Archive for March, 2009

March 19, 2009



After spending a couple of nights crisscrossing the Midwest, we conclude a gig in the roarin’ podunk of Iowa City. We leave the gig and hit the road. Our destination: Chicago.

Due to every other member of the Soundmachine mistaking our tour across America as a 3-month holiday (thus their constant imbibing of any libation and/or pharmaceutical they could inhale down their gullets), yours truly was voted the only member cogent — and sober — enough to guide our tour vehicle into Chi-town.

Reality tells me later that his descent into chemical depravity had been a reaction to my liaison with the Lebanese Lounge Singer. Her function was merely perfunctory and utilitarian, and her self-absorption was beyond insufferable. My sleeping with the enemy was a betrayal that he took personally. Looking back, he was right.

Cut back to I-80, Eastbound, I haven’t slept in damn near two days and all I want to do is get to the Windy City, get a hotel, draw the curtains and hibernate. Before we can make time on the interstate, however, we must appease the appetite of the Lindy, which contrary to the wisdom of Glen (the owner of the RV Emporium where we got the vehicle), consumed far greater than a mere 10 mpg.

In Tipton, Iowa, I find an exit with a convenience mart/petrol parlor; everybody in the Soundmachine entourage is either playing possum or is truly zonked, so I grab my traveling coffee mug and exit through the side door of the motor home, give the lady behind the counter a couple of twenties and commence dispensing with the fossil fuels.

After topping off the tank, I drag ass back and get my change from the portly clerk, refill my coffee and retrace my steps back into the Lindy. I turn over the motor, put ‘er in drive and SHIT!

In my haze, I neglected to disengage the fucking hose from the vehicle. The kiosk itself is completely thrashed… FUCK… As band members begin to wake up, I truck back into the convenience mart, humbled and completely apologetic. The counter wench is completely FREAKED and hysterical — “You’re the second asshole this week to ruin one of our pumps, yadda, yadda, yadda.” I’m calm in comparison, I offer my license, the insurance papers, and a copy of the rental agreement but she’s having none of this. “I don’t care about the paperwork, you’re gonna’ have to wait until the boss lady gets here.”

(It turns out that the boss lady lives over ninety minutes away. It’s now 1 AM — I need sleep! I tell the gal, “Look, call the Highway Patrol, I’ll fill out an accident report, here’s the paperwork…” “I don’t care about no paperwork, you’re gonna wait until the boss lady gets here.” “Look, I don’t how you handle traffic accidents in Iowa, but in California we show our insurance papers and the officers fill out accident reports.” More hysterics on behalf of the counter wench, she refuses to call the HP, so I leave.)

So there we go, EVERYBODY in the Soundmachine is wide awake as we motor for about one hour towards the Mississippi River, out of Iowa and into Illinois and Freedom! We get to Davenport, I can see the fuckin’ muddy-ass river and BHHWOOOPPP — it’s the law dogs.

I am asked to step out of the vehicle as Fingers and Reality are stuffing more pills that have long passed their expiration date into the crevasses of various analog, monophonic electronic keyboards.

“I understand you had a little trouble back there in Cedar County. The clerk at the Jiffy Stop said you fled the scene of an accident.”

“No, not really,” I say, “I offered her my license and proof-of-insurance, but she was having none of that.”

“That lady is my neighbor, she lives right down the road from me; Are you calling her a liar?”

“Umm, no not exactly, but she did refuse to listen to reason,” I backpedal.

They haul my ass back to Tipton, Iowa in the squad car, with Reality and Fingers in tow. We get to the Big House and the bailiff decides not to throw me in with the drunks, but with the felons who are waiting there until the State Penitentiary can create some more room for real criminals. Great. It’s about 5 AM at this point and I still haven’t slept. I decide to sleep on my back because if I’m going to be violated, at least this way I’ll see it coming.

I’m awakened at 6 AM — “Getup!” — for a meal of flapjacks and coffee. I refuse the coffee, because I am going right back to bed (or so I think) after some carbo-loading and a phone call to my lawyer. I am told I’m in for “criminal mischief.” Worst case, according to Lolita’s Mom’s Attorney in Los Angeles: “Ten years.” But that’s worst case, he assures me. Until the phone call, I have refused to make eye contact with my fellow cons because I was sure I would be released at any moment. Wrong. After a morning of cleaning the jail bars with a tooth brush (I actually didn’t want to interfere with the other fellows routine, it kinda’ looked like I would just get in the way — ironically, these guys really knew how to work a toothbrush, although you would never know it from their smiles) and putting Field & Stream magazines in a stack (“They’re already in a stack,” I tell the trustee, “Put ‘em in another stack,” he counters), I am finally shuffled off to the Courthouse to see the Magistrate around noon.

Handcuffed, I pass Fingers and Reality in the corridor as they take snapshots of me with their Instamatics. Their goddamn cameras have flashbulbs popping and I feel like Frances Farmer on her way to the Funny Farm. Two hours later — after sixty minutes of shuteye in the last two days, I am led into a small office with the “magistrate.”

The judge is in a wheelchair and his hands are all sclerotic and discombobulated. He immediately tells me that he was interrupted from a luncheon and a golf game (!) to come review this matter. He then feebly attempts to turn the page in the police report concerning my arrest. Great, I think to myself, I’m going to jail for the next ten years because I put a crimp in social calendar of the Stephen Hawking of Jurisprudence — who apparently golfs.

At this point the Magistrate’s phone rings. And rings. I’m new at this: I don’t know whether to help him left the receiver off its cradle or whether that will piss him off more. I decide to let him struggle with the telephone. He finally gets it positioned in the groove of his shoulder blade and tells the party on the other end: “Yes, I’m reviewing it right now; I’m really disturbed by this.” Ten Years.

He wrestles the phone back into its holster. “It says right here you accidentally destroyed a fuel pump at the Jiffy Mart out on I-80.”

“Uhh, yeah, I accidentally destroyed the fuel pump.”

“If it’s an accident, then how could it be mischief?”

“Uhh, yeah,” I say.

“I suggest you get Iowa in your rear view mirror as soon as possible — like now.” Not a problem…


March 12, 2009

Come Down from the Hills & Make My Baby: Second Edition

Due to popular demand — and the fact that used copies of the book were fetching nearly 50 clams on — KBP announces the release of a second edition of Cole Coonce‘s Come Down from the Hills & Make My Baby.

More details are here: Second Edition Available Now!


Next up (and coming soon): A Kindle edition of the book!