Monday, June 29, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The last time I posted we were in still in Tennessee... hmm let me refresh my memory. So we finally got the gladiator van fixed, it took the dealership three days, and we were delayed even more because they had put a part in backwards (Idiots). As soon as it was back in our possession, we loaded up our belongings and set out for Columbus, Ohio to crash at Jon's brother Tom's house. We watched There Will Be Blood, and Planet Earth, and eventually arrived at our destination when the sun was coming up. We awoke to a huge breakfast, and met Jon's nieces and nephew. His 5 year old nephew Thomas was one of the most hyper kids I have ever met. He started wrestling with Sam and I, and we both received swift kicks to the stomach, and were clocked in the face multiple times. After breakfast we thanked Tom Rick and his wife AJ for all they had done for us and headed for upstate New York.
We arrived at Buffalo, the birth place of our very own Jon Rick around 5, and went out for some real "Buffalo" wings. We wolfed the wings down and headed for our show at a bar called Broadway Joe's. On the way we purchased some "Tilt's" which had quickly become the beverage of choice on this tour. If you don't know what Tilt is, its an energy drink thats basically a rip off of Sparks. If any representatives of Tilt want to set up a sponsorship, we'd be more than happy.
The show that night went really well, a few of our good friends Jay, Manuel, and Gary, had shown up, as well as a ton of Jon's hometown friends. We made close to a hundred on merch which is always great, and its really cool to see people walking around with shirts that I designed.
The next day we woke up at 3 in the afternoon, and bummed around Jon's house. We ate linner at Mighty Taco which is just like Taco Bell but classier, and your not eating dog food. Then we went out bowling. As always Jon "Dad" Rick, showed up with his own ball and shoes and owned everyone. Dave reached the revelation that he too was a talented bowler, with his unorthodox technique of running straight at the lane and whipping the ball down it. After bowling we went to the restaurant Tully's which proved to be your average TGI Fridays/Applebees/Ruby Tuesday restaurant, except it was real expensive, and nothing special, I don't recommend you dine there, EVER. When we arrived back at Jon's casa I was laying on the floor, and to my disbelief, glanced under the couch and found the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Power board game. We finished watching the movie Gran Torino, which was amazing, and without hesitation set up the game. Now Pizza Power is one of the strangest, longest and most confusing board games I have ever played. You must move your turtle around the board (I chose Raphael, because he was the most bad ass), battle evil villans like Shredder, and Krang, and then once you collect a certain amount of cards, you head to the techno drome, for the final battle. The final battle involves the player catapulting dice into 3 separate trays. This may sound easy, but trust me, ITS NOT. We started at 2:00 AM and ended at 4:30 AM. By the end we were all pulling out our hair, but we loved every minute of it. Dave prevailed as Leonardo and won the techno drome haha.
We woke the next day some time in the late afternoon (as usual,) and embarked for Rochester, New York. This would be the final show of the tour. The ride only took an hour or two, (I can't really remember)but it was nothing compared to the other rides we've taken. When we arrived we were greeted by James the promoter who was a really nice guy, and we went to the back of the van to have a toast for the last show of the tour, with Keystone Ice of course, the grossest beer ever. When I walked into the venue I was greeted by the sounds of some short bald guy belting his lungs out to "Livin on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi, after that another middle aged man took the microphone to sing his karaoke rendition of "Take my Breathe Away" by Berlin, it wasn't pretty. I went downstairs to the stage and caught the set of this band called Floozie. They were real rockin' but they made the mistake of covering "seven nation army" by the White Stripes. It was a great rendition, and I dig that song, but of all the songs to cover they chose that one? Why?
Anyways we went on, and hell broke loose. Halfway through the second song Dave jumped up and started doing pull-ups on a pipe hanging right above the stage. The sound guy started screaming through the monitors "GET OFF THE PIPE!, GET OFF THE PIPE!, GET OFF THE PIPE!" It was hilarious, and I could barely play my bass I was laughing so hard. At the end of the third song I tried walking out into the crowd like I usually do, but tripped on a monitor, and flipped over onto my back, leaving me sprawled out between the stage and the floor. Needless to say I finished the song on my back.
Before our last song, "Guardian Angels" the promoter approached the stage and told me that they were tearing the stage set down in a few days and if we wanted to, we could totally trash it. I immediately spread the word to Dave and he was ripping the walls apart before the song could begin. During my bass solo I walked out into the crowd, and went crazy. The cable in my bass snapped off, leaving me with no signal so I threw my bass down, ran over, and hopped on the mic with Dave, I then proceeded to smash G Scott's cymbals as hard as I could with my bare hands. The Tour ended with a bang.
It was our last night so we decided to rent a hotel room, and drive back to Purchase,NY in the morning. We ended up staying at the luxurious La Quinta Inn. We couldn't be real rock stars and trash it because we were paying for it, but we did have a great time. Dave and I were doing relay races in the hallway in our underwear at 3 in the morning. The very lovely Dora woke up at nine the next morning and raided the Continental Breakfast, bringing bagels,muffins, yogurt,and breakfast burritos back up for us to eat. We were kicked out at one, because we couldn't pay for another day, and set out for Binghamton to eat lunch at G Scott's house. Mr.Corey's house is set up in the boonies next to this beautiful lake that shimmer's like diamonds in the sun. It was a gorgeous house.
After lunch we set out on the long ride home. The sunset was beautiful, and it seemed to last forever. One by one we said our goodbyes to each member, and eventually I was headed back to my own bed, in Connecticut.
I'm really grateful to have lived such an amazing experience, and do things that some people may never have the chance to do.
Some things I'm going to miss:
-Playing shows almost everynight
-Having a permanent stain of black spray paint on my right hand (Spencil successfully tagged every stop on the tour, including Jon's UHaul trailer haha)
-Meeting interesting people
-Playing for no one
-Eating fast food every day
-Doing push ups in Sonic parking lots
-The Tennessee sunset
-The Southern Hospitality
-Being squished into the back seat of a van
-Not knowing where I was going to sleep that night
-Jumping on the beds in hotel rooms I didn't have to pay for
-Not showering for a couple days straight
-Playing at sketchy bars
-And most importantly being surrounded by a great group of friends.
All I can say is, you haven't seen the last of me, and you haven't seen the last of Wyldlife.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Its 3 in the morning and I have no desire to sleep, so I thought I should blog. As it turns out the Gladiator van is not finished being fixed so we unfortunately had to cancel our show in Kentucky! Lame! But what can we do. So we just hung out in Nashville and helped Kirby with the studio. Today was Dave's 20th birthday, so we tried to show him a good time. As soon as 12 struck we started partying. The night ended with me arm wrestling this dude Brian who is an intern here at the studio. He killed me with the right, but I owned him with the left, in true Spencer Alexander style. I later found out that he arm wrestled his roommate a week earlier and ended up snapping his arm in half! Damn!
When we awoke sometime in the late afternoon we lazily started off the day. Sam and I jammed to some jazz, and I eventually made my way to the studio to help Kirby. I was installing some floor panels with a nail gun, and it totally sucked. The humid Tennessee air was getting to me, and I don't think I've ever sweated so much in my life.
After working we went to celebrate at the restaurant of Dave's choice, Sonic. The food was good as usual, and at the drive there was some lady with a parrot hanging out of her car. It said "hi how are you?" in the most eerie voice, it was totally bizarre. when we got back we watched Crank, and I drew a portrait of our purchase mascot Heath the deer, in the studio refrigerator. Shout out to all my boys and girls from Purchase, K-14 especially! Miss you all!
Tomorrow were leaving for Ohio to crash at Jon's brother's house for a little, and then we've got our last two shows in upstate New York.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Alot has happened since the last post, so its going to be a big one!
We departed Kirby's and headed to the Muse which was located on the outskirts of Nashville. Its actually located right next door to the World's largest adult bookstore haha. We got there and immediately felt out of place because it was a total metal venue, and the last time I checked we are not a metal band. But this other band called the Woolly Mamas played before us, and they totally rocked, so our faith was restored. One cool thing about the venue was that it had a webcam, so you could watch the whole show live on the internet. Thanks to everyone who tuned in!
The next day we headed to the Sonic drive in. We've all seen the commercials on TV but have never actually seen one in person, so we were all pretty stoked to see what the deal was. We wolfed down our burgers, and a strenous workout routine soon followed in the Sonic parking lot. After Sonic, we played a game of mini golf. G Scott won, by a landslide. We tried to sneak in and play another round on the Castle course (we had just finished the Lighthouse course), when we were stopped by some tall southern dude in a Nike hat, with a walkie talkie in one hand, and a putter in the other. Heres basically how the dialogue went:
Man: "What you boys doing?"
Band: "Were playing another game..."
Man: "Did you pay for it?"
Man:"Well if you didn't pay, finish the eighteenth hole and leave"
Dave: (Angry)"Do you really care?"
Man: (Taken aback) "Yes I do, now finish up and leave."
Dave proceeded to finish the 18th hole and got a hole in one, which meant that he got a free popcorn. Who's laughing now?
After the mini golf we headed over to the go-carts, and the Nike hat guy kept a watchful eye on our every move. Once the race began we took no prisoners on the go cart course, and it was every man for himself. I was swerving around a turn when all of sudden I feel Kirby coming up from behind me, smashing into my cart, sparks flying every where. Switchblade Sam kept getting into accidents, and his cart would be totally turned in the opposite direction, staring at oncoming traffic. The 16 year old kid running the track, kept having to risk his life running out on the course to turn Sam around. At one point G Scott ran head on into Sam. Lets just say we took Go-Carting to the next level. When we finished with the go-carts we headed to a carnival, but after about 10 minutes we left, because we didn't feel like wasting our money.
The next day we set out to Indianapolis,Indiana. The venue was called the Vollrath Tavern, and it was located in one of the sketchiest neighborhoods I have ever seen. Behind the tavern was the Vollrath apartment complex, which seemed like the perfect setting for a meth lab. We were all pretty sketched out, thinking that it would be a bust. But we watched the opening bands play and, people began to filter in. We were the headlining band, and people seemed to have alot of respect for us, due to the fact that we were on tour, and from New York haha. It was like we were kind of a big deal.
Our merch girl Dora rejoined us, which was a great surprise. She actually sold $100 worth of merch which has been uheard of for us so far. We also got half of the money made at the door, which was $200, so we ended up leaving that night with our pockets full of cash, just enough to get us back to Tennessee. The show was great and people really seemed to enjoy our set. One lesson I've learned on this tour is, we never can really expect what each show will be like. We could be playing at the nicest venue, and no one will show up, or just a bar in a strange part of town and people will love us, its totally up in the air. When the show had finished we ended up staying at Dora's friend Charlotte's house, which was a beautiful home with big screen TV's and an in ground swimming pool. When we woke up Dora and Charlotte had made us breakfast, and we took a dip in the pool afterwards. We said our goodbyes to Charlotte and headed back to Tennessee. Thanks Charlotte for everything!
Driving away from Indiana, we experienced some trouble with the van, it apparently wasn't going out of 1st gear, so we pulled off into a gas station to check it out. Amazingly the gas station we stopped at was located right across the street from a Goodwill Outlet store. Now I've been to plenty of Goodwill's in my day, but never an outlet store, so I was extremely excited to check it out. What separated it from the average Goodwill was that the entire store was basically full of giant blue bins, filled with clothes and furniture, that you had to fish around in, no racks or hangers anywhere. It was basically every man for himself. I ended up finding a sick goofy sweatshirt, a sombrero, a vintage Iron Maiden bandana, and a lone ranger mask. I made out like a bandit! Another cool thing about the store was they weighed your purchase and it was a dollar a pound so I ended up only spending three bucks. We all found some cool stuff, but the van was still broken.
It was a Sunday, so no mechanics were open.G Scott and Jon, being the manly men that are went to work, to figure out the problem. While Dave,Sam, and I were sitting in the grass waiting for them to fix it, we found a metal rod, and made a game. The game is called Ultra Safe Fun Game, and basically what the rules are, is you have to throw the rod spinning in the air a couple hundred feet, and try to stick it in the ground. Thats it, and its tons of fun.
The problem ended up just being the oil needed to be changed, so we got back on the road.
We stopped at a steak n shake for dinner. We'd been seeing steak n shake billboards all along the highway advertising full meals for under $4, so we were itching to eat there. The meal was pretty good, and after we finished we blasted Motley Crue in the parking lot, and I did my 101 push ups, while Dave did his 101 sit ups. We got alot of strange looks as people passed through the drive-thru haha.
We hit the road back to Tennessee, and about 3/4's of the way there our van started making some noises, and as soon as we arrived in Nashville the warning light on the dash started blinking. Luckily we made it back safely to Kirby's house.
We woke up early the next morning at 10 (well early for us at least), and started helping Kirby build the studio. I got to do some painting, and lay down some flooring. It made me feel like a real man, like one of those dudes who hangs out at home depot on the weekend. I felt pretty proud. For dinner the guy who owns the studio bought us 6 or 7 boxes of Little Cesar's pizza. Now let me just say that I thought Little Cesar's had dropped off the face of the earth 10 years ago, but apparently they are still alive and well in the south, so I was real shocked/excited to eat that pizza. All the people from the studio were like "big deal it just little cesars," but to us east coasters it was a big deal.
After dinner it was back to work. One of the cool things about building stuff is you also get to destroy stuff, and I was given the opportunity to punch a hole in the wall, and I gladly took it. (Yeah it was as fun as it looks in the photo.) I also ended up punching a nail when I was installing some fiberglass insulation, which was not fun at all. (Don't worry mom I'm ok!) Let me just say that Fiberglass insulation sucks! I feel bad for the people who have to work with that stuff on a regular basis, I can still feel it all over my skin, after two showers.
Today we've been helping Kirby, me not so much, (I'm slacking trying to get this post up), and tonight we going to Martin's barbecue restaurant for some real Tennessee ribs!
We've got a show coming up in Kentucky, but we don't know if our van will be fixed in time to get us there, so keep your fingers crossed for us!
I leave you with some Motley Crue, enjoy!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
We woke up yesterday afternoon, said our goodbyes to Virginia, and started our trek to Nashville, Tennessee. It was the longest car ride of my life. We sang lots of Rolling Stones, and CCR along the way. Luckily we also have the entire Planet Earth DVD set to keep us entertained. That movie is amazing.
You may be wondering how is Wyldlife staying fit while on tour? While we are consuming lots of fast food, we have developed our very own Wyldlife work out routine. The way it works is, you first consume all of your food, and as soon as you have finished you get on the ground and do as many pushups/sit-ups as you possibly can. Thats it. Give it a try!
We finally arrived at the house that our friend Kirby has been staying at/working on. Its going to be a huge recording studio, and we get to stay in it for a next few days. Its got a huge pool, beds for each one of us, Italian leather couches, and instruments everywhere you look. Kirby also told us that a huge four foot snake has been lurking around the house, which does not make me very comfortable, due to my phobia of snakes. Tonight we are playing at the Muse at 7. It should be pretty cool, because Nashville is bumping right now, with the likes of Bonnaroo, and the CMA festival happening. SEE YA!