April 1998 - Ben Fletcher
".....like fizzy soda up the nose this journal will tingle at first but if you persevere you will taste the heartache, be able to almost touch the joy, and I guarantee you will be moved to tears of joy at the closing words. So please, enjoy as I have, the dark, frowning, half statue, half rock; in the former sense, terrible and goblin-like; in the latter, almost beautiful for its colouring is of mellow grey, and moor land moss clothes it; and heath, with its blooming bells and balmy fragrance, it grows faithfully close to the giants foot." - Yaniv Finklestine " '98
What you are about to read is 'the truth, the truth from my eyes to your eyes' (I once read that in the Herald and have wanted to use it ever since).
Day 1 - The gargantuantly terrible
Woke up 7.23am and found my self cocooned in an array of doonas, pillows, and sheets also I was somehow laying in the opposite direction I had fallen asleep in. I dont know how or why but for a split second I thought I was in a butterflys belly, but the distinct sound of my AM radio alarm clock spewing forth Garth Brooks latest spoof of a song, and my make-shift cloths rack proved my early morning crazed thought to be just that.....
Jamie, aka:Hasto, aka:Huchy, aka:Jimzoid, aka:Hastings, woke up at the exact same moment, his old alarm clock with the two bells on top screaming at him:
"Get up idiot"
"you should have seen yourself sleeping last night, fool"
"HEY! I said get up, loser" , after about ten minutes of his alarm clock shouting in his ear Jamie rolls out of bed in the dark and gets ready, he'd love to put a CD on or turn the light on but he can't, you see for some reason (and know one knows why), Jamie's room, not his house, just his room, has no electricity. I wont go in to this to much but, for several weeks now Hasto has been coming to rehearsal or to gigs and when the question of his little electricity problem comes up he proceeds to tells us another thing wrong with his cursed room.
Richard, aka:Richo, aka:Corno Star, on the other hand woke up at precisely 6:45.00 am. Flossing, Richo walks swiftly to his en-suit bathroom and cleans each tooth separately. Showering and eating a fully rounded breakfast is completed by 705.35 am, seeing the time Richo is pleased with his pace and rewards him self with a cup of distinctive Earl Grey - Golden Label Tea. Finishing up and cleaning Richo grabs his bags at the door and leaves at exactly 7:15.41 am.
The first day of the brief, brink-man-ship bluebottle tour has begun and this is my tour diary, most of this jibber was written on the road down to Melbourne or on the way to Adelaide from Melbourne. Oh look were just passing the M5 toll way. I love paying to get in and out of Sydney, its strange that you dont have to pay to get into Adelaide or Melbourne or Brisbane but you have to pay to get into the stickiest city of them all.
"$2.50, thanks" with a smile.....
I should mention, at this point in time the two other people that are gracing us with their body heat on this tour:
Peter from Perth, aka:Pete, aka:hey bitch!, No one really knows his last name but everyone knows the man. Pete once lived in Perth, and its great, that not many people have actually held that against him. Roadied for such acts as ...... or should I say 'GUITAR TECHED' for such acts as Big Heavy Stuff on their Radiohead tour (lucky buggers) also toured extensively with Frizzby on their hugely popular 'If you dont have a dad, your a bastard' tour and more recently Peter from Perth has achieved god like status in the 'Guitar Teching Bible' (weekly subscriber only mens magazine) teching on their 'Mullets are back in style' world tour 'TRYUMPH'. Nothing more needs to be said but Pete some times pulls more people to gigs than we do.
The other person you should know about is our now infamous mixer:
Rodo, aka:Rodney, aka:Rod, aka:Doug, aka:Sting. We've only been away with Rod once down to Wagga and Milperra so theres not much to be said about this one except, Rodo is very..... lets say passionate about his beliefs and theories of the rock industry. He's one of those "Ive been in this business for 20 years" kind of guys, but the thing is he has so I guess that would make you just as jaded and angry as Rod is about everything, EVERYTHING!. And let me tell ya baby, spending 18 hours in the van with Richo's stereo sounding like a very large and luxurious fart and Rodo screaming in my ear about the **$#@ music industry could send a boy like me batty. I wont mention any names but this guy hates alot of people. So there you have it five guys in a five seater van heading down the Hume towards sunny Geelong for the first gig, all refreshed from our blue mountain resort hide away and ready to rock.
Night 1 - Lambys, Geelong
Hazy- got there without too much trouble, loaded in -freezing- Played a place in Geelong called Lambys. Awful place to play, dont know why it even exists. Loud, short, 40 minute set. Distortion pedals stupidly turned to 10000000. A loose set, but full of emotion (if I do say so) Jamie's guitar strap broke on the first song, stuff like that always puts us off a couple of songs but by the third number we were back to bluebottle. Tried some new songs out tonight - it seems we tried them out on the wrong crowd, (or they suck). The Geelong crowd, like alot of country crowds, dont listen, there just there to have a laugh and sink a-couple of 'scuis'. Out of the 100 or so people that were there about 20 actually acknowledged our existence, but because weve played Geelong about 6000 times now were used to it. We had our lawful Victorian follower Chris there so it wasnt all that bad.
The set was:-
So two new songs tonight. The crowd gave 16% we gave 82.67%. All in all Geelong is a cold, old town, full of people who want to hear the hits and nothing but the hits. No offence to those who live, lived or love Geelong.... none taken.... good.
I don't know whether it was the reception we got off the crowd or our early dinner, but after the gig we all felt a certain emptiness in our guts. A couple of laps around Geelong proved that after 5pm everything in this place closes even Mc Cardboard box was shut, but after extensive searching and great gnashing of teeth we found a little place in Geelong called Joe's cafe. Richo proceeded to shock us all in ordering what is more commonly known as (in the Bluebottle camp) A CHICKEN THICKSHAKE!!!!! (more about that later). There were all sorts of interesting and excited people there. We had a group of very dapper youths clad in the latest flannel fashion screaming at us the words to the song "better" by the screaming jets - like I dont already know them! First night a success????