Foo Fighters: They Fought The Flu And The Flu Won

There's trouble in paradise on the Ball Hog or Tug Boat tour. And it's

not

because anyone is being a ball hog. Quite the contrary. In fact, Eddie

Vedder

has been getting increasingly hot under the collar because of the

amount of

press Hovercraft has gotten due to his presence in the rock trio­­at

the expense of his

friend, Mike Watt, and his wife Beth Libeling. According to an

insider,

Vedder feels that his celebrity is overshadowing his wife's artistic

endeavors in Hovercraft, and that's not what he wants. "Eddie just

can't put

on a wig and play drums in his wife's band, without anybody noticing,"

said our source. " When he

finally realized he was doing more harm than good, he decided to leave

the

tour."

Apparently the last straw was the recent Rolling Stone

story on

Watt, which spent what Vedder thought were endless paragraphs

ruminating about

Vedder, instead of concentrating on Mike Watt's very significant

accomplishments as a member of both the Minutemen and the leader of

fIREHOSE. Vedder finally

got so fed up with all the folderol that he left the tour after the

band

played Portland. Beth imported another drummer from Seattle, and a

Vedderless

Hovercraft is flying a little lower to the ground, but flying

nonetheless. Don't be surprised if Vedder does show up to play in

Hovercraft and Watt's band on occasion. For instance, we learned

yesterday afternoon that Vedder would be arriving on a 5:30 p.m.

flight to perform at the Watt/ Foo Fighters/ Hovercraft dates at

Slim's in San Francisco.

Speaking of the Foo Fighters, they've been

losing the battle of late.. They had to cancel out on

their Sacramento, and Santa Cruz, California dates because Dave

Grohl and

William Goldsmith (on loan from Sunny Day Real Estate) came down with

an especially nasty case of the flu. Grohl is of

course a member of the Foo Fighters, and plays in Watt's band.

So

when he called in sick, something had to be done, and quick. The good

news

was Mike Watt was able to use Hovercraft's replacement drummer. The

bad news

was that he didn't know any of the songs, and had to learn them on the

plane

ride from Seattle to California. The how-you-say, crash course lesson

wasn't

entirely a success. During Watt's set in Sacramento he kept turning

his back to the audience and hissing at the loaner, "You suck, you

suck."

But wait, it gets worse. Foo Fighter's lead guitarist, Pat Smear,

wigged out

that same night, storming out of the venue in Sacramento, jumping into

the

van, and disappearing into the night for parts unknown. He finally

came

back. Instead of heading to Santa Cruz, the Foo Fighters camped out

in

San Francisco, where Grohl saw an acupuncturist on May 16th, and

again on May 17th, to boost his immune system. As for Smear, he just

kicked a

few doors, trashed his hotel room, and felt immediately better. At

press-time, it looked the Foo Fighters were going to perform at the

Slim's show in San Francisco. In the meantime, a spokesman at

Columbia Records told ATN that Watt has been on the phone to Los

Angeles, and that some of the musicians who performed on his album are

going to come out on the road to help him out.