The Whiskey Diaries: South By Southwest And Back, Part 5
Jesse James Madre of Tiger Flowers is back with another installment of his South By Southwest journal, which has been fucking awesome, in the event you haven’t been reading them.
It’s early Thursday morning and our first show is at Hoek’s Death Metal Pizza Shop. We go on at 12:30 in the afternoon and we’re excited and nervous and still not quite sure what to expect but we’re ready for it all.
My friend Tati’s house is south of the chaos that is 6th Street where the center of the action is and what should be a five minute ride turns into 25 with the traffic. Remember last time I told you about the unofficial shows. Well that’s what we were playing and that’s what SXSW doesn’t want to encourage.
All the roads are blocked off and if you don’t have an official badge, they don’t give a fuck where you’re playing or how far you have to go. After almost giving up and figuring we were gonna have to haul our equipment six blocks in the already hot Texas sun we found a guy who didn’t mind looking the other way as we ducked down a back alley right behind the venue/pizza shop.
We get right in and load right on and the guys at the place are helpful and excited to have us. They grab us beers and tell us the pizza is free. I grab a Lone Star and help set up when the backyard starts filling up. Not a bad turnout for a Thursday afternoon and my blood is starting to pump when I look out into the crowd and see a couple with familiar faces.
These two were at the North Carolina show at the Milestone. They we’re out at SXSW and said they wouldn’t miss us for the world and whether it was the Texas sun or not, I definitely felt a little warmer. I’m ready to go.
Dean’s guitar cuts through the day like bullets out of a Texas Rangers’ six-shooter and we’re off! It’s a blur of head banging and fist pumps and the moment of clarity comes in the middle of our cover of Mötley Crüe’s “Live Wire;” people are singing along and raising up there afternoon beers when all of a sudden I see this mid 40’s women scream, “I’M ALIVE!” — as she pulls up her shirt to show me one of the grossest tits I’ve ever seen.
Here it is, my first real Mötley Crüe moment and it’s a tit that was probably fine in 1986 but here in the year 2012, it’s geriatric. It needs some support. It needs a hospice. But like I said, we’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time and god damn she was having a good time and that’s all that matters. We finish the set and I’m hysterical when she comes over and tries to see my goods. I pull a duck and jive move and I’m out the back laughing with the owners of Hoek’s. Cheering beers and thanking them for their hospitality. First show down and we are alive.
We feel electric as the day goes on and our next show is east of the storm that is 6th Street and we’re playing with Code Orange Kids and All Pigs Must Die and we have a few in the crowd from the early show and after the dust settles we sell a few shirts and we did our best to make a ripple in this giant sea of great bands. We have a cold 12 in the van and the well whiskey in the club ain’t half bad and I’m all teeth with every sip as we watch the night play out before us big and huge like the Texas sky.
The next morning MIM tells us about these breakfast tacos they saw on ‘Man Vs. Food’ and we head over to a place called “Jaun in a Million” off Ceaser Chavez Blvd.; the place is packed but the turnover is quick and we get our seats and order the Don Jaun. Six eggs, potatoes, bacon, cheese and tortillas all for $3.95. It’s massive. It’s delicious. It’s…it’s not important all of a sudden. In walks John C. Reilly and sits down at the table next to us. God damn Cal Naughton Jr.! Motherfucking Dale Doback! Dr. Steve Bruhl! Sitting right next to us ordering the same thing as us. (For your health!)
In town promoting one thing or the other and he sits right next to us with a friend. We try not to be douchey. Play it cool. My buddy Chris (A.K.A. the Goblin) is in town to hang and help us out with our merch, grabs the waitress and tells her he wants to pick up John C’s check.
We finish up, (well, I didn’t but the plate was huge) and snap a creep status pic then walk towards the van away from the funny man himself when I light up a smoke and we go over our favorite lines of his. All of a sudden we hear a shout, “Hey, thanks for breakfast!” I take the opportunity to introduce myself and the boys. I pull out a sticker and ask him if he’d like one. He reads it and laughs. We made John C. Reilly laugh. He goes, “Man, I wish this wasn’t a rental I’d put it on my car. Wait a minute it’s a rental, fuck it let’s put it on!!”
We put it on the new Cadillac. Right on the driver’s door. He takes a few pics. Shakes our hands. And he’s off. Nice dude. Trolling all through SXSW with a Tiger Flowers sticker on his rented caddy (haha). Sometimes you can’t make this shit up. Sometimes everything is just right. You can only hope for it to be good sometimes. Anything more than sometimes and you wouldn’t appreciate it. All the hard work is to make the “sometimes” a little more often.
This is the road. Keep your eyes open. Be funny. Be nice. Have fun. Go hard.