Friday afternoon, after a casual morning at Frucasa and a quick visit to Chateau Malley, Rob, Vika and I left Boston for Noho (Northampton) around 2pm. There was some confusion as to exactly when doors would be opening for the show, so we figured the earlier, the better.
Got to Noho around 3:30, and there was already quite the line of people outside the venue. Fruvous hadn't arrived yet, even though they were supposed to be there by three. The fru-bus did eventually arrive for sound check, and after doing some socializing outside in the cold, a bunch of us went to a Thai place on Main St for some dinner.
After that, we headed back to the Iron Horse. Doors opened much later than expected (not 5:30, not 7, but around 7:30) and soon the place filled in with happy fru-heads. This show was so hyped up as a "different" show, so everyone wasn't sure what to expect, but we were all definitely excited. Jess Klein opened, as she did the night before in Boston. People were definitely more receptive to her than they were on Thursday.
Not sure what time Fruvous came up on stage, but I'd say it was around ten or so. Cal played B.J. Don't Cry, off of Bargainville, over the PA as the guys took the stage. They then proceeded to play for about an hour and twenty minutes, a set of 12 songs, all linked together by a common story line about a guy named BJ looking for his love, Rachel. They did a good number of tunes we don't hear that often. It was a lot of fun, and you could tell the guys were sincerely enjoying themselves.
After a short ten minute break, Fruvous took the stage again and played for about forty-five more minutes. This set was a little more standard, but still had that same high energy. The Rachel thing re-surfaced when Fruvous brought a Tom and Rachel up on stage so Tom could propose her. It was so cool that the guys were willing to do that for a fan, and they played Fell in Love while Tom and Rachel stood on stage, holding hands.
During the encore, Fruvous invited me up on stage so I could play piano while Dave sang Lee. I was so nervous, but I had a blast up there...it was SO exhilirating. Thanks guys...you made the night so very special for me.
After the set, fans hung around at the Iron Horse past the local NoHo curfew :-) and chatted until the staff finally asked us, nicely, to leave. The band, as always, came out to talk and chat as well.
A gaggle of us headed back to the hotel around 2am or so, and hung in one of the hotel rooms, eating pizza, drinking and chatting. LOTS O FUN... This is why I travel so much for this band...to have a great show, and then share in the afterglow. Around 3am, finally went to sleep. Since we didn't have anywhere to go the next morning, I knew I could sleep in...thank god. :-)
Hey everyone, what a weekend! I'm posting the setlist because I just got home, I don't have time to write out a full review just yet, and I don't see it posted yet (however my news server has been abominable lately, so this might actually be the 20th posted setlist and I just haven't been able to access the posts yet). Anyways, here goes...
Set #1 Get in the Car Pisco Bandito If You Only Knew (wow, wow, wow!) Follow the Road Lazlo's Career Sad Today (I can't believe they played it!) Psycho Killer I Will Hold On Homeward Bound Sahara (not the extended jam) You Will Go to the Moon Laika BJ Set #2 Michigan Militia Jockey Full of Bourbon Present Tense Tureen Johnny Saucep'n [The marriage proposal of Tom and Rachel- Congrats & best wishes you two] Fell in Love (ohmigod!) King of Spain Darlington Darling Dancing Queen Encores: Lee!!!!!!!!!!![With Chris O on piano, yes I know you're all drooling] Drinking Song
All I can say is wow! This show topped EVERYTHING I've ever seen them do. I'll leave the setlist of the Halloween show to someone who snagged a setlist or wrote the songs down. I just remember it was awesome :)
This is the story of Kevin Way and Trace's adventures in Noho, and it has not been brought to you by Walmart, K-mart or Starbuck's, is environmentally friendly, and no animals were harmed in the production of it. I think I've had too much coffee today....
"What a trip it has been!" (obligatory reference) Our adventures started Friday when Kevin Way and I left for Noho. It was an uneventful ride until we made an unscheduled rest stop at a KFC in Bloomfield, Mass, where we had our senses of humor tickled by a sign that read, "Eating in cars is prohibited by town ordinance." We never found out if that actually applied to people eating in *parked* cars or not, but we carefully hid any evidence that we had illegally snacked in Kevin's Roadmaster just to be safe from prosecution.
On arriving in the Noho area, we checked into the Motel 6 in South Deerfield, whereupon the nice man at the check-in desk asked us if we were in town for "The Show." He had us pegged as Fruheads (my baby-T *might've* given us away) and was aware that Fruvous was "THE" show that weekend. Smart guy :) We got our keys and headed for the Iron Horse!
We arrived late to see a long line waiting at the door, but still found great parking as the lot on Center St was now unattended and had a few spots open. Free Parking only steps from the IH! Being late has its advantages! Zard recognized me from Annapolis and said hi, but I didn't see many ng Fruheads near me in line. Inside, I saw "wild" Bill, Josh, Tracy, Sheryl, some really nice, non-ng Fruheads, and finally met Vika and Melanie, as I made my way across the dance floor. I apologize for anyone I'm forgetting to mention. I was on Fruhead overload.
The show was incredible, and so much of it is now just a happy blur, but I was reduced to tears several times (most notably during If You Only Knew, and when they played Fell in Love following the proposal, *happy sigh*). The only glitch for me at any time during the show was when Dave and Chris teamed up for Lee. The mic on the snare drum kept picking up an echo from the drum for every note of the song, and I was so intent on being silent and enjoying the experience that the echo was very noticable to me. Other than that, both the song and the set were incredible. Thank you guys.
After the show, I was lucky enough to snatch two setlists, one for me and one for Kevin. I mention this because it led to an interesting revelation. Back at the motel after the show, Kevin, Dante and I took a closer look at the setlists and found that they were two halves of an interesting xerox copy. When put together, the setlists wound up being the preliminary sound cues for act II of a musical called "The Norbals," and there were Fruvous references ALL OVER them! Yes, we appeared to have confirmed the rumor of the Frulads' invovment in the production of a musical. That was further confirmed the next afternoon when we ran into Tobey on Main St. He nodded sagely and told us to keep an eye out for "The Norbals" in Toronto, but he declined further comment. I realize I'm getting ahead of myself, but Kevin and I decided to pump Jian for info after the Halloween show. When we told him what we had deduced from the setlists, he laughed, called us "sleuths," and then gave us the info we wanted (Thanks Ji!). He didn't tell us to keep it a secret, so I guess it is ok to post (I don't know why it would be a secret anyways). Fruvous is responsible for at least some of the music for this musical (I don't know if they did all or just part of the music, but they definitely are credited with the Norbals Theme Song at least, and a Moxy Refrain is mentioned on the sound cue). It will be opening in Mid-November in Toronto. So there's the scoop. I hope to hear more from either Toronto-area Fruheads, or those of you who might be in the Toronto area later this month :)
Halloween afternoon was spenting chatting and jamming with the fruheads at the Motel 6. LadyWench brought her dumbek and awesome truffles, and Richard his mandolin. Way cool, but I think the other motel guests were scared and thought we all belonged to some wacky cult :) A DaVinci's Notebook cd rounded out the entertainment and that was the first time I'd actually heard DVN. I enjoyed it tremendously. I've GOTTA get that cd! That brings me up to the time for the Halloween show, but I've been writing for an hour here and it is time to go eat. More later!
If I am sure of anything, there will be tons of "what a trip it has bin" references in everyone's reviews, so let me get that out of my system now. Although it was a fantastic trip...
After suffering through the rain and traffic of what amounts to a typical chicago rush hour, I arrive at the airport (10/29) w/ angel and sarah in tow, only to find that our plane is going to be delayed for over 3 hours! We won't get into Manchester, NH until after 3am. The time flew by after a couple of drinks at the airport bar and talking with a bunch of the other delayed american-humans, one of whom began to flirt with Sarah... heh heh heh! Anyways, we finally made it to Manchester to find (Andy) Starfox bleary eyed waiting for us. End thursday.
Friday: we drove the beautiful route between Manchester and North Hampton.. even past peek it was awe inspiring. After checking in, eating, we went to the venue. We weren't the first people there, but we were definitely pretty close. It was over two hours till the doors opened (supposedly). Later on, we found out that FDC's opening time was a little underestimated as the doors didn't open until 7 not 5:30.
Waiting outside the venue became a bonding experience after awhile. It was col and people huddled together outside, took turns going up the street for coffee and hot chocolate. Slowly, the fruheads came out of the wood-work. I can't describe how great it was to see my friends and some of you out in cyberland whom I only know by taglines and whitty posts. Who was there? Everyone, it seemed. Hugs and hellos.. and shivers... finally we were let in!
Oh, it was before this time that I began whistling Summertime from Porgy and Bess. This becomes important (for me) later during the weekend...
The iron horse is a great venue. Even sold out, I don't think there was a bad place in the house.. on the balcony sitting or on the floor standing or smoozing at the bar in the back.
Jess Klein, opened, she was pretty good. You could feel the estrogen in the crowd rise as she sang certified, hard core, beotch.
After she exits, the crowd is treated to the recording of BJ don't cry followed by the guys... they begin the story of BJ (which was super! you could tell that a lot of thought was placed into it.. I will attempt to resurrect some of the story from memory, but I was a little overwhelmed with seeing everyone and being in NoHo and whole deal).
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com (Trace) wrote: > Set #1 BJ goes on a journey looking for his lost love Rachael. She is nowhere to be found in his hometown, so he makes like a hobo and hits the road. He is met by a man in a lamborgini countache (sp...) he eventually convinces BJ to: > Get in the Car - always a fun song! Yeah. Memory doesn't serve me well on these parts of the story.. somebody care to fill in? > Pisco Bandito > If You Only Knew (wow, wow, wow!) Travelling music was thrown in... BJ continues his search for Rachael. > Follow the Road I believe that BJ at this point, BJ is not having a good time with it, and run into someone who enlightens his mind... > Lazlo's Career BJ is having major problems... > Sad Today (I can't believe they played it!) BJ runs into a lady who has a fettish for flames and launching them onto her furnature. Too funny, she eventually burns her house down. > Psycho Killer Don't remember. > I Will Hold On BJ becomes a little home sick. > Homeward Bound BJ finds himself in the desert. > Sahara (not the extended jam) BJ decides that Rachael isn't on the moon, retrofits his car with two coke cans and pop rocks and takes off to the moon.. nasa satellites echo failed slogans to get people to relocate to the orb. > You Will Go to the Moon BJ decides that Rachel isn't worth persuing anymore and becomes a hermit, he has a last dream of his love and runs across his new friend. > Laika BJ and Laika lived happily ever after. > BJ > Set #2 > Michigan Militia > Jockey Full of Bourbon > Present Tense Tureen > Johnny Saucep'n > [The marriage proposal of Tom and Rachel- Congrats & best wishes you > two] > Fell in Love (ohmigod!) > King of Spain > Darlington Darling > Dancing Queen > > Encores: > Lee!!!!!!!!!!![With Chris O on piano, yes I know you're all drooling] This was great! Chris was so nervous that he was playing the intro extra slow... but after a minor mistake, all was ready and you could have heard a pin drop.. it was magical! > Drinking Song
This show was incredible! I had such a great time... its too bad that had just a little teaser of with the dance mix of king of spain after the show, everyone was so jazzed we probably could have had a great dance party afterwords.
Well, I need to get some work done today... the only bad thing about doing this.. coming back.
I, too, was at the Iron Horse show last night, and it was my first show too. I have to say I was immensely impressed. I'd heard some of their music on a mix tape a friend made for me years ago, but hadn't been able to track down any of their albums (living in the US as i do). When I got to college (Smith!), I saw an ad for their show, and waited (very excitedly) for the Big Day. I dragged a bunch of my friends along with me, and they all loved it too! The whole show was WONDERFUL - my only regret is that I can't go back tonight for the second one. (I don't know that anything could top the BJ and Rachel story + marriage proposal, though)
I am a Fruvous virgin no longer. I have now seen my first show. Woo Hoo. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. That was the best show I have ever seen!!!! And they didn’t just perform their songs. They read a whole narrative in between the songs to go along with them. They were fantastic. There was a couple in the audience and the guy wanted to propose marriage to his girlfriend. He prearranged for the band to sing the proposal and he gave her the ring. She accepted and then they got to stay up on stage while the band did a song for them. For another song, the guy who does their webpage (sorry I don't remember his name) got to accompany them on the piano. Good show! I wish I were going again tomorrow.
From Colleen Campbell:
Day two of the triple crown: 10/30, NoHo. The Paradise might as well be in my backyard, yes, but NoHo feels like it; though it's 100 miles away from Boston, it feels like a very reasonable drive to get to quality music. Many of you may have come on board since Marty Cosgrove left (he used to be one of the main posters here, a couple of years ago) but I think you'd agree with something he once said to me. After the first tape tree came out--from a 10/95 recording at the Iron Horse--he said that the Iron Horse was going to be Fruhead Mecca. Given that I'd travel from Jerusalem itself to get to a Fruvous show there, I'd agree; and given the Fruhead contingent waiting en line (and hell, off line--one of the few things that CAN get y'all offline ;) ), I'd say that others can second that.
A couple other people have mentioned what it was like, being on that line. There were people in line before 4:00, and it was quite nippy. Doors were originally announced to be 5:30, but as everyone learned upon arriving, they weren't going to open until 7:00. Eep! Most of us didn't bother staying on line, but bounced around, greeting and snuggling everyone; Andy wasn't surprised to find I lived up to my rep as a massageslut (as many other people found out shortly). It was an amazing experience, being excited afresh as we discovered that someone else from online was there. The locals didn't know what to make of us, and some of them were, sadly, rude--obstreporously getting in our faces about their assumption that we as a group intended to cut in front of them. Lots of reunions with people I hadn't seen in months--Sirilyan, Hugo, Doug Levy, Ingrid and hKatherine, Chris and Zard, Angel and Sarah--please don't anyone be offended that I can't remember your name personally, as I probably shorted out some synapses with excitement then. Lemme put it this way: I hardly noticed it was cold, and this is the girl already beginning to whimper that her thin Floridean blood is curdling at the onslaught of fall chilliness. (There were also some people conspicuously and lamentably absent: Dan Carp, Llesi, Rosemary, Heatherrr Rolph, Gordon--Gordon, where were you? I hope at another great concert instead.) I counted up three countries, four provinces, and at least sixteen states represented there, and I'm sure there were more. Hey, poll: pipe up if you came from a state other than California, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, DC/Maryland, North Carolina, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Delaware.
Once they let us in, we milled around, forming into little pockets of Fruheads. We weren't pockets of insanity, though: the Fruheads may have been standouts in how far we traveled for the show, but we were on par for rabid enthusiasm. I'm sure I wasn't the only person there whose voice gave up on her in disgust and took a vacation to Maui for a few days. (We're reaching an uneasy settlement at this point.) I had carved my Very First Pumpkin Ever with the Fruvous Bargainville logo (I thought it very cute), and I found that one of John Greene's friends had done the same thing: they both ended up on stage, glowing happily.
Jess Klein has an amazing voice and a sense of quirky self-effacement I found rather endearing. This was my third time hearing her, and this venue worked the best for it--a fairly quiet, respecting crowd. There was one clear "standout" song, though, a jouncy in-your-face call to feminist attitude with a catchy refrain: "Hey hey, flirt with this/ I am a certified hard-core bitch/ I do not care for your point of view/ But I'll let you live and that's the only thing I'm gonna do." The surprising thing is that there were guys singing and clapping along! Another I really liked was "Jane," which she described as being about a relationship that you know will end, it's just a matter of time, which I've been known to be able to relate to. Her closing song that night was a Tom Waits cover that I really enjoyed (heck, I can't remember a Tom Waits cover I *haven't* enjoyed, though Tori's "Time" will never be surpassed for me).
I found my place far back in the crowd, wanting to have lots of space to dance myself to exhaustion. Ended up dancing boisterously with Ben Cordes and fiancee Tara, a couple of MIT'ers, and Jonathan Edelson, who turned out to be my "dad" on a tape tree a couple of years ago, to my amusement. The whole crowd was *jammin'*, believe me. They weren't rowdy, though (until the VERY end, when a couple of people hollered for GE&H, after "Lee," with the band clearly about to go into "Drinking Song".) For the most part, the crowd was extremely responsive, occasionally talking with the band. (Jian put on a purple hat backwards, a la "Tim" from the "Your New Boyfriend" tour, and spoke in a silly inflection when he was reading his parts of the narrative; at one point he forgot to put the hat on and everyone hollered for it.) They were respectfully quiet for serious, lyrically complex or emotionally wrought songs, like "Follow the Road" (my first hearing, and I definitely need to hear it a couple more times just to get the depth it conveys), "If Only You Knew" (each of them picked 3 songs they wanted to include in the first set, and someone else picked that for Mike; whoever it was, thank you!), and "I Will Hold On." There was much singing along for "Homeward Bound," a real treat since I haven't known of it being included in a setlist before. And of course, massive enthusiasm for dance-your-booty-off songs like "Psycho Killer" and "BJ." The best treat for me? "Sad Today." Thought I'd *never* hear it live, and in fact they haven't played it live, as far as I'm aware, since it was recorded. I grabbed somebody nearby and waltzed--badly. *grin*
In the second set, as we knew would happen, they called Rachel down to stage (in what sounded like fairly realistic improv banter). Thing is, there were three Rachels in the audience; one was easy to eliminate, as she was on the dance floor, but there were two from the balcony, and I don't even know if Jian knew which was Tom's Rachel! So he was questioning them, "Do you have a boyfriend?" "No, the first answered; "or a girlfriend, either." That elicited some screams! (And hey, she was really cute, too.) Tom's Rachel was second, and Dave manuvered the other into the background while Jian explained to our heroine that he actually knew she had a boyfriend Tom, and here he was to ask her a question on stage. Tom went down on his knees and Fruvous serenaded her with a beautifully harmonized "Will you marry me?" I'm not normally one for weeping, but I teared up just watching the emotion on the stage, and the crowd was ecstatic. Tom and Rachel stayed on stage as Fruvous sang "Fell in Love." There's no way to convey the mood in writing; it was an incredibly private moment that several hundred happened to be witness to.
The second set, on the whole, was rather normal pieces; I enjoyed getting "Darlington Darling" (with Jian jumping back and forth unpredictably and occasionally bumping into Murray). It was a fast-paced, high energy set, with relatively little banter and improv, if I remember right. And as others have already described, "Lee" was an amazing treat; it came across as very. . .I dunno how to say it. . . human. Chris was nervous and Dave was a little shakey himself (not surprising, a quiet song at the end of two demanding sets), but somehow that just contributed to it for me. The other lads didn't join in--sat quietly around the stage--but I kept imagining their harmonies as if they were there
After that, NoHo staff shoo'ed us out fairly soon--understandably, as they'd be staying open late the next day for the post-show party. Fruheads dispersed back to The Valley Inn (where one room became "Club 151"), Motel 6 (where most of the cool people were staying *smile*), and various homes in the area. I was up til 4 a.m., babbling and cuddling and just reveling in it all. How many times I said, "You can just feel the love!" I played massage slut again, which earned me some concubinage--beautiful women feeding me pizza while I worked, who could ask for anything more? Heehee.. . I was surprised that Cal accepted a massage, as he's said in the past that he likes staying high-stress to keep his edge (and I certainly won't argue with a winning formula). I was *marvelous* to catch up with Chris Traugott, ramble at poor AJ (receptive ear that he was; bet he knows better than to inquire after my relationship now!), giggle at Chad (zonked on the floor long before we vacated his room). I never feel quite so at-home as on Fruhead weekends: a lot of the best moments of my life have been while enmeshed in the giddiness and conviviality of Fru-congregations.
Okay, guys, this is already one of the longest posts, if not THE longest, that I've ever written, and I haven't even tackled day three, and I don't honestly feel up to it, not at the same kind of length. For starters, it was a much more low-energy day for me (partly 'cause Ingrid had piled my hair on my head and I didn't want to shake it down, partly 'cause I couldn't scream anymore, and partly 'cause of exhaustion); for seconders, I'm not the person best suited to talk about a setlist of covers: I've learned about a huge amount of music by Fruvous covering or referencing it, but that should be a clue into the fact that until they *do*, I'm ignorant. I didn't know a lot of the material they did that night, and what I did know was frequently because they'd covered it in the past. Especial treats for me, though, were "Dancing Cheek to Cheek" and "Please Please Me" (I'd thought I'd never hear them do either live, having bad tapes of them previously), "Miss Otis Regrets" (a sobering Cole Porter piece), "Signed Sealed Delivered" with John Greene tickling the ivories until they gasped for mercy, "Billie Jean" (YAAAAAY! amusing, I thought, that when Dave started up the banjo, you could hear a single hoarse shriek, followed by a roomful of cheers when Murray laid on the bass line), "Poor Napoleon" and "Oliver's Army," and "Early Morning Rain," which was tighter than Thursday's performance and, with Murray's rich voice gliding into every corner of that venue, left me almost unable to breathe. "Gulf War Song" was possibly the most heartfelt I've ever heard it, which is saying a lot, and left me tearing up for the second time in two days there.
So you can depend on Chad for a better review for the remainder, and hopefully more knowledgeable people like Chris & Zard and Doug Levy (and Richard, whose country produced a lot of the artists covered that night) will fill it out for you. As for me, I've got work--yes, I get to go sit in front of a fireplace and make people happy for a few hours. I hope this vicariously conveyed some of the bliss that's still swirling around in me, several days later, for those of you who weren't able to experience it firsthand.
From Chad Maloney:
Welcome to the Chad Northampton Friday Set 1 review. You see, I figured that I'd split this thing amongst 3 posts so as to not freak those Deja News people out. I haven't reviewed a show really in awhile. I do still have notes for the midwest swing and promise to do some better reviewing of them later, but here's the review of Set 1 of the Iron Horse.
Pardon the setup. If you just care for the show, skip to the -------------->.
So, my Iron Horse trip started probably earlier than most. While people were busy posting 3 days, 2 days, 9 hours posts to the ng, I headed up to Bowling Green, home of the national tractor pull (I'm sure Sheryl *loves* the fact that I posted that one...). The first leg of my journey wasn't too bad. Listened to some Guster (I actually just got Parachute - so sue me) and the new Phish CD roB! talked me into getting (good stuff). I had no problems getting into Sheryl's residence hall and other than the smelly college boys and their nasty bathroom, it was a good time. Sheryl's roomate was nice enough to let me sleep in her bed and we listened to some Guster show ("We Guster, and we from the streets") and I got to second hand experience one of the most hilarious frumoments - the Pisco Pinata from the Ark. ("What's in the fish, Mur. What's in the fish?" "We got a ring pop!"). That was Wednesday.
Thursday was a nice slow day for awhile. Kinda waited around, played with Sheryl's stupid click proof homework and decided it was really crappy. Popped into some daytime IRC for a couple seconds and more or less moved my car every 2 hours to avoid a parking ticket, which I successfully did. No police intervention the entire trip (and so far no police intervention in my entire Frutripping life! Woo hoo! And even more important when you have your Illinois license plates from High School and you've been in living in Indiana officially for almost 2 years.
After some failed attempts to call Andi (all because I told Sheryl it was okay to throw away my BG directions which had Andi's phone number on them), we just enjoyed the day. Andi arrived and so did Barb and we hit the road for New York at around 5:30pm, planning on driving until we get tired and needing to sleep.
We drove north for about 15 miles and then got on I90, our home for the next couple days. Yes, to get from Bowling Green to NoHo, you take 75 North to 90 and take 90 until Massachuesettes. Then take 91 North for 15 miles and you are there. And to make it even better, 90 is a toll road 75% of the way! Joy!
We made it all the way to Seneca Falls NY (home of the Nation Women's Museum) and actually went to sleep rather quickly. Well, most of us went to sleep quickly. Some of us dyed our hair. Ironically, those of us that dyed our hair also woke up first and wanted to watch the loud TV. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
The Friday wasn't too bad. We had stopped about 4 hours from NoHo, so we made good time and ejoyed the scenery, which beats the heck out of Ohio scenery (which is almost as bad a Illinois, Jordan). We rolled into NoHo around 3pm and enjoyed the rustic small town scenery as we braved the massive traffic and blinding sun.
[At this point, Adam taught me how to set wrap lines in vi, so the lines get longer and the total review length gets shorter *grin* Thanks, Adam]
We managed to find the Iron Horse after wandering a bit. We had gotten onto Main and the sun was blinding. The first time, we went right by the road the Iron Horse is on (center? Was that it?) but the second time I just sorta blindly turned into a space and hit the road. We found a parking spot up the street in front of a grocery and walked down to the Horse to check things out and see who was around already.
In the line, we found some friendly people we knew and also a sign that said Fruvous goes on at 8:30, and doors were 7pm. We thought they were 5:30, so we were really early. We walked up the street and ate at a really great vegetarian restaurant (the Haymarket). Good stuff and they made Vanilla Cokes making it even better. Then we headed back to the Horse and the line.
The line was very eventful in a cold sort of way. People wandered in and out of the line and we greeted people as they showed up. Kathryn blocked up a parking spot while Jason brought his car around and when Toby showed up, we secured him a spot as well. Eventually, we even got me a good spot up front and after several terrible parallel parking attempts, Jason and Nate guided me straight and it all worked out quite nicely.
Eventually the doors opened and we went in to get our Will Call tickets. Because of the Will Call, the line went slowly, so once in, you had some time to walk around before you really had to be in your spot. I secured what I think is one of the best places in the house. If you've never been to the Iron Horse (hey, I hadn't before these shows), it is actually a great place. There's an upstairs Balcony section for people who want to sit and see the show. The stage is about 3 feet tall, so the people in front of it could see if no one extremely huge (read: me) stands in front of them. Then, in the very back, there's about a 2 foot step up to another small raised part. The part Stage Dave is also raised to that level and a lot people were over there too. I was at the front of the back 2 foot raised part next to a column that was holding up the Balcony at center stage. The view was really great. A full view of the entire stage and all Frulads from the knees up. Wonderful!
And to make things even better, Chris Traugott to my left to enjoy the important parts of the show *grin*. Gonna be a great show.
Jess Klein opened. She was pretty good. I think I'd really enjoy her in a sit down and shut up and listen type venue. But even though I was antsy for the impending fru-antics, she was still entertaining.
The show began with Cal playing BJ from a CD. I dunno if it was Bargainville or Indie. I'd guess Bargainville. Mike sounded so young and hearing the real words was kinda odd too. Most of the people in the audience didn't think too much of it though and kept on talking through it. A pity, it made good closure to the first set. Many people sang a long though and when the Frulads came out and started instrument checking over the song, they quieted down and sang more. I had no idea what the hell was gonna happen and I was really really happy at what did.
After BJ, Cal started reading something from a notebook. It was the beginning of a story about BJ and Rachel. What we later got to know as the BJ and Rachel theme rang in as Cal read.
[Paraphrase warning, I'll do my best to come up with the narrative]
In Ontario, in his town of Flesherton, BJ lived along with his true love Rachel. BJ bought Rachel flowers, candy, and interactive CD Roms. But Rachel just thought BJ was silly and moved away. So, BJ, once he got tired of crying set off to find her.
He hadn't gone more than a kilometer down the road when he was approached by a Lambourghini Countach. The car stopped and a gull-wing door opened. BJ could smell the hail fella, how ya doing-ness that only comes from people who bring in more than $90,000 a year (is that Canadian?). "Hail, Fella. How ya doing" he said. And BJ told him of Rachel. The guy pointed out that BJ was looking at the hottest chick magnet there is, but BJ pointed out that hitchhiking was a dangerous counterculteral thing to do. After thinking about, he got in the car.
(Get in the Car)
Good start. Dave and Mike were jumping around on stage and really into things. It seems the working of the Narrative really got them into the show. It was great to see them really enjoying themselves up there and it showed and spread to the crowd through opening with a rocking tune. The guys were all smiles.
[Mike (as Lou)]
Lou appeared on the scene, Blueblockers and all. Mike's rhymes were great. Sometimes he'd have four or five rhyming words in a couple lines. Really great stuff. Some lines I remember:
Some rhyme that ended in still no Fraulein.
And to his peril he met a girl named Sheryl who fed him squirrel.
Something about the commish of all bandit fish.
Yes, BJ met the rather Neat-O, Senor Mister Pisco Bandito.
Yay, Pisco! Fish Boy meets Bandit Fish. Mike used Modern day Savalis and not latter day Savalis and Mur's nice one note at a time guitar solo was pretty good. Cal had the bass pretty hot and Dave has good crisp playing so it sounded pretty decent.
What a trip it had already been. What a trip it has been (this became Jian's continuing joke for the night). BJ has already gotten into the car and encoured a evil materialistic bandit fish. I wonder if he was a Kenneth Starr-fish. (Laughs) Just kidding. But he still missed Rachel. (Jian pauses again, just to make what song they are about to play really register with people - he did this really well through out the night and it really made a difference to me. I got chills as Ji said the song titles that followed his narrative bits)... If only you knew.
(If Only You Knew How Much I Think of You)
Woo hoo! Mike song! He did this at the Lee's Palace show too (I think) and it just was better. Mike was as good as before, but this time, the other guys actually knew the song and played along well. Very very nice.
BJ was rather frustrated. He wrapped his putter around a windmill in miniature golf. He went into a S'barro's and told a 3 year old to F**k off. His metabolism was racing. Faster. Faster. Faster.
[I don't remember how Mike transitioned into...]
(Follow the Road)
Have I mentioned how much I love Follow the Road? I mean truly love this song. The imagery is wonderful. It hits me really hard when the song comes around on itself with the 3 year old goal scoring son. It is just a wonderful song and says so much inside it. I guess this was my, what, third time hearing it and it has been truly great each time. I sure hope this gets on a CD sometime. Jian's best songs really tend to grab you and hold you until they end and this one holds me tight the whole time and squeezes harder at points.
BJ came upon a purple sign for Cannabiston. There were schools with stained glass windows and BJ wandering into town and met a moustachioed man and had a conversation with him. At one point, the man reached into his bag and magically pulled out a spoon and something that looked like Aladdin's lamp with a bunch of hoses coming out of it.
As mayor of Cannabiston, I pronouce this pizza awesome.
And the Moustachioed man looked up and said "Angel, I can take you away from this place. My name is Lazlo"
I always love hearing Lazlo. The bass line is pretty slick and Mur gets that little fills in so well. Lazlo came off really well actually, and by this point, the guys were all really into the show and music's honest quality really came through more than on normal nights.
What a trip it has already been. What a trip it has been. BJ just experienced his first real trip with Lazlo. And what a trip it has been. And like the Princess of Wales and other famous people, he wants more. So, BJ took off to Germany for a Love Rave and some ecstacy. In Germany, BJ met some guy with a huge German name (something like Hans Mueller Beckenbauer-Matthias-Schlaefer or something). Hans gets BJ off the trips and gets him on some good beer, saying that Rachel may be in the beirgartens, but BJ realizes that the beer is causing his depression. He realized he is... (Jian pauses a long pauses just to make it even more special)... Sad Today.
Okay, so I had half heard this song when roB! pointed it out to me while we were in line, but I had completely talked myself into thinking it wasn't it. Rob was like "Is that..." and I shut him up quickly before I started trying to listen. I go "Don't want to know... a Murray song? No. Go away. Get away!!!"
Jian had stuck something on the snare before his monologue and I couldn't figure out what it was. It was bigger than the tin whistle. Well, it turned out to be a Melodica (not a Mellotron *grin*) and we got to hear Sad Today!! That leaves only Bed & Breakfast between us and Wood top to bottom. I better be at _that_ durned show. Hearing Sad Today was so great enough I don't know what I'd do with a show that had Down From Above, Doorstep, Misplaced, Sad Today, Nuits De Reve AND Bed & Breakfast in it...
Man, oh man. I love Murray songs. It isn't just because Murray is the bass player neither. I love Story telling songs (that's why Elvis is so great). That's why I completely and totally love Follow the Road. I was so happy to hear Sad Today. So, so happy. It was one of many songs that made the shows so great. Thanks for doing it, guys!!!
[Murray (This is the one I remember most because it was hilarious)]
Sad and in a funk, BJ wandered down to the river and spotted a shack. Inside, he was greeted by a woman. BJ got the impression she cut her own hair and she was flicking matches all over the room. "Seven" she says. "What?" "Seven. I prefer it to hello. It breaks the ice." "Oh Seven" "Match?" "No thank you". "I was like you once. Career. Husband. Career. I had it all" she said lobbing a match onto the couch. "What happened" said BJ. "I acquired a taste for human brains. A rare condition, but not as rare as you think. It doesn't get much press". "That's understandable" said BJ. "Things fell apart after that. The postman. My boss. My husband. I was just getting into different recipes: Curries, tempura. I had just discovered a great recipe for Brain Au Jous." Just then the shack burst into flames and the rest of her speech was lost in the roar.
Okay, now I was really ready for Love Set Fire here. What? Can't do two Mur songs right after each other? I mean, tossing matches around. Love song. Not that Psycho Killer was bad at all. But Love Set Fire just sort of belonged here. But I guess after Sad Today, I don't have anything to complain about, so I'll be quiet. I do like Psycho Killer when they end clean. I shouldn't really complain about one of the best 1 hour 20 minutes of Fruvous I've ever experienced, should I?
Can I get an Amen? (Amen!) Can I get a praise the lord? (Praise the Lord!) Does not psychotic freaking out purge the soul? Can I get a witness? (Witness!) Can I get a blince, miss? (Blince Miss!)
Sometimes the crazy cackling purges the soul. BJ sat down and
...to relax and watch the sunset.
(I Will Hold On)
Murray was really on on the bass line and Jian's vocals were great. Murray's slides were nice in cut off places and he was grooving along with the tambourine in the slick part. All in all, a really good version of the song. And we all know I love this song too, right?
So, wondering what's happening with this guy? (crowd: As long as he doesn't cry - Murray: He's been crying through the whole story!). BJ's story is kinda like Ulysseus and the Golden Fleece. But Rachel was replaced in BJ's mind by his home. He was so bummed out. He missed his home, his interactive CD roms. He contemplated going home.
It was great to hear the crowd scream when they realized the song and to hear many people sing a long. I really missed Murray singing the octave down though on the choruses, but Mike and Ji did a good job as Mur and Dave ducked down and out of the way. Jian sings this song really well with his vocal stretches and good dynamics. Mike took some liberty in the end with the guitar too.
At some point, the theme came back and Mur requested the fast version and added some up-beat stuff to it and Mike takes it into a quick little improv that ended before he expected it to. Jian brings it back saying that we got a show to do. I figure the improv was to cover the bass problems that cropped up and Cal raced off to help Mur out after he noticed Mur holding the bass up to him.
What a trip it has been. Unfortunately for BJ, home isn't where his love lies waiting. (Awwwww). (At this point, Cal comes on stage trying to fix the bass because the battery had run out - Jian improvs) BJ notices a small quick sound engineer named Deus Ex Machina. He looks like he should be in Depeche Mode (now, Murray and Mike are watching Cal and Dave walks off stage - Jian is semi alone while he is trying to start an improv to cover - it doesn't work at all). The narrator suddenly is feeling all alone. (Dave starts the BJ theme in the backgroup). BJ goes to a small Massachuesttes town (crowd screams) named Worsheter (pronounced badly). No! Northampton. He hears the sound of beatniks (Ji then bends this Beatniks thing into a slam of Starbucks before he pulls it back in). What a trip it has been. BJ thinks that Rachel may not be with exciting people, maybe he is at a boring-er place like the Matchbox 20 concert. He dresses up like Peter O'toole (for some reason) before heading out to the desert. The desert is hot. The sun is hot. BJ is hot. Fortunately some famous guy (was it Warren Beatty?) had opened a hotel and casino in the middle of the desert. BJ rests his feet and enjoys a drink in a hotel called... the Sahara.
Very good version. Fortunately the bass worked after Cal swapped batteries. Surprising the Spector eats through them that fast. There's gotta be something up with it. I change the battery on my active bass like once every 6 months. I hope it isn't serious, though. Long live the Spector!
After BJ searched for Rachel, he decided she couldn't be on earth. He added some bubble gum and some pop rocks to his airplane (where the heck did BJ get an airplane?) and headed out towards the sky. As the last decent radio station faded into nothing he headed out into space...
(You Will Go to the Moon)
Another very nice rendition of a song I've heard a lot. It's amazing how a good story can fuel the songs too. Murray was really nailing a lot of good walking lines in his part and everyone was enjoying things. Mur ended the song beeping a couple times.
Once BJ got to the moon, it was a desolate place, kinda like Duluth. But the lack of Packers fans meant it wasn't. He was singing to himself as he slept on a moon rock, all alone. (Dave names a bunch of songs with one in them like One is the Lonliest Number). As BJ slept he dreamt from weird dreams (to which Mike started singing _The Stripper_). He had such a vivid dream of something licking his face that he awoke and saw that something *was* licking his face. It was a little dog and BJ reached for her collar and looked at the tag.
Song start was a little late. It should have picked up right after Dave said "looked at the tag..." but oh well. Rocking bass line as always on Laika. Mur was having lotsa fun with it in the high registers. I always love to hear Laika because it is such a good driving tune with some neat change ups thrown in.
As BJ was sitting on the cold moon, he realized that he was happy. He had Laika and cheap land. He spent his days playing chase the rock, which consumed most of their days because he could throw a rock a good couple miles on the moon. And they lived happily ever after...
(BJ Don't Cry)
The final closure of this great set. Boy, this whole story was so refreshing. It was great to see the guys enjoy themselves up there and it was great that it came off so well. The story was wonderful. Lotsa little jokes tossed and just generally every song from the new ones we haven't heard to the ones we've all heard many times sounded crisp and new. I really hope the guys enjoyed this set as much as it seems and as much as I enjoyed it. I was grinning a mile wide afterwards and didn't expect anything as elaborate or as wonderful as what we got in just that first set.
Mike's BJ improv at the end was about BJ needing a laxative and thanking everyone for taking a part in his narrative, if anyone wants to know =)
Well, there's my review of the first set. Maybe more later, but for now, it is bed time for me.
Ok. NoHo review. Where on earth do I start? I guess I'll just ramble as usual.
First off I want to echo Maige in thanking the guys for their tremendous effort which made this weekend extra-special. After each Friday set and the Saturday set all I could say was "wow" for quite a bit. Guys if those were the last Früshows I was destined to see, then I'm satisfied. The great thing is, although there's no way you could possibly top Friday's first set, you keep finding ways to make each concert just as fabulous in its own way.
The company was just as amazing as the concerts. I finally got to meet Richard, ladywench, Adam, Chad, chad, Nora, leah, Jeff, Moz, mosch, Trace, and tens of others as well as see those of you I haven't seen since FruMiles or even FruCon and the other few that I seem to see every few weeks even if you *do* live in Buffalo (Chrissy!)
So.. what happened that weekend? Well some of it is unpublishable *g* but I'll do my best.
Thursday Things kicked off when I got on the bus for Toronto. G'bye Guelph, you can keep your midterms! A few hours later my Mum and I picked up Drea from the airport. If any of you are silly enough to think that we slept that night then you're wrong. Drea had brought her Fruvous videotape, so I got to see the videos again, a few appearances I'd missed and my first viewing of the FruCon tape. (I, thankfully, wasn't on it but I could point out to Drea where exactly I had been sitting) Around 4 am we were getting very silly and going places that no Fruhead should go with some of our ideas. We got on the newsgroup, Drea posted her rebuttal of chad's 19.5 hours post (which I will quote).
Friday 5:45 am. Mike Wood knocks on the door, in full Mulder attire. (Sorry Mike, but that's what the trenchcoat makes you look like) This indicates that the taxi is here and away we go to the bus depot. The bus ride to Buffalo was long.. I didn't sleep much although the other two did. I did get a nice blackmail photo of Mike :) I nearly left my sleeping bag behind at the border. SillyNafs.
9:50 am. We arrive (late) at the Buffalo bus depot. No sign of the rest of FruCar Buffalo yet. Mike calls Chrissy's cell phone and all 5 Kwiecinskis in the phone book to no avail. (She's unlisted) Drea and I take turns patrolling the bus station. Mike plays a little Tetris.
10:30 am. AMY!!! Apparently someone slept in a little *g* Hugs all round, then we squish into Chrissy's Pimpmobile. A cop tells us that the Pimpmobile is an illegal colour. (It's a lovely metallic purple. Charming car) Breakfast? Nah let's get OUT of here.. besides Mike had a few chocolate bars on the bus. In goes Live Noise.. the CD adapter ceases to work (ack) so Drea substitutes the Clifton's show.
Quotes during the drive: "Don't MAKE me turn this Frucar around" various drivers all weekend *g* On the way BACK it was answered by "Go ahead! Let's go to Vermont!" "Don't hit the prostitute!" Mike, to Amy, as she pulled out of a rest stop. "Happy New Year!" - all of us, plus the people on the NYE '97 tape, somewhere around the time we passed Utica. "Bryan Adams?" "She said it wasn't a Canadian" "Bryan Adams!" - Mike and Drea, trying to guess who does backing vocals on Alan Frew's "Healing Hands", somewhere on the I-91. (Incidentally, it was Mickey Dolenz) "Adam!" all of us, on seeing the exit for "Hatfield"
We arrive at the Motel 6 ("Look, they left the light on for us!") around 6pm. The desk clerk had never heard of Moxy Fruvous, so we warned him he would hear the name several times this weekend. This worried him because the last batch of Phish fans who visited the motel caused problems. (At the end of it all he agreed we had behaved and that he needed to see Fruvous some time. He himself is a Phish fan)
On the way back from South Deerfield to NoHo we pass the exits for North Hatfield and Hatfield. "We're back in North Hatfield." "What are we doing on top of Adam's head?" (ok so _we_ thought it was funny.
Parking proves to be quite difficult at 6:45 pm. Eventually, after directions from various Fruheads standing in line at the Iron Horse, we see a guy pulling out of a spot. "Mike! Go stand in that space until we can pull in!" "... I was KIDDING!" We love ya Mike. He stared down someone just as close as us who was attempting to pull into the space. We trekked back to the Iron Horse, said hellos to a few people.
Doors open, people pile in and dear lord do I know a lot of Fruhead names. I even saw several familiar faces. I got lifthugged by Adam, met Cchhaad and Richard and Gobo and.. oh wait I said that already. Hi all. Met a gazillion Fruheads and even have pix of a couple of them. lots of mingling, chatting, laughter. Jess Klein happened somewhere in there too and we sort of paid attention. She was very good. (Flirt with This is going to become a theme song I think)
Jess Klein finishes and we take our places. I find myself stage Dave, several rows back, near Drea, Doug, Mike Wood, Maige, Amy, Adam, Jeff and in view of Richard, Marie-Claude and Katherine. TWO sets are announced. Anyone have a problem with that? not us!! Eventually BJ Don't Cry comes on. Everyone cheers and starts hunting for the guys.. they're not onstage... where ARE they? We sing along anyway, laughing. The guys take the stage to much applause in the middle of the song.. Jian pretends to look annoyed that the canned music isn't off.
Then the magic happens. WOW. I bounced, I danced, I sang along, I stayed absolutely silent, I nearly cried. (Several people did cry.) Highlights.. um.. the whole show? Ok well..
"What a trip it had been. What a trip it had already been" "HAT!" "You forgot your HAT!" "Oh right we have a costume budget" "The narrator begins to feel all alone. Except for a nice sound person who looks like he should be in Depeche Mode." "What a trip it had been, what a trip it had been what a trip it had been" "Seven" Tom & Rachel. If Only Follow the Road Sad Today Homeward Bound Fell in Love Lee King of Spain Dance Mix The Drinking Song - most of us sang along, ALL of us swayed. The look on Jian's face was priceless as was the feeling in the room. I love Fruheads.
I know that's not everything. I hope the band reconsiders and lets tapes go out, I never want to forget that show and already I'm needing reminders.
Much gabbing followed. There was a bit of confusion when we learned that our group at Motel 6 had paid for 3 rooms even though the booking was only for 2, but that got cleared up. Bedtime in room 218 was around 4 am.
I'm sure others will be posting, or have already posted, reviews of the Noho shows. So, I don't believe it is necessary for me to reiterate what occurred over the weekend. It is obvious that the weekend was a huge success for both, our friend, Tom (aka BJ) -and- for Fruvous! BTW, Congratulations Tom and Rachel!! :)
However, I believe that it -is- necessary to reiterate to the Fru-lads how amazing Friday night's show was. I couldn't possibly attempt to speak for everyone - so, I'm taking this to a more personal level if you don't mind. I tried to express to Mike, Jian, Dave and Murray, while choking back emotion-filled tears, how incredible the performance was for me. As usual, I couldn't seem to put forth the thoughts streaming through my mind at the time. So, if the Fru-heads will indulge me for a moment...I'd like to declare my personal thanks to those that made this weekend unforgettable.
First, Mike Ford. *long pause* Wow. *another long pause* Thank you so very much for sharing that ever-so-personal song you wrote for your family with us. By the second note of "If Only You Knew" tears were flowing down my cheeks. I am touched by the complete honesty with which you express the lonliness of being on the road. It is almost impossible, as an audience member, to express my admiration for your ability to be so openly genuine. Thank you.
Jian. Two out of the three songs that I posted as "songs I haven't heard in concert but would like to" were done at Friday's show (one right after another as a matter of fact). Most likely a coincidence, I know, but worth a thank you in your direction anyway. ;) "Follow the Road" just after "If Only You Knew" was a stroke of genius. I shed tears all the way through that one too...also later, during "I Will Hold On;" (A song, btw, which I consider -not- positive...since you put forth that question on Thursday in Boston). On a more technical note, your voice was so powerful and fused with emotion - well, it was just absolutely incredible. Thank you.
Now on to David M. I am always -overwhelmingly- impressed with your range of talent. I never tire of listening to you play - whether it be on the banjo, sqeeze-box, or piano...I'm enthralled. "Lee" was a terrific success and "Fell in Love" went straight to the heart; It topped off the intense emotion of the marriage proposal with an intensity of it's own. I had heard you sing that song before, but never with such feeling. Amazing. Thank you.
Murray. You consistantly find some way to amaze me. Just when I think I've seen everything that you can do - you come off with some unbelievable bass solo as in Mistra Know-It-All, an incredible stroke of comic genius like Pisco or Tenderloin, or you find that one song where you have an -astonishing- intensity, power and control over your voice as in Friday's "Sad Today." You are extrodinary. Thank you.
So, have I gushed enough? No?! Okay then...how about a thank you in the directions of Cal and "Tobey"...each of them with special talents which we all appreciate. The show just wouldn't be the same without them.
I also want to send a few thank you's to the ppl of the Iron Horse. It was a refreshing surprise to be treated so well by the owner and staff. After the rude dismissal from the Paradise Cafe in Boston...It was nice to be treated like humans rather than cattle for a change. :)
And lastly, a huge thank you to all of the ppl whom I've met through Fruvous who made the experience a positive one: my "roomies" for the weekend, the ppl of "Club 151" at the hotel formerly known as the Days Inn, and of course, the various Fru-heads whom always make me feel welcome by sending a smile and hello my way. :)
I certainly hope that the sincerity of the expression of these thank you's is felt through this post and I also hope that it doesn't come off too corny. Sometimes, in the rush of post-show conversations it is difficult to get out everything that you want to say. It isn't often that one has such a forum to make up for that. I -know- that one of the many flaws I have is that I forget to tell ppl that they are important to me. I simply felt the need to utilize the opportunity set before me to tell everyone that what they do is very much appreciated by me...and in the case of Murray, Dave, Mike, Jian, DaveT and Cal, I'm sure, by all who attend Fruvous shows.
So, one last thank you to you, the ng readers, for indulging me in this rambling. And now...
"I am -so- done with this!" *grin* (Unofficially declared motto for Noho weekend.) ;P See you in Buffalo next weekend! Lates....
Next day, meeting you all in Noho. I'd been through this before, meeting
people who `know' me from what I've written or drawn, but not actually
met me face to face, but never quite on this scale. I remember a party
when I was a student and someone rushed up to me and said `You're
Richard, I've seen your cartoons in the student newspaper and I think
you're really funny. Say something funny.' Expectant face staring right
at me. `Um. Do you know where the fridge is? My beer's getting warm.' I
said pathetically. Massive disappointment on face. Was this going to be
the same? But multiplied by 150? Well, you all hid your disappointment
well if it was. :) I don't know if you get those moments where you catch
yourself, what you're doing, and an internal voice says `What the
f So after the PhD mood that had caught me after the Boston show, I
steeled myself against any nasty memories that might get generated at
Noho. Just as long as they don't play Fell in Love I thought. Hmmmmpth.
So I can write a three volume novel of more than the usual revolting
sentimentality about my associations to Fell in Love. And I'm not doing
it now. Just imagine a story about being in love with someone who
doesn't love you while someone else loves you who you really like and
respect, but you're not in love with them, but you know what they're
going through because you're going through it yourself and you feel so
sorry for them. Got it? Right, times that by ten and that's about the
sort of thing I associate with Fell in Love. Actually I dealt with it
quite well I thought. Probably the wonderful emotions that packed the
Iron Horse just before the song was played were enough to stop me
getting all morbid about and self-obssessed about it. Dave seemed to go
all wavey, as if viewed through water during the song though. I wonder
Okay, that's enough for now, that's my afternoon gone. And I didn't even
got onto the llamas. (Yes Bill, I had seen llamas before, but,
strangely, never in a field in Vermont before). Actually no, that's not
enough. On the Sunday after it was all over I drove back to Boston to
fly home and on the way I stopped at Frucasa to pick up the journal I'd
accidentally left there. As I left Chris and Vika gave me a shaker egg
that Fruvous apparently used at Frucon as a momento. I put it my pocket
and battled through the waking nightmare of Boston traffic, left the
hire car, struggled with all my luggage into the airport, faffed about
with the ticketing and passports, and eventually flopped exhausted into
my plane seat. As I did so the shaker egg rattled in my pocket and
reminded me how lucky I am to have met you all.
Some other tidbits from the performance include:
BJ Don’t Cry (Bargainville version)]
CAL: Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to the story of BJ and
[BJ Travel Theme]
In a province called Ontario, in a town called Flesherton, lived a boy named
BJ who was in love with a girl named Rachael. Everyday BJ would buy flowers
for Rachael, or chocolates, or interactive CD-Roms. But Rachael thought BJ
was just a silly boy and threw them all in the garbage. Then one day for no
apparent reason, and without so much as a forwarding address, Rachael and
her family moved away from Flusherton. BJ was heartbroken, and spent all
his time crying and drawing strange pictures that no one understood.
Eventually BJ got tired of crying all the time and decided to go off and
find Rachael. So the very next morning he tied a handkercheif to a stick
just like he’d seen in the cartoons, and set off.
[BJ Travel Theme]
MURRAY: He hadn’t gone more than a kilometer down the road when a car
pulled up beside him. It was a 1997 Lamborghini Countach, twin cam, with
wing doors and a factory option microwave oven. The car stopped, one of the
wing doors opened, and out stepped a man in his mid-30s. Even from 10-feet
away, BJ caught a wiff of that blue microbial liquid they keep the combs in
in expensive health clubs. He had that “Hail fellow, well met” tone of
voice that people have who pull down over $90,000 a year. “Hail fellow,
well met,” he shouted. “Hello,” said BJ. “You look lost. Where are you
headed?” “Well,” said BJ, “I’m looking for a girl, actually.” “Well, this
is your lucky day. You happen to be looking at the hottest chick magnet on
the planet. I’m headed to a resort for the weekend—why don’t you hop in
with me?” “Thank you very much,” said BJ turning to the camera, “but
hitchhiking is a dangerous and counter-cultural activity that leads to
free-thinking and non-conformity. Four out of five people who pick up
hitchhikers are serial killers and the rest are loners with bad teeth.”
“Well, I see I’m not getting anywhere with this—but maybe this will change
your mind . . .” And with that he burst into song.
[Get in the Car]
MIKE (as Lou Reed): Yep . . . I was always trying to write the Great
American Novel, I found it right here—the BJ and Rachael story. So here’s
He got in a car, he got in another
He went from town to town to town and I’m telling you brother
That boy moved, the odometers proved
That he was covering miles, discovering styles
through the land of a thousand smiles
He went to Kitchener, he went to Guelph
Two fine Ontario towns where one can find oneself
With a frosty mug, with a Pilsener stein
At 2 AM in a Volkswagen bug
just pukin’ out his guts and cryin’
But no fraulein.
He saw a great big lake shining in the sun
And he thought about his native Flusherton
He saw a Darlington girl, he sang an Ottawa carol
He got a ride from a guy in love with Perry Farrell
Then to his peril he met a girl named Sheryl
who fed him squirrel
His path was full of loopy folk
He met a man named Hammel in search of a perfect toke
On Spadina Ave. he got himself a knish
He met a chef named Johnny in search of a perfect dish
And in cottage-land he shook the hand
of the underworld’s slippery commish
From an outlaw band—please understand
This weren’t your ordinary average bandit fish
Yes, BJ met the rather neato Seńor Pisco Bandito
JIAN: What a trip it had already been. What a trip it has been. BJ has
already been in so many situations and met so many outlandish people and
things. He has gotten into the car and met a materialistic and criminal
fish. A bandit. I wonder if he was a Kenneth Starr fish. Just kidding.
What a trip it has been. Almost like a getaway vacation weekend in
Albany—although that type of thing is probably lost on the Albanians. In
all the outlandish excitement, BJ almost forgets his main objective of
finding Rachael. But not really. He would never forget Rachael. He leaves
the water and proceeds to sit on a secluded rock by the water. BJ reflects
upon his situation and aching heart. The water reflects BJ reflecting upon
his situation and aching heart. BJ takes time like this to be away from the
world and sing to his love, Rachael. Most of all, BJ regrets that he didn’t
spend every waking and sleeping moment with Rachael letting her know how
much he felt about her. If She Only Knew . . .
[If You Only Knew (How Much I Think of You]
MIKE (still Lou): So our friend BJ kept on going.
But things started to get a little tense. The rat race . . . the beat of
light, the speed of light, as David Bowie would say. He got a little
tense—he went to a mini-putt and ended up wrapping his putter around a
windmill. He hoofed an ATM machine—real hard. He went into a Sbarro and he
told a three-year-old to fuck off. His metabolism was racing fast, fast,
Fast, FAST, FAST. He saw someone singing a song and wondered what for . . .
why anyone would bother (?)
[Follow the Road] (editor’s note: I adore this. It’s seven kinds of
amazing, all of them good.)
[BJ Travel Theme]
DAVE: And BJ followed that road, Goddamit—until he came to a purple road
sign that said “Cannabiston. Population—Whatever.” He passed little houses
painted like lollypops and school buses with stained glass windows and great
clay smokestacks until he entered into what seemed to be the town square.
It was a deserted crossroads—except for the man with the curly mustache
sitting behind a small school desk. He wore a ridiculous stovepipe hat.
Yeah—cool. It was fire-engine red, and he wore a silver war brass button
overcoat, all of this over army fatigues. Can somebody talk to this guy?
As BJ approached, the man looked up from what appeared to be some kind of
erotic coloring-book; and sizing up our doleful hero declared “Wilkommen,
stranger. I can see you’re lacking a little effervescence in your life.”
MIKE: Was the coloring book—I’m familiar with these ‘cause I used to work in
a bookstore—was it “Barney Does Dallas?”
MURRAY: Yeah—you could dwell on the coloring book.
DAVE: Let’s hang around the coloring book for a minute.
JIAN: Was Barney naked?
DAVE: So, like I said, he said “You’re lacking a little effervescense.” BJ
said, “Yeah, well—since lovely Rachael has left me I have been a little bit
flat to be sure.” [Mike (?) sings a slow, sad version of the travel theme]
The mustachioed man reached into his bag at that point and magically pulled
out a steaming large pizza, a big bottle of Cola, a bag of Doritos (Ranch
style) and something also that looked like Aladdin’s lamp with a bunch of
hoses coming out of it.
MIKE: As mayor of Cannabiston, I pronounce this pizza awesome.
DAVE: And the mustachioed man looked up at BJ . . . BJ all sad and weepy .
. . and the guys said, the nutty guy, the dally guy said “Angel,” he said.
“I can take you away from all that . . . and my name—is Lazlo.”
JIAN: What a trip it has already been. What a trip it has been. BJ
learned that with Lazlo, he just enjoyed his first real trip. And what a
trip it has been. Perhaps it was bad that he liked the trip so much. BJ’s
drug induction leads to drug-induced drug addiction. And in the long
tradition of Jim Morrison, Michael Hutchinson, and Diana, the Princess of
Wales, he craves more. He craves more. So BJ travels to what we know as
Europe for a three-day love rave in Germany featuring Ecstasy. But as BJ
arrives in the Weimar Republic, he is met by a jolly and stern fellow named
Gerhardt Mueller Lothar Matthias Beckenbauer-Schlaeffer (Editor’s note: I
completely bullshitted this phonetically). Matthais Beckenbauer-Schlaeffer
tells him that druggie escapism can be a trip, but it is not the answer. So
he invites BJ for some drinks.
When I do the smile thing, I feel like I’m Benny Hill.
[strange Benny Hill musical interlude]
Matthais Beckenbauer-Schlaeffer tells him that druggie escapism can be a
trip, but it is not the answer. So he invites BJ for some drinks. He
reasons that maybe Rachael is in the Bavarian Beer Gardens. He takes BJ to
the Heidelburg Lowenbrau [ ? ]hausen Circus. Alas, despite the joy and
manic characteristic aggressive [ ?]tivism of the jovial atmosphere, the
alcohol BJ is consuming draws him into a bitter , reclusive, ugly
depression. He realizes that he is truly . . . Sad Today.
MURRAY: Sad . . . depressed . . . in a funk; BJ wandered down to the docks.
It was one of those rare mystical nights when the smell of the water and the
pall coming off of the garbage scows combines into the delicate scent of a
Starbucks Double Mocha Frappuccino ©
He spotted a makeshift shack down by the water made of cardboard and
decorated with the heads of Change-Me-Katie © dolls. Desperate for
diversion, he wandered inside. He was instantly greeted by an Infernal
Gloom who took his coat and hat. Seated in the middle of a room was a
woman; she was dressed in a tattered navy blue power suit and sneakers. BJ
got the impression she had cut her own hair. She was flicking lit matches
onto the furniture, and when BJ walked in she looked up. “Seven” she said.
“Excuse me?” said BJ. “Seven, I said. I prefer it to hello. It breaks the
ice.” she said. “Oh. Seven,” said BJ. “Match?” she asked. “No, thank
you,” said BJ. “You know, I was like you once,” she said, tossing a match
onto the sofa. “Career. Husband. Career. I had it all,” she said, lobbing a
match onto an end table. “What happened?” said BJ. “I acquired a taste for
human brains. A rare condition, but not as rare as you’d think. It gets
virtually no press,” she said firing a match into the drapes. “That's
understandable” said BJ. “Things fell apart pretty quickly after that. First
it was the postman, then my boss, then finally my husband. I was just
getting into different recipes before I had to leave two: sautees, curries,
tempuras. I had just discovered a great recipe for Brains Au Jous . . . ”
Just then the shack burst into flames and the rest of her speech was lost in
the roar; but as BJ fled from the room, he thought he could hear her singing
quietly to herself . . .
MIKE: Praise the Lord!!!
CROWD: Praise the Lord!!!
MIKE: Does not the psychotic freaking out purge the soul? Can I get an
MIKE: Can I get a witness?
MIKE: Can I get a blintz, miss?
CROWD: . . . Blintz, miss!!!
MIKE: That’s right! Sometimes you have to take it all the way down the
path of damnation, and flicked matches, and torched things, and Brain au
Jous in order to purify, to clarify . . . to take a step off the insane
roller-coaster-ride of life . . . and see what your real feelings are.
So, our friend BJ, feeling drained, spent, and clear . . .
MURRAY: . . . and wearing leiderhosen . . .
MIKE: . . . went to the top of a high cliff, sat down, and watched the sun
setting . . . and sang . . .
[I Will Hold On]
DAVE: Thank you. So, you want to know what happened to BJ next, don’t you?
You’re curious about this guy, right? He’s got this girl, he’s travellin’
all over . . .
CROWD: As long as he doesn’t cry . . .
DAVE: He won’t cry. Well, he may cry . . . he’s a big man, but . . .
MURRAY: He’s been crying almost the whole story.
DAVE: . . . but big men sometimes cry. [In a British accent] Crying’s
fantastic, actually. Crying’s an amazing capacity—lets all the toxins out,
As is so often the case with pining and lamenting and wishing things were
different than they actually are, Rachael faded from BJ’s thoughts only to
be replaced by a new source of sorrow; you know how you do that . . . you
sock out and look for, you know, you get bored with whining about one thing
and a new thing comes around.
JIAN: Don’t try and make people try and relate to the story.
DAVE: It’s common . . . it’s like Odysseus, isn’t it—it’s the travels.
JIAN: Or Ulysseus
DAVE: Or Ulysseus, as well, also. “Olysseus and the Golden Fleece,” wasn’t
MIKE: I’m sorry—Mr. Matheson is certainly not being like Thisseus.
DAVE: Ahem. As I was saying, Rachael faded from BJ’s thoughts only to be
replaced by a new source of sorrow. You may wonder, well, what was that new
source of sorrow? BJ became terribly homesick, you see; there he was
thousands of miles from his own bed, thousands of miles from his own family,
his own interactive CD-ROMs, and he was so bombed out that he considered
packing it all in and heading home.
MURRAY: It’s definitely time for the theme again. We’ve gotta get that kid
movin’. I want a fast version too.
[BJ Travel Theme—fast version]
MIKE: What can we say about BJ now? He’s been north and south and he’s
What can we say about BJ now, he’s [ ] all the [ ] from his chest.
JIAN: Oh . . . we’re on a fuckin’ script here, you know?
DAVE: We’ve got a show to do, eh?
JIAN: What a trip it has been. Unfortunat—[Jian has forgotten to put on
the baseball cap he has been wearing for his monologues. The crowd prompts
him to put it on.] Oh.
MIKE: That hat cost a lot of money.
JIAN: Costume budget . . .
What a trip it has been. Unfortunately for BJ, home may be where thoughts
are escaping and music is playing . . . but it is not where his love lies
waiting. He knows that Rachael is not there. What a trip it has already
been. [Cal comes on stage to change the Spector’s battery.] He sees a
small, diminutive sound engineer.
MIKE: Who goes by the name Deus Ex Machina.
JIAN: The sound engineer is friendly, but looks like he should be a member
of Depeche Mode. [Dave walks off stage and Mike and Murray are paying
attention to Cal.] All of a sudden, the narrator begins to feel very alone.
[Jian begins to improvise to cover the bass problem.]
Lots of commotion around him . . . does not know what’s going on. What a
trip it has been. What a trip it has been. What a trip it has been. He
knows that Rachael is not there. BJ takes a trip to a small Massachusetts
town . . . called Woocshter. No, no—the town is called Northampton. BJ
sees a band. The band is pretty good—but the people seeing them are even
MURRAY: That’s improv.
[Random fiddling with the “BJ Travel Theme” with Dave on electric and Mike
JIAN: Ooh! BJ hears his theme. He wants to thank the fans for coming to
see that band so much for all their support, especially for listening to his
cathartic . . . his . . . special story.
[More fiddling with the cracked-out version of the “BJ Theme”]
He hears the sound of . . . beatniks. He wonders why the beatniks figure
themselves to be beatniks, yet hang out at Starbucks up the street, where he
saw them as he walked by, because he would never go in Starbucks. How could
a town so cool have a Starbucks, he thinks to himself. Stay away from the
enemy! He begins to proselytize on stage. Okay. [The Spector is back.]
What a trip it has already been. And since he has been to so many places
with so many people, he decides that maybe Rachael is existing in a place
that is—[cut off by the speaker pop when Murray plugs the Spector back into
its amp] maybe Rachael is existing in a place that is not populated by
MIKE: The Matchbox 20 concert?
JIAN: BJ dresses up like Peter O’Toole, everyone’s favorite blue-eyed
appropriator of Arab culture (editor’s note: Peter O’Toole played T.E.
Lawrence in, a British lieutenant in Saudi Arabia in 1962’s Lawrence of
Arabia)—but not really a true racist like Sally Field (editor’s note: Sally
Field played an American housewife married to an Iranian man whose daughter
is taken captive by the New Evil Empire [Iran] on a family visit to the
country in 1991’s Not Without My Daughter [which, out of fairness, is based
on actual (though related) events]). [Crowd groans] Oh, ‘cause you’re
defending her. And heads to the desert. The sun is hot. The sand is hot.
BJ is hot—and parched. Thankfully, Warren Beatty and his darling wife
Annette have just opened a franchise of the Las Vegas Sand’s Hotel in the
middle of the desert. BJ quenches his thirst at the bar and drinks in the
atmosphere of the club called—the Sahara.
[brief a cappella rendition of the “Travel Theme”]
MURRAY: After BJ’s cursory search for Rachael, he concluded that she couldn
’t be anywhere on the planet Earth. He retrofitted his airplane with two
cans of Coke © and a package of Pop Rocks © and after a good shake he was
soaring through the stratosphere. Gradually, the earth became a tiny ball,
the blue sky was replaced by black space, and the last decent radio station
faded to fuzz, until all BJ could pick out was a lonely NASA satellite
repeating over and over an ad for space travel, apparently intended for
lunar travelers who never came.
[You Will Go to the Moon]
DAVE: You know, when BJ got there the moon was still pretty darn desolate.
It was dusty and cold and barren, and he thought he might be in Duluth, but
the lack of Green Bay Packers paraphanalia soon tipped him off that that was
not the case. He was humming to himself as he curled up behind a big moon
rock. “Me and my shadow . . . oh, what a lonely boy . . . one is the
loneliest number . . . nobody’s talkin’ at me . . .” He was a big Harry
Nillson (sp?) fan, this BJ. Resigning himself to spending the rest of his
life with no company, friend or foe, man or beast, he fell into a deep sleep
and dreamed of Rachael . . . her kisses . . . and her licking his face [Mike
sings a strip-music rendition of the “Travel Theme”] It was such a vivid
dream that he woke with a start and by God—there was something licking his
face. It was a little dog, wagging her tail and making little excited
sounds. BJ reached for her collar and looked at the tag.
No, it wasn’t Zöe.
[Vamp opening of “BJ Don’t Cry”]
MURRAY: As BJ stood there on that frozen satellite with Laika by his side,
he came to a realization—an apotheosis, if you will. He realized that for
the first time in a very long while, he was happy. Sure, it was cold on the
moon, and the air was thin, and it was impossible to get milk on a Sunday;
but he had a fine companion in Laika and real estate prices on the moon had
nowhere to go but up. Soon BJ forgot all about Rachael, and he and Laika
became great friends and spent their days playing Catch the Rock, which took
up a lot of their time because on the moon, BJ could whip a rock almost two
And they lived happily ever after.
[BJ Don’t Cry]
Thanks to Angel for these:
Thanks to Kimberly for this one:
Set #1 (The Story of B.J. & Rachel)
Back to the tour dates 1998 page
So after the PhD mood that had caught me after the Boston show, I steeled myself against any nasty memories that might get generated at Noho. Just as long as they don't play Fell in Love I thought. Hmmmmpth. So I can write a three volume novel of more than the usual revolting sentimentality about my associations to Fell in Love. And I'm not doing it now. Just imagine a story about being in love with someone who doesn't love you while someone else loves you who you really like and respect, but you're not in love with them, but you know what they're going through because you're going through it yourself and you feel so sorry for them. Got it? Right, times that by ten and that's about the sort of thing I associate with Fell in Love. Actually I dealt with it quite well I thought. Probably the wonderful emotions that packed the Iron Horse just before the song was played were enough to stop me getting all morbid about and self-obssessed about it. Dave seemed to go all wavey, as if viewed through water during the song though. I wonder why.
Okay, that's enough for now, that's my afternoon gone. And I didn't even got onto the llamas. (Yes Bill, I had seen llamas before, but, strangely, never in a field in Vermont before). Actually no, that's not enough. On the Sunday after it was all over I drove back to Boston to fly home and on the way I stopped at Frucasa to pick up the journal I'd accidentally left there. As I left Chris and Vika gave me a shaker egg that Fruvous apparently used at Frucon as a momento. I put it my pocket and battled through the waking nightmare of Boston traffic, left the hire car, struggled with all my luggage into the airport, faffed about with the ticketing and passports, and eventually flopped exhausted into my plane seat. As I did so the shaker egg rattled in my pocket and reminded me how lucky I am to have met you all.
Some other tidbits from the performance include: