a park
ranger, a paying of our respects, and we were out of there. The last time the Smugglers
played San Antonio we had a great time on a Monday night at a little riverside dump called
Taco Land. This time we ended up at the local metal bar with a stage painting/backdrop
that was the most hideous, demonic "white rabbit" airbrushed van-art gone wrong
ever conceived by brush and oil.
The show was still a fun one to play, and
we were treated well. The Cuts went bananas tonight, surely a tough act to follow, but we
did fine... I think. The Donnas were again great, consistently so every night, and the
opening act the Heartattacks were Beez' favourite local openers of the trip. All three
members of the Heartattacks managed to win our dance contest, too. Wildman Jason
"JayMo" Morgan from the Cuts entourage had been drinking all day under the Texan
sun, and insisted on doing a big on-stage Smugglers introduction before our show, so he
did, and promptly puked all over the backstage in a fit of maximum rock 'n' roll and
sickly drunkeness. He had puke breath for the rest of the night, but no matter, his shit
breath covered it up nicely!
After the show, our leftover energy erupted
like my ass on the plane the next day into an impromptu parking lot party with all four
bands and a lucky late night Pizza Man. We swilled hootch, sucked back pizza pie, yelled
"Pizza Man!", and took the ever important group photo. As the last drop of good
time gas was licked up, we said our teary goodbyes. Thanks to the Donnas, the Cuts and all
our friends in Texas. Until next time...
See you in the front row!