november 2 , 2002 milan, leoncavallo

ahh milan-home of supermodels, dolce and gabana, prada, armani and a big cathedral (duomo). i wake up in torino and i don't remember a thing about last night. johnny has the same problem. maybe somebody slipped us some rufies but i draw a blank. i look at last night's pictures and a few things ring a bell. that's it, blank slate. starting fresh like a newborn.

leoncavallo is one of the oldest if not the oldest squats in italy. it is huge and is also a major social center for many people. we've been here many times and they are amazingly well organized for such a large place. the room sounds like about 120 barking dogs going insane whenever i hit the kickdrum. plus there are a lot of dogs barking inside anyway.

this is our second and last show with zu from rome. after the show there is a huge drum circle outside with tons of barking dogs and bonfires. there is a massive dance party and i think they are filming mad max beyond thunderdome 2 here. i'm pretty sure i see tina turner.

november 3 , 2002   geneva, l'usine

today we head through the beautiful alps to switzerland. we go through what may be the world's longest tunnel-26 km of tunnel, a mountain of tunnel. awesome! we are terrified of the swiss border since the last time we came here we entered switzerland from austria across this little bridge. at the swiss border they told us our van was too heavy for their roads (?) and we had to turn back. on the other side of the bridge the austrian guard who we had just spoken with stopped us and asked us where our papers were. apparently when we came back from slovenia we didn't get the correct stamp so we were in this part of europe illegally. i pinched myself to see if maybe i had entered the twilight zone. nope, this is reality. so we are stuck on this bridge between austria and switzerland with no place to go except for a little swim in the creek under the bridge. finally the austrian guard lets us in "but we are in big trouble." we drive down to lichtenstein and get back to a different swiss border. here they don't seem to care that our van is just a van. bizarre but that is the way of border crossing.

after that long story, the swiss don't seem to care about us this time. we enter with no difficulty into geneva where the streets are paved with gold. there is so much money here that everyone is required to wear a real gold suit. the stage at l'usine is made out of diamonds and rubies and my drum riser is just stacks of cash. tonight we play with favez from lausanne and things are looking good. david and alex from l'usine treat us like rock icons and have us plated with gold. also we do our laundry which was so ripe at this point that people no longer consider us sexy. shocking!

apparently jean luc goddard lives right up the street. i wonder if he'll show up tonight and rock out?

it's johnny's birthday today! he is 17 and doesn't look a day younger! happy birthday johnny, one more year closer to death!

november 4, 2002   dijon, la vapeur

well today our drive to dijon is nothing but pleasant. we are in france, the rays of sunlight fall over the countryside and our mouths are filled with bread and cheese. oui, oui, moi non plus, je dit! serge gainsbourg et jane birken je vous aime! quand même, our van is making strange noises. we arrive at la vapeur and unload. it is monday night and still kind of early. scott and tom take the van to be looked at and it dies a block from the repair place. how can this be? it's not saturday night at 2 am (the traditional time for a van to break down) and we've already arrived at the show and unloaded. while scott and tom try to figure out what to do, i'm at la vapeur with bruno in the forges of vulcan, fixing my bass pedal. with him doing most of the work, my bass pedal may look kind of stupid now, but it works, which is more than I can say for last night (favez kindly lent me their bass pedal).

now we all head over to the van to push it to garage up the street. are we screwed? can they fix it? will we miss the show tomorrow? only time will tell...

tonight is our first show with interpol which we are all looking forward to. unfortunately we could only watch a few songs as we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off. speaking of which, we discovered that chicken is actually a vegetable today.

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