Let There Be Rock!
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Let There Be Rock!

Have you ever seen those cowboy movies where the hero has the shoot out at high noon in the main street of the dangerous border town. Everyone ducks and runs inside as he faces off with the hired gun of the evil water stealing, cattle rustling, land baron motherfucker. I went to movieland in the States and went to the generic gone horse townh movie set and wasn`t particularly surprised to see the buildings were all just wooden fronts propped up by beams.

What does this have to do with rock and roll? Well, it seems to me that a lot of people in the music gbusinessh seem to have a similar thing going on, they walk around holding up these flashy fake gfrontsh advertising themselves as gpromoterh or glabel headh or gmanagerh when if you look at them side-on you`ll find its all a bunch of horse shit. Unfortunately by that stage they have already bullshitted you enough that you have wasted a lot of time and or money. Here`s a few of the wankers we have met during our time in Tripod Jimmy.


1: The Club Manager Prick in Yokohama.

We had made the long haul up North to play a Tokyo/Yokohama pair of shows, Tokyo Friday and Yokohama Saturday. We were getting a ride from our good friend Junkichi from the Osaka grind-core band Godie, he wanted to come up and hang out with us. We rolled into Yokohama Saturday after a successful show the night before feeling shattered as usual after way too much after-show celebrations. For some reason, god knows why, we always seemed to find ourselves in a bad way after playing in Tokyo. Itfs probably because we used to play lower down the bill there so we had the chance to get stuck into the drinks while watching the later bands. Then there were the after-show piss ups at izakayas that Japanese bands always organize. A very good custom, but it made for some miserable drives. We drove up to the club in time for soundcheck and were surprised to see the blackboard outside didn`t have our name on it. gOh wellh we said to each other git`s probably advertising for last nights showh. The date said otherwise, but we figured it was probably just a mistake. Right? We unloaded and went into the club, wanting to get soundcheck and maybe a sneaky afternoon beer behind us. The club owner seemed surprised to see us, especially as he was expecting us tomorrow, Sunday. Shit. There it was right there in his schedule book. Tripod Jimmy, Sunday. Our gmanagerh had booked us into this one, so we got on the phone to him. Of course, he blamed the club owner. The club owner blamed him. No one was prepared to admit to anything other than total professionalism on their part/ utter ineptitude from the other guy. Lots of finger pointing ensued, when the only thing we wanted to know was gwhat do we do tonight?h The club owner was adamant. There was no way we would be allowed to play that night. Okay, well in that case, we were very sorry, but we were going to have to cancel. Junkichi had to work on Monday, it wasn`t fair to ask him to stay and drive back overnight Sunday. Nope, that wasn`t on either. If we cancelled, he was going to ban us at his club. He would also call all the other live houses he knew and tell them about our slack ass bad attitude. Plus all the other bands on the label would be tarred with the same brush. Great. We had to do the show. We went out for dinner and drinking, and slept on someonefs floor, a friend of one of the other bands. Not a bad night at all especially the slightly fruity friend of our hosts who came in to check the water was hot enough and that we knew where the soap was every five seconds one of us was in the shower. Except Tomo for some reason. As Junkichi had to go back, we found ourselves running down to the train station to get the Shinkansen after our show. Five people showed, and it cost us 65,000 yen for train tickets. We have never been back there again anyway.

2: The gEvents Promoterh

Our gmanagerh phoned us up in a high state of excitement. gHow would you guys feel about doing an arena tour with Hi Standard!!??h. Yes, it was all on, a promoter he had met in Nagoya (gCall me Zack, after Zack Wyldeh- Never trust Japanese guys named after heavy metal guitarists) was setting up a massive promo drive for Toyota. Huge arena events, up and down the length of Japan. Fireworks, T.V, radio, the whole works. We would be part of the musical entertainment as Zack was way into us. The respective plastic personalities of Zack and our gmanagerh had bonded with each other at one of our shows. They were both impressed by each others notebook organizers, name cards, (Zack: Promotions, T.V and Media. Manager: Promotions, Record label president, Music production, Band management, Video production, Music publishing and Media. Quite a range huh?) and endless bullshit storms. They had schemed and had meetings, inflating and inflating until Zack, in a burst of utter booze induced fantasy had come up with the Toyota thing. We were to get flown to all the shows, hotel rooms and costs met, plus 200,000 yen per show, playing to audiences of 15-20,000. Sounded good, too good, but Dammit! He was so convinced it was going on! gWhen the labels find out you guys are doing this, wefll have you on Sony in no timeh our manager gushed. Work schedules were changed. Plans were made. Of course, there were no shows. Never even got close. Zackfs company had a pitch meeting to Toyota who wisely decided to pass citing the gdownturn of the economyh. Didnft bother to tell us of course, just stopped taking our managers calls. Nice. In the times we have met him since, liquored up at our shows, he has offered us a video deal on his T.V show, an appearance in a movie, and gigs at a monster truck event and at a car show. Needless to say, none have materialized.


3: the Washed Up Deluded gRock Starh 

We showed up in Nagoya for the start of our supporting jaunt through Japan opening up for the Smugglers (great guys!), Supersnazz (bitches) and the big gstarsh the Queers, a lower rung American punk band. They were on Lookout Records, home of Green day before they got huge. Green Day were now swimming in pools of cash, and the Queers were still trawling the punk rock shitholes of the world, much to their leader Joe Queers disgust. He deserved better godammit! And those around him were made to see his point of view on this fact, loudly and repeatedly.

Things were rocky right from the start. The last time the Queers came out, they were playing to 3-400 a night. Probably because the Japanese promoter did some work on the tour or something. Our gmanagerh had booked this one, and his promo consisted of sitting with a calculator and rubbing his hands with glee at the thought of all the cash he was going to get from these 3-400 potential (more like gimaginaryh) kids every night. Oh yeah, and getting us to go out postering with some photo copied black and white posters. Needless to say, the customers were pretty thin on the ground, and Joe was getting pissed off.

We walked backstage and were met by our manager.

gDon`t drink backstage!h

gDon`t let Joe even see a beer! He`s a recovering alcoholic and he won`t play if he sees a beer!h.

Great. This big baby had a wittle dwinking pwoblem and we were the ones going cold turkey. Joe was in a bad mood, whinging and groaning about – in no particular order – the transport (didn`t like the van, wanted to go on the train), the soundcheck (couldn`t hear his voice), accommodation (wanted a nice hotel instead of the Ryokan) and of course, the lack of customers. He was gfucking going back to Hawaii man, fuck thish. Our gmanagerh was being taken aside for longer and more bitter gchatsh every few hours.

Later that night, there he was, cranking our the big hits, sub-Ramones dirges called gHey Motherfuckers I only Drink Budh and gFag Townh (gFagtown Fagtown Fagtown SUCKS!h). 


Next day we were off to Tokyo. It was pretty damn cramped in the vans as Joe refused to travel with more people in his van than was gcomfortableh for him. Needless to say, the other van was crammed. The Tokyo show was more of the same, Joe getting shittier and shittier as things went on. The only bright spot on the horizon was the hotel we were staying in that night. Yes! A hotel! Everyone had their own room! Joe was pleased. Typically our gmanagerh hadn`t told him it was actually a capsule hotel. He was doing his usual trick of letting a problem grow and grow until it was scary.

Later that night we headed up in the elevator. Joe was pleased as punch. gWhat floor are you guys rooms on?h he asked his bandmates. He wasn`t a happy man when the elevator door opened. After a night stewing, it was time for the big talk. Something had to give or Joe was ggoing back to fucking Hawaii and my girlfriend man!h The gsomethingh was us. We were off the tour. The vans were just gtoo crowded manh and Joe wanted the whole back seat to himself. We were the bone our gmanagerh was to use to appease the wrathful god Joe. We had used up all our holidays at our jobs. But tough shit. We had to take the train back to Osaka at our own expense. All of us except Andy that is. No, as one of the only two drivers he had to finish out the tour. He started as the singer from one of the bands and finished as Joefs driver.   These are just the people off the top of my head. There have been many many others out there I could write about, from the club manager (gHey our contract says 10,000 yen per band member! This is only 40,000!h gYes but there`s five of you, we usually only have four piece bandsh gSo why don`t you just say 40,000 on the contract?h gCause sometimes we have three piece bands and we only pay them 30,000h), the gig promoter (gHere`s the poster I made, what do you think of it?h gLooks not bad actuallyh gGreat Ifll stick it on the doorc.h gOh, I see, THE poster you madec..h One paying customer, his girlfriend), the Osaka glabel headh who moved back to the States, someone riding past his place found 3-400 Cd`s from a variety of bands (they had paid for the manufacture of them of course) on his label in the trash outside his house, to the club manager who absconded with the bar take and salary of the staff one day before we were due to play there. The club closed of course. And of course, who could forget our erstwhile gmanagerh. I could write pages on his crimes alone, but I won`t get too far into his case as it pisses me off just thinking about him. I am reminded of his skills everytime I see the cover of our gInterimmerh EP. It`s a kind of washed out blurry grey instead of the sharp black and white of the back. This is because he sent the wrong kind of graphic file to the pressing plant, despite clear instructions, which he didnft read. When it looked like the discs werenft going to be back in time for our Australian tour, he sent them the graphic again. By fax. Nice. They were late anyway, and we had no idea what had happened until they arrived. Have you ever seen the bit in Spinal Tap where the manager opens up the box of records and tries to talk them into accepting the plain black sleeve? And pretends it was meant to be that way? And says it looks cool and it was by design? Spinal Tap is a documentary, it really is.



by Shane Inwood

Colonel Chuck Barfman was in enemy territory, flying low over the enemy when a lucky shot caught him in the face. It swiftly burned its way into his stomach. He turned green. gIfm hit!h he screamed clamping his hands over his face. His wingman, Major Ralph Vom Spewmeister could only watch in horror as Chuck lurched convulsively and performed an emergency maneuver known among the troops as an gExorcisth. Tomorrow morning was not going to be pretty. The long term damage from alcohol has been well documented. Everything from liver failure, impotence and depression to utter insanity lies in that refreshing lager. Hands up who thinks the big floppy man tits youfll get from all the female hormones in there are attractive? Good luck attracting a mate with a string of reeking turds oozing out of your granny nappies and spastic drooling fits caused by Wernickefs Encephalopathy. Mind you, wearing Depends and having your dinner through a straw wonft worry you by that stage, because youfll also have Korsakoff`s syndrome, a mental disease with symptoms indistinguishable from the final stages of Alzheimers. Youfll probably think you used to be the President of America. Break out the champagne! But thatfs years away. Before you reach the messy ending of your drastically shortened life, you will have to wake up a lot of times after a night of gjust a couple of drinks.h

For some reason guzzling a bottle of Jack followed up by a few swift embalming fluid shooters to ghelp you sleeph can leave you feeling a little ragged the next day. Youfll have shaking hands, and a pounding head, feel starving, yet strangely, the smell of food will make you want to spew. Youfll probably spew anyway come to think of it. But that wonft help, oh no. Youfll have a whole day of lying in bed weeping, blubbing and clutching your head ahead of you. Youfll say things like gGod, I know I donft talk to you much, but if you stop this, Ifll never drink again, I promisec. Ohgodohgodmyheadmakeitstop.h Like God actually gives a rats ass whether you cap off every day with a six pack. I mean, 24 beers in a case, 24 hours in His Blessed Days, I donft think thatfs a coincidence do you?

This feeling is what we in the medical profession call a HANGOVER. There are steps you can take to avoid HANGOVERS, and wefve hunted down advice from the experts. They range from alcoholics to raging alcoholics, and they know what to do. First, a bit of science. Hangovers are caused by the small MEANIES that live in booze. Sometimes when the light is just right, they become visible. The best time and place to see them is late late morning in a scummy rock bar with a heavily padded door. Rest your head on the bar and look through your drink from an inch away or so. The small black spots you see swimming in your drink are the MEANIES. Some of them may be carrying small spears or even pitchforks. They get into your brain and eat it from the inside and cause you HANGOVERS. Half a teaspoon of bleach in every drink will kill them however, or you could just do it as a shot if the taste makes you wince. In the interests of fair play however, I guess some other views should be imparted, please be aware that Head Cheese in no way accepts these crackpot ideas. One particularly whacked out theory is that hangovers are caused because alcohol, along with coffee, tea and Chinese ass-reducing pills is a very strong diuretic. This means it leeches water from your body out of all proportion to the amount you drink, thereby causing the interesting effect of girls leaping up en masse to rush off to the toilet every five seconds at work parties. As your body is about 80% water, itfs very important to keep your water level up. Medically, there is no difference between the guy who spent the day lying in the life raft in the Indian Ocean babbling deliriously and drinking salt water, and the guy who spent the day lying under the table in the Indian Restaurant babbling deliriously and drinking Salty Dogs. You can greatly reduce the amount of damage to your body, and thereby your hangover, by following some simple rules. Bare minimum: *DRINK WATER BEFORE BED!! DUMMY! Falling into bed, off your tits, straight from the bar is the easiest way to give yourself a hangover and maximize long term damage. Getting into the habit of drinking a litre of water before you go to sleep will help HUGELY. Even a can of sports drink while slumped over in the taxi on the way home is better than nothing.

Note: Be aware Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) in particular is VERY bad with alcohol. They react together to cause severe liver and kidney damage. Can you say gLarry Hagmanh? Aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen (such as Advil or Bufferin) promote gastrointestinal bleeding when mixed with booze. DO NOT get into the habit of washing down headache pills before sleep to help with your hangover on the gwake-up-after-itfs-already-workingh principle. A better strategy is to use codeine. If there is no choice in the matter, paracetamol and ibuprofen are the less damaging but WAIT etil the next day when there is not a lake of gin still in your stomach. You may not even need it if you drink the water.

Sensible measures: *Eating is very much recommended. Bar snacks donft count. A solid pile of greasy or stodgy crap is what you need. French fries, Ramen, plates of rice, spoonfuls of lard. During is best, before not bad, but after helps a lot too. *Cut down on the ciggies. gI only smoke when I drinkh is fine, but be aware itfs drying out your abused brain too, Low Tar or not. Start after midnight, or try and limit them to one an hour, rather than using the change from your first Harvey Wallbanger to purchase a pack of Mild Sevens and chain smoking the lot.

The pros recommend: *Vitamin B will buffer your brain from the effects of dehydration. Make gmatesh with a Kiwi or Aussie and get your hands on Berroca, a potent fizzy vitamin B pill. One of these before drinking helps a lot although it will make you piss weird colors. Vegemite also contains a lot of Vitamin B. Chocco BB pills in Japan have Vitamin B also, but Joe Wieder vitamin packs (those silver things containing snot in the 7-11) or general sports drinks help somewhat also. Even a couple of multivitamins before heading out is good. *Wash down those vitamins with a BIG GLASS OF WATER. Grab a WATER from the platform vending machine instead of the Lemon Chu-Hi on the way into town. Have a BIG GLASS OF WATER every couple of hours. Wash down the tequila shots with a BIG GLASS OF WATER. Seeing the pattern here yet? I am certainly not one to recommend cutting down on the drinking, but after going through my phase of geatingfs cheating, lets get HAMMEREDh I figured, why suffer? Youfd be surprised at the difference it makes. As my friend said gAnything that delays the doctor telling me to stop drinking is a must! Drinking is how I prove Ifm a man Godammit!h