The Quakes & Nine Lives- June 2005
When I'm living in Finland, I often use Lauri Valkonen and Tommi Hanninen
as my band. These guys come from a band called Nine Lives. The Nine Lives have never played in the USA so we thought it would be cool to do a mini tour together here.
The Nine Lives arrived on Monday and Chris flew in from Buffalo. We had a few days of rehearsals in Phoenix and we were ready to go...
Thursday June 16- The gig was in Phoenix at the Mardi Gras. Opening the show was a great band called the Crash Cadillac's who have some great songs and have added a new bass player since I had seen them last.The new guy was only 16 years old and he could really play! Next was Phoenix legend Marco Polo and Curse of the Pink Hearse. You never know what to expect at a Curse show. The set ended with Marco pounding his bass on the floor like drum!
Next up was Nine Lives with Antti Pasanen on vocals -Jarno Tiihonen on guitar- Lauri Valkonen on bass and Tommi Hanninen on drums. I think the guys were nervous as this was there first show in the USA but they came off like the veterans they are and put on a great show.
On the other hand we (the quakes) had a few bugs to work out and played way too fast. Its always hard for me to play in a small room with a small crowd. Speaking of the crowd, they were small in number but they were great to us. There are a lot of psychobilly fans in Phoenix but it seemed that none of the local “scenesters” were at the show.
Friday June 17 - We left for LA at 8 am- its a real long and boring drive to LA from Phoenix through the desert. We got lost in Riverside because there were detour signs and construction all over. Internet directions suck!
We got to the Galaxy in Santa Ana around 5 pm two hours late for the sound check. We let the Nine Lives have our sound check and we went to the hotel to sleep! I didn't see any of the opening bands play but I did get to hang with them backstage. Hellbillys , Barnyard Ballers and Slanderin are all cool guys.
Our show was good ,not the best one but ok. I think the crowd was a little worn out by the time we played- there were so many bands and it was a long night but it was good. I think SoCal is my new favorite place to play.
Thanks to the Galaxy staff!
Saturday June 18
From Santa Ana to Hollywood is only an hour but by the time we got up out of bed and started going it was already 1 pm- sound check was at 4 pm. Had to meet the Nine Lives at the hotel to check in at 3 pm so there was no time to go to Amoeba...CRAP!
The Key Club in Hollywood is a great place to play- very professional sound crew. We got there around 11 pm and again I didn't see any of the opening bands. We walked down to our dressing room that we were sharing with the Nine Lives and it was full of people all helping themselves to drinks. We were told by the club that only people with wrist bands could access the dressing room but it was clearly not the case. I finally got fed up and started clearing people out and then I was being a “rock star” and they called me an asshole:-)
It was a great night and a lot of our friends from LA were in the crowd- the show was going real good and then they told us we only had 5 mins. left to play!!! we were like”WHAT!!??” well the story goes that the first opening act was late and that pushed everything back. I was real pissed off we had a lot of songs to go still- Here is what you missed
Cool to be a punk
Now I wanna
All messed up
Pack our bags and go
Ice cold baby
thanks to the Key club staff and the Zombillyz for helping us out with our equipment.
The promoter not only stiffed us on money but also stole money from the venue. In addition he had another band that wasn't even playing that night,selling merch in an already crowded merch area. I sued that guy in small claims court and won. ALWAYS use contracts.
Sunday June 18 - We had to leave at 8 am to drive to Petaluma.....got up there (Phoenix theater) at 4 pm for sound check. I knew we were going to have problems, the sound guy was a Jack Osbourne clone who “Knew everything”
....no matter where I go my guitar is always too loud and monitors not loud enough.. this day was no exception.Even though we did a sound check,it proved to be worthless.The beginning of our set was a disaster. I could not hear myself in the monitors and I was telling the sound guy who controlled the monitors to turn it up. After the second song I put my guitar down and went over there and said “hey what the fuck?” he said they were up all the way (note to fans; Clubs NEVER turn their monitors or PA up past a certain point because they want the speakers to last as long as possible-If they had them on ten every night they would be replacing them all the time) anyway...then he did something and I could hear but after a few songs he did something else and I couldn't hear again. It was a joke and they were a joke. They guy was playing “don't worry be happy” in between bands and when it was suggested that he play something geared towards the audience, he basically said “fuck off”
This guy had a real chip on his shoulder and he was a real passive aggressive type. Anyway..after a rough start we got going and made the most of it. The crowd was real cool and some had driven two hours to come and see us.
Monday June 19- We decided to take a detour from our route home and drive across the Golden gate bridge and drive through San Francisco (finally a chance to go to Amoeba!).That was cool but we got lost trying to get back to our route home. We got to Phoenix around 2:30am!
Thanks to all the fans of course.Quakes fans are the coolest!