The Whiskey Daredevils just returned from a road trip in Europe. Frontman Greg Miller fills us in on what happened.
We wake up at 830 for the comp hostel breakfast. It is the exact same breakfast anywhere you go in Belgium. Thinly sliced bread with rough crust, very mild white cheese, mild salami, orange juice in 4 oz glasses, and coffee/tea. I’m not a big salami guy anyway, and certainly not at 830am. Those Kellogg’s people need to get over here and introduce Capn’ Crunch. That jolly Old Salt would clean up over here just on the fact these folks must wake up every morning and go, “Fuck…I have to eat another salami and cheese sandwich. I sure could go for a bowl of crunch berry goodness.”
The pasta meal from last night announces itself with startling authority shortly afterwards. I head from the main bedroom of our minimum security prison room into the bathroom to deal with the situation. You know you don’t have a lot of privacy when you evacuate the pasta and hear three guys immediately cry out “Ohhhhh!!!!!!!” through the door. True, it was a very impressive noise, but still… I am concerned that this may be only the beginning of a “gastro intestinal crisis”.
We drop Michelle off at the train station for her journey home. She owns an art gallery/vintage shop in her town, so driving around with 5 guys in a van for two weeks isn’t in her best interests. She’s very nice, and you can see she is very nurturing with Gary. Gary is now without his girlfriend, and speculation begins if “Happy Gary” or “Mopey Gary” will be climbing into the van after her departure. We will soon see…
It is a seven hour drive to Nurnburg, and rain pelts us most of the drive. There’s not too much to look at or too much to do. Leo reads “Hammer of the Gods”, Gary hand rolls cigarettes, Ken powers through “paprika triangles” (some kind of salty snack with an unpronounceable name), and Christoph slugs Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown is a regional “coffee in a can” drink that Christoph is loyal to like a crack addict is “loyal” to rocks of cocaine. In fact, he bought two cases of the little sturdy cans just to make sure he doesn’t run out at any point in our travels. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
We arrive in Nurnburg at evening rush hour. Heavy rain comes down and gradually recedes into light showers. The club, Besunger Knabenschule, is part of some art complex with a pseudo chic restaurant and galleries. The room is mid sized with a good “worn in” feel to the warm wood interior. Lots of serious looking guys walk around the club doing something (I guess), but I am not sure what.
Inspector Po opens up. Jay, their singer, is American and has lived here since the late 1980s. He’s from Portland and tells me he’s friends with Mark Arm, Presidents of the United States, Stone Gossard, and almost every other Seattle rock star from the Boom Times of the early 90s with the exception of Kurt Cobain. As far as I know, he’s legit. He seems nice enough, and is an enthusiastic guy.
We eat at the “nice” restaurant at the complex and go native. As usual, the translations offered from the all German menu go like this: “This one is three sausages with sauerkraut and mustard, and…ah…How do you say the spice that comes out of your nose?”
“No…no…when spice comes out your nose.”
I think you are talking about horseradish.
“No. No. That’s not it.”
(It turns out to be horseradish.)
“This other one is four sausages with sauerkraut and mustard and that spice.”
Well, what’s the difference between the plate with 3 sausages and the plate with four?
“It’s a different sausage.”
How is it different?
“It’s hard to explain.”
Oh, OK. Give me the one Leo didn’t order.
The meal is good and is served with gigantic mugs of beer. The food is already better now that we have crossed over into Germany, despite the fact I never know for sure what I am actually ordering at any given time. Usually I point to a sausage and hope for the best. That has usually served me well, as it seems almost impossible to find a bad meal at small family restaurants. The German people have a sense of pride in doing things to the best of their ability, and that expectation extends to others. That’s the reason public toilets are usually clean, service is generally good, and daily matters are handled in a measured logical way. Yeah, they don’t have a lot of spontaneous moments or much of a sense of humor, but that’s a small trade off for a good gas station sandwich and clean toilet, don’t you think?
We play our best set of the tour so far, and the crowd really responds. Gary confidently rips some monster solos, and everyone is really locked in. We decide to end the set with a fuck around version of “Whole Lotta Rosie” that rips nicely. Here’s a tip to you other bands out there. AC/DC always plays well in Germany. Even Christoph, who never compliments us, says “I think that was pretty good.”
The accommodations are at Martin’s house (the promoter). The best way to describe Martin is as “fat and jolly”. It’s like if Santa was the soundman, grown out a ponytail, and instead of laughing “Ho Ho Ho”, he laughed “Te hee hee hee”. We have a case of Weikenoher Klolterbrauerei we take from the club, and head over to Martin’s apartment. (Side note: If I ran that brewery, my advertising campaign for that beer would be “Weikenoher Klolterbrauerei: Ask for it by name!”)
We arrive after Christoph makes one of the most amazing parallel park jobs in the history of extended vans. I have no idea how he did it, but he dropped the van into a spot about 6 inches longer than the van. Truly incredible. I mean it. It was awesome. I take his photo afterwards and the pride beams from his face. “Small Town Country Boy Executes Amazing Park Job” will read tomorrow’s headlines.
The big surprise at Martin’s place is that Martin has a roommate, a woman in her mid thirties. I don’t know what bad choices she made in life to end up in a small 2 bedroom apartment with a guy that obviously parties his ass off all the time, and has an enormous record collection, but there she is. She must have a lot of long nights sitting wide eyed in her bed while sloppy guys spin “Henry Fiat’s Open Sore” records at 430am. I don’t know for sure about that. I do know this though. She obviously isn’t real happy about 6 guys showing up at 230am on a Monday night with a case of Weikenoher Klolterbrauerei. Martin leans over to me and whispers, “I will have to by her some flowers tomorrow.” I would recommend he buy her a diamond pendant or new car, but he knows her best.
I crash out on one of the four mattresses thrown down in the main living area. The rest of the guys retreat into the tiny kitchen with a swinging door that is designed to at least help buffer the noise. They get down to some very serious beer drinking and cigarette smoking as I try to fall asleep.