ATN Road Report: Silkworm Discover Booze & Porn In N.Y.C.

The lush life.

New York City, 5-8-97

We're playing at the Mercury

Lounge tonight, coincidentally with a band called Polara, the same Polara we

played with in Minneapolis. I have somehow remembered all of their names:

Jennifer, Ed, Pete, and Jason. I remembered Ed because I thought he said his

name was "Dead," and Jennifer and Jason because they were introduced in

sequence, and Pete because at that point I had made it a crusade because I'm so

fucking awful with names.

Chicago was a welcome relief from the

absurdities of all the Midwest shows up to that point. I always feel like some

sort of returning royalty there, showered with drinks and good food and

entertainment and stuttering fans with big goofy smiles. I shot pool with a

blonde woman in a black body suit and felt pretty slick until the Bedheads

showed up, and oh, I had no time for body suits then! Bedhead was in town,

recording with Steve, so it was a big social event. Then my step-brother's

girlfriend's brother showed up with his roommate, and we yacked the night away,

drinking and drinking. We played well, too -- the shows so far have been loose

and fun, with everyone fucking up a fair amount but not worrying about it.

We stayed with friends Steve and Heather, mainly Heather because Steve was

in the studio with Bedhead 'til 3 a.m. I had my own room and borrowed some

pornography from the magazine rack in the bathroom so I'd feel at home. My

first good sleep of the tour.

Tuesday we woke late, ate good food, and saw

the new studio. It's stunning, vast, with walls built of Adobe, each room built

with a separate foundation -- essentially a series of interconnecting buildings

-- for greater isolation. Oh, it's so lovely. That night we stayed up late

watching strange little videos and movies with Heather, ordered fantastic

Indian food, played computer pool games... I was going to write to you all from

Steve's computer and give you Robert Plant's car phone number, which was on a

post-it note on the wall, but I couldn't get the damn system to work.

We

left early Wednesday morning and played Pittsburgh Wednesday night. The

promoter was this young guy who was so uptight I swear he's gonna burst by the

time he's thirty. But the show was great -- our second show ever in Pittsburgh,

and again we were amazed at the reception, loads of squealing kids singing

along and actually enjoying themselves -- at a Silkworm show! Hard to believe.

I wound up outside, keyed up by my pornographic experience in Chicago, trying

to score with a 19 year old with a tattoo on her belly, until her white-haired

boyfriend showed up on a Harley.

We listened to a murder-mystery book on

tape today, driving through the breathtakingly beautiful hills of Pennsylvania.

I'm so into the hills of Pennsylvania. I'm so into those massive barns with

exposed stone foundations, and tall square high-ceilinged buildings with great

square windows, and utilitarian doorways, and spring-fed wells in the basement,

and it's all so green and lush in the spring, and the winding roads are so

charming, I get chills, I swear I do. Oh, and I saw my first Amish horse-drawn

wagon! Shit!

But now I'm in the city. There are no horses here. I've

already talked to a lovely French girl named Pascal (Pasquale? I don't know how

you spell it, and besides, I thought that was a man's name), and we're playing

a big rock show tonight, and tomorrow we go to Boston to finally meet up with

Pavement and Shudder to Think, where we can be peons, start early, finish

early, and oh just have a fine time.

I thought I was going to be a total

lush on this trip, but it just ain't happening so far. Maybe for the Pavement

shows, when I can start drinking hard at 8:30 p.m. instead of at 1 p.m., maybe

then I'll pick up the slack.

I'll let you know,

Michael D