Our Last Gig: Phoenix/Pomona
Is there anything more melancholy than driving through the desert in the rain?
Oh sure, when we packed up the gear and jumped in the luxurious CH3 landyacht, it’s all shits and giggles; Giddy to be on our way to the first road work of the year, we chatter away like tweakers on a first date.
It’s been a while since we’ve reconvened, and it’s a time to catch up as the gray warehouses of Diamond Bar, then Pomona float by….we display the latest scars, show off photos of the new grandchildren.
But soon the scenery changes from bleak suburbia to bleak desert, the windshield wipers ticking off a dreadful dirge as we speed through the wasteland.
Conversation slows, then stops altogether, and we each stare out the windows as the world passes by, thinking of home and wasted opportunities.
When we close our eyes to ward off the tears, it’s Eddie Vedder’s soundtrack to Into the Wild we hear……..
Heh—first piss stop just outside of Indio, and the sun is shining!! A new day, people—and a quick check to the ol Facebook confirms that it is raining in sheets back home….suckers!
Lunch is a quick stop at the Beer Hunter in La Quinta, yer ususual 19th hole tavern favored by the ladies who lunch and the unemployed who drink….
Made Phoenix by nightfall and need to stock up….
Overnight accomodations at a sterile business suite joint, but ya know it doesn’t take much to make it a home for us…..
Showtime at Hollywood Alley in Mesa with our pals in the Freeze —-a great damn show! Had more photos, but they were eventually confiscated by INS. We told them Anthony and Alf were legal, but we’ll let the courts decide!!
Sadly, not knowing our way around this burg after a couple decades absent, we had to settle for *sigh* Del Taco for our late night feed/debriefing session.
But Saturday saw us bright eyed and ready to take on the world–or at least some fine Bloody Marys at Suckerpunch Sally’s diner in Tempe.
Met up with Johnny and Tyler, and small world that it is, discovered we had many friends in common. Six degrees of T-Bone, as they say…!
Suckerpunch’s is a new roadhouse in the Tempe area, but these guys already have a good thing going. They showed us the Moonshine that is soon to be on the market…
…and proceeded to pour generous samples!
We reluctantly said goodbye to our Az pals and hit the ol Interstate 10 back toward Pomona.
Before hittin the Cali border, had to make a quick stop at Quartzsite….spied a bookstore right off the freeway on the way in, and you know we’re always on the lookout for first edition Jim Harrison, wot?
There I am- on bended knee- head tilted to scan the spines of a dozen Black Sparrow paperbacks, when I glance up and come nose to thong with the rascally bookstore owner…and nudist!
After the initial shock of dealing with a naked senior citizen (not to mention some pesky childhood memories that suddenly came rushing back!), we purchased a few mags as well as a nice Bukowski cd…..keep the change bub, and remember the sunblock eh?
Next stop: the Grubstake Social Club just a spell up the road yonder, turn left at the brown dog.
Regretted not having much of an appetite after scanning the tempting menu!
Back in the car, gotta make up for lost time! Pomona’s calling– seems as though people have been following Alf’s increasingly bizarre tweets, and there is serious doubt if we will actually make the gig…..
The skies darken, and we reluctantly head into the rain again. Lightning flashes in the distance, illuminating the barren landscape we’d skated a mere 20 hours earlier.
And once again, the chatter ceases, the car begins to go silent. A man’s thoughts turn inward, for there is no lonelier place on a Saturday night than the darkened cocoon of an American SUV, hurtling through the blackness…..
Luckily, I remembered the Bukowski cd in my pocket, slipped it in the dash and turned it up to 20:
from: Love is A Mad Dog From Hell
I don’t know how many bottles of beer
I have consumed while waiting for things
to get better
I dont know how much wine and whisky
I have consumed after
splits with women-
waiting for the phone to ring
waiting for the sound of footsteps,
and the phone to ring
waiting for the sounds of footsteps,
and the phone never rings
until much later
and the footsteps never arrive
until much later
when my stomach is coming up
out of my mouth
they arrive as fresh as spring flowers:
“what the hell have you done to yourself?
it will be 3 days before you can fuck me!”
the female is durable
she lives seven and one half years longer
than the male, and she drinks very little beer
because she knows its bad for the figure.
while we are going mad
they are out
dancing and laughing
with horney cowboys.
well, there’s beer
sacks and sacks of empty beer bottles
and when you pick one up
the bottle fall through the wet bottom
of the paper sack
spilling gray wet ash
and stale beer,
or the sacks fall over at 4 a.m.
in the morning
making the only sound in your life.
rivers and seas of beer
the radio singing love songs
as the phone remains silent
and the walls stand
straight up and down
and beer is all there is
And wouldn’t ya know it, soon we were right there with Buk, he cursing the audience and drinking with joy, describing the filthy things he had planned for his unsuspecting girlfriend.
The lights of the Inland came into view, and the night sky brightened– with both the glow of electrified civilization, and the promise of yet another gig to go!
Saturday Feb 6, Joey’s BBQ Pomona: