Taking it to 11…Mickey Mouse Is Pissed!!
Usually I remember everything that happened really well, I don’t even need to watch the videos to remind me of what we did, so I read back to the end of the last blog, oh yeah, that was the blog I wrote hammered drunk on whiskey, the start of “the bender of Dano’s birthday month”. I passed out at typical Aaron drunk on whiskey time, which is about 4 hours after we crack the bottle. I have been lasting longer and longer every time, and was done around 12AM, plus we had to wake up at 10AM to leave in time to play at High Voltage Tattoo again, and make it to NAMM in time to get our badges.
I woke up around 4AM to piss outside the U-Haul and see Dano still had the garage wide open with the fire blazing in the back yard. He is either passed out in the chair with a drink in his hand, or partying his ass off by himself. Yep, hes partying his ass off by himself. As I look to my left and see an almost empty half gallon of whiskey, he comes blasting out of the bathroom, drink in hand, on the phone. As soon as he sees me standing in the room he almost has a heart attack and says, “hey lets smoke some grass!!” I stayed up for another hour and a half for some reason, ate more microwave ravioli which was a horrible idea, then passed back out.
I am not sure when he actually went to sleep, but I was honestly a little worried about trying to wake him up to play in front of High Voltage at noon. Sure as shit as soon as I touched him and said “hey Dano, time to play!” He opened his eyes, jumped out of bed, hopped on the drums, and was ready to rage it. We exited on Vine, turned right on Hollywood, and into the left turn late to La Brea, I hopped in the back and Bekka got behind the wheel. Opened the door and we started raging it!
There was a hollywood tour bus parked almost right in front of High Voltage, so we were kind of sticking out into the intersection a little bit. Unbeknown to any of us at the time was a sheriff sitting at the light on Fountain, staring right at the mobile stage playing music in the middle of the intersection. She did not fuck with us though, and let us finish, then pulled in front of us once we were parked and standing outside on the sidewalk. As she walked up to us before she could even say anything I asked her “hey do you know how to get to Anaheim from here?” She told me were a long way from Anaheim and that she saw everything we just did. She was really nice, allowed Bekka to video the whole thing, told us we got caught with our hand in the cookie jar, and that we can’t be doing this kind of stuff.
“Hey thanks for being so cool!” That is my line that I say to police at the end of every interaction, it just kind of happens naturally I guess. I guess it is me saying thank you for not giving me a ticket, because if you are an asshole to police, which I would love to be able to be, they will do what they want, and fucking ruin your life. The last thing I want to have to deal with is going to court 900 miles away from where I live, so, thank you for being so cool!
Stopped into High voltage to give them all shirts, CD’s, and talked to them for a minute, gave cards to everyone that saw it, and headed south to Anaheim. You know, now that I know how to get to Anaheim, police can be so helpful sometimes! Little did I know how that the police force where I was heading to was ran by Mickey Mouse, coked out of his mind in his office that overlooks the city, obviously sharing his hatred of Music Adventure Stages with his entire police force…Well get there after explaining 3 days of walking, drinking, and partying!
The motto for this years NAMM was “take it to 11″, because it’s 2011, whoever decided to use that slogan must have not known that instead of any bands like Spinal Tap playing at the show, you have 11 year old girls with fake tits dressed up like whores singing a shitty cover song that you hear all too much, and not even doing a very good job at it, then you walk inside and see the guitar player for that band standing at a booth like a caged zoo animal playing the guitar riff to the same song the chick was singing outside playing in the background for the 6th time that day. No shit that scenario actually happened, and it only made me feel better about what we had planned for Saturday night.
Later at night The Hilton and Mariott will have heavy bands, this year Kobra Kai and House of Broken Promises played…and The Athiarchists. I was worried all fucking weekend, about parking the mobile stage, about it not getting broken into, and mainly about what we were telling people all week. Saturday night at 9:45 we are going to drive in front of The Anaheim Convention Center Hilton and play 1 song, in front of cops, security, and everyone there partying!
When we arrived in Anaheim we went straight to a Denny’s by the convention center. We had to figure out where to park to go into the show because there is no way we could leave it parked at Denny’s. All of the convention parking was in parking garages, which do not fit the mobile stage at 11’6″ tall. After we ate we took off down the road driving around in circles. Pulled into the Anaheim Plaza hotel to see if they had a room available, which is damn near impossible for a hotel that close to the convention at this time. Most of these hotels are booked over a year in advance. Somehow they had one fucking room available for us, so I took it, didn’t care what it cost, there was NOWHERE, and I mean absolutley fucking nowhere at all to park a vehicle that is 11’6” tall and takes up two parking spots lengthwise.
The room was $155 including all taxes, expensive, but not too bad considering there are no rooms anywhere else. Plus the parking pass said 1/13 and 1/14 so we can use it tomorrow with no room, then turn the 4 into a 9 to last the rest of the weekend….And people say stoners aren’t very smart! Went in and took showers, started drinking some whiskey, smoked some weed, then headed up to the convention center to get our badges. We went in for the last 2 hours then got ready for the first party of NAMM, lets take it to 11!
Returned to the room to drink more whiskey, and smoke more weed. It is nice having a hotel that is only a 25 minute walk from the Hotel….sounds fucking crazy, but the first year we went it was almost an hour walk. We went down to The Hilton with a pretty good buzz and ran into pretty much 75% of the people we met this summer on Mayhem and Uproar. It was fucking awesome! Again I am not going to start naming a bunch of names, because honestly anyone who has been to NAMM before knows that EVERYONE is there, and it is a fucking PARTY!
I was fucking hammered, stomach was kind of fucked up, and I was tired from pounding whiskey the night before, so I passed out around 2 in the morning. I wanted to try and make it to the free breakfast at 8AM at the convention center, but decided not to and sleep for a couple more hours, because once again I am nervous about tonight. Playing after the Dean party with Hellyeah and Megadeth at The Grove in Anaheim, the same parking lot we played our first parking lot show ever, that ended with a police helicopter shining its light on us, but that was over 2 years ago!
I woke up around 9:30AM to take an emergency morning whiskey shit, keep in mind I slept in the mobile stage because there was a party in our room all night long! I saw Dano sitting on the curb talking on his phone but I don’t think he saw me. I knew he had to have still been awake from the night before, but I didn’t even have time to talk or find out the story yet, because right before I went to sleep, I also pounded a bunch of nasty 7-11 food.
When I came out I got the full run down, he finished the bottle of whiskey, partied all night, stayed up long enough to get the free breakfast, walked the 25 minutes to The Hilton with a strong whiskey and coke in his clear plastic cup that looks like coffee, stumbled into the free breakfast just in time before they closed the doors, ate all the food that was left in there, walked back to the room, sat on the curb, and was talking on his phone. Wayyyyy more shit happened in there as well, but that is between Dano and the bottle of whiskey.
Dano decided that he just wanted to stay up all day, fuck sleep. I didn’t think it was a very good idea seeing as all we were doing during the day at NAMM was aimlessly walking around in circles not doing much. Finally sometime around 1PM he decided to throw in the towel and just go to sleep. Good idea because tonight we are raging it at The Grove after Megadeth finishes up.
Fairly uneventful day at the NAMM show, there are sooo many people there that it makes trying to talk to anyone at the booths about anything at all very difficult. Pretty much everyone says to email them next week after the show, it is really kind of worthless to be at the show during the day, the real action is after the show is over, everyone parties their ass off!
We walked back over to the mobile stage and rolled down to The Grove. The parking people freaked out when I told them we were going to the show, like no one has ever rolled up in a U-Haul with stickers all over it before? They said it was going to cost me $20 instead of $10 but they still didn’t know where to park us. I asked them “how about over there by the handicap parking”. You know, over there, right in the middle of the parking lot in a completely open area, where it is perfect for a mobile stage show!
We went in and watched the show, met up with our good friends Brent, Rob, and Greg from Better Left Unsaid. Watched all of Hellyeah then rolled out to the stage about half way through Megadeth’s set. Waited, waited, waited, yep there’s the people, lets rage it!! It was a totally awesome epic show, like they always are! I realized that I can be nervous for 2 days straight, but while I am actually playing music doing the most illegal thing the mobile stage does, I am not nervous at all. It is such a crazy feeling of being high and low at the same time, it is like the perfect drug.
No one shut us down and we played about 5 songs, went over and said whatsup to everyone at the Hellyeah bus, then it was back over to the hotel to poach our old parking spot. We all walked down to The Hilton again for the crazy fucking party. Tonight while we were at The Grove, the TV show American Chopper was at The Hilton unveiling a new motorcycle as our friend Arthur’s band “House of Broken Promises” raged it. I wish we could have made it to that show! Also at 11PM our friends Matt and John were raging it at The Marriott with their side project “Kobra Kai”. We missed that one as well, they all understand though, everyone knows plans change all the time in The Music Adventure Stage.
Alright Dano, Bekka went back and passed out a couple hours ago, I am fucking tired and I am going to pass out now, goodluck with the rest of your evening! At this point Dano needs to just start writing about everything that happens in his crazy ass stay up all night drinking whiskey nights, because anytime I tell you it is really second hand, and I know I am missing a lot of cool shit. Something about watching people throw chairs on the back patio at The Hilton and hotel room parties all night long.
Woke up around 10AM to head down to pretty much the only meeting that was scheduled for us at NAMM, in the Cerwin-Vega meeting room. Put on my fancy “look professional” shirt, grabbed my laptop, and went to the meeting. We talked about the new mobile stage and what speakers we are putting in it, got some free swag, this that and the other thing, email us next week, and thanks for coming by!
Walked back to the U-Haul to drop off my computer, smoked some weed, met up with Dano, and got ready for the show that I have been worried about for weeks, playing a drive by show in front of The Hilton at 9:45 on Saturday night at the NAMM show! I have never been this nervous before in my life, Dano went and passed out in the van for a few hours, so there I was standing in the smoking area with Bekka, going over the game plan, where to drive, what to do. Musicians I have looked up to my entire life were coming up to me and saying “you are going to do fine, just fucking rage it, you guys are fucking crazy! Your skin looks a little pale too, and your hands are really sweaty, calm down.”
I turn to Bekka and say the one thing I always say before a drive by show “Dirka Dirka…Muhommed Gihad!” Haha we have this joke that every time we are getting ready to do a drive by show where we have to switch drivers, that the feeling of stress and uncertainty closely rivals that of a terrorist getting ready to do something…Only we are musical terrorists, playing driveby shows to protest driveby shootings!
Made it to the van, woke Dano up, fired up the generator, lets do this! Kept looking at the clock waiting for the perfect time to leave, we had to play right at 9:45, not before, preferably not after, we are always on time, we can do this. I don’t want to be in a holding pattern driving around the block waiting for our window of opportunity!
We turned left on Harbor at 9:42, sat at the Hotel way light for 1 1/2 minutes, turned right onto hotel way at 9:44, was stopped at the entrance to the taxicab lane at 9:45. The lady kept telling me we can’t drive through there, go out on the regular street. I told her over and over that we needed to drop some people off, and that it would be a lot easier if we could just pull in, it will only take a minute, and we will be out of the way. After asking one last time she finally caved in and said it was cool…..15 seconds later Bekka was behind the steering wheel, the door was open, and we were FUCKING RAGING IT for everyone at The Hilton!
Seeing the looks on everyone’s faces was absolutely fucking priceless! The people that knew what was up knew what was up, and the people that had no idea what was up had their cameras out and were fucking stoked! We finished our song in front of the smoking area, Bekka and Dano hopped out, and I took off to go find a parking spot. As soon as I pulled back out on Hotel way you can guess who pulled in behind me. Mickey mouse’s private security guard, the Anaheim Police…And judging by the way he was following me….Mickey Mouse is fucking pissed!!
Anaheim is basically owned by Disney, and I honestly know that Walt Disney would not have a problem with our creativity and our mobile stage, but his son, Mickey Mouse, has a problem with people fucking things up in his resort community. We can just envision Mickey Mouse sitting at his table with a huge pile of blow in front of him, after taking the fattest line anyone has ever taken before, police chief fat fucking dumbass calls him and says what we just did. Mickey Mouse responds with “get those fucking Athiarchists the fuck out of my nice resort community!” Since police chief fat fucking dumbass is paid by Mickey Mouse, he does whatever he says to do.
Sure as shit I was pulled over a little under a mile after leaving The Hilton, this was only after everyone I passed on the street by all the hotels was giving me the horns and yelling at us to play again. I pulled into the parking lot at Chubby’s, a place where our friend said to park, and the pig pulled me over for crossing 4 yellow lines, you know where I am from 4 yellow lines in the middle of a divided road with a space wider than a car between 2 pairs of lines is a fucking turn lane, but he had another reason for pulling me over, and that was loud music.
So here approaches officer fat fucking dumbass, hand on gun, walking like he has a dick shoved up his ass….come to find out after talking to him, he did have a dick shoved up his ass! Actually come to find out, Mickey Mouse shoves dicks up all the Anaheim Police’s asses. I honestly do not know how you can be such a fucking dick, if I were that much of a dick, I would kill myself out of sheer lack of self esteem, knowing that I had to have a gun to hide the fact that I have a small penis.
“Let me have your license”. I told him it was in the back, and asked if I could go back and grab it. He said “Sure”, hand still on gun, then walks to the front of the vehicle and shines his light in the back so I can see in there…oh thank you officer…your so kind. When I went to the back I also grabbed the camera that was still recording and set it behind the drivers seat, then came back up with my wallet. Gave my ID to the pig and he went to his car. Then came back and explained to me that if there is one more complaint about this vehicle, that we will be going home on a train because they are going to take our “house” away from us.
Fuck you and the horse you rode in on officer fat fucking prick. We just played one song outside the Hilton with 4 other bands playing music in all hotel lobbies, it was loud outside and we weren’t much louder…we were just breaking the rules……..and Mickey Mouse doesn’t like that very much!! The hotel staff even told Dano and Bekka that they wanted us to come back and play again, no one was pissed off at The Hilton at all, which brings me to the thing I hate more than the actual police, and that is, COP CALLERS.
Who the fuck calls the police and says someone is being too loud on a Saturday night at one of the biggest loudest parties of the year, I will never find out who it is, but just know this, whoever you are, FUCK YOU. I called Dano and Bekka and let them know what happened with the police, they met me over by the hotel we were parked at all weekend. There was absolutely nowhere to park and we had all the pigs in town watching us. The pig that pulled me over even asked me where I was staying, and to get the fuck out of town. We went up to the Wal-Mart on Euclid to meet up with our good friends in Better Left Unsaid, who somehow missed our show even though they were there at 9:45….
We argued for about an hour, Brent tried saying they were there right at 9:45, we told him we knew we were there at 9:45, then we thought it was kind of this “Field of Dreams” effect where the only people that could see us had to be stoned. Come to find out, Brent was there at 9:45, went into the parking structure for 2 minutes, and we were gone. The Music Adventure Stage does not fuck around, we roll in while playing one song, and as soon as the song is finished the door closes, and we are gone. In other words, don’t blink or you will miss it!
We decided not to go to NAMM on Sunday because there was nowhere to park Saturday night, we kind of already saw everything inside that we needed to anyway. So back up to Castaic we went, time to download the camera, drink beer, and light balls on fire. Fairly uneventful evening though, everyone was pretty shot, we got in the hot tub, drank some beers, and is it fucked up that balls are lit on fire so much here I can’t even remember if someone lit their balls on fire that night?
The next night we decided to go down to The Rainbow because some of our friends were going to be down there, and it’s been almost a week since the last drive by there. Shane said his friend Abe was coming into town, and that he was a crazy fucking skateboarder that will fit right in with us. 10 minutes after Abe walked in the door he lit his balls on fire….Then said fuck it do it again! YES!
They decided to ride along with us down to The Rainbow in The Athiarchists Music Adventure Party Bus. You see the mobile stage is like a transformer, the difference between The Music Adventure Stage and The Music Adventure Party Bus is we pull out 3 red fold up chairs, fire up the generator, turn on the lights, plug an Ipod into the PA, and everyone gets to party drink beer and jam out while I drive down the freeway. No this is not legal, if it were registered as an RV it would be, and its why were going to make sure the new mobile stage is a registered RV, but for the sake of partying, you have to do what you have to do. Seeing the looks on peoples faces that ride in the mobile stage and get to roll up the door is fucking priceless!
Then our friend Chad Lee that was going to meet us at The Rainbow was not able to get a ride there, so you can guess what happened next. We added Chad and Black Label Dave to the roster for the Music Adventure Sunset Strip Rainbow Bar Party Bus. Down Sunset strip we went, loaded up with 7 people, an acoustic guitar, beer, weed, and cigarettes. I opened the back window to see them all playing and singing Hank II Family Tradition, it was an epic feeling knowing this was all happening while driving down the road. Keep in mind at this point I didn’t know Shane took 3 shots of everclear before we left.
There were no parking spots anywhere in West Hollywood, I pulled up to a stoplight and told everyone to GET READY to get out. Next thing I know, the back door is open, 2 people have gotten out, the light is green, and I’m sitting in the middle of the road with 4 cars behind me…fuck! As I pulled away I saw Shane and Bekka in the back still, I asked them if anyone got ran over.
I drove the longest circle around the block, I thought for sure I would find a parking spot. It is a fucking bitch driving a mobile stage through Hollywood, going from Santa Monica up to Sunset just to do a loop around the block involves driving up hills so steep that when the light is red at the top and we have to stop, the tires peel out on pavement….It is a really sketchy feeling.
Somehow landed a perfect parking spot right in front of The Whisky, got parked and went into The Rainbow. Hung out at The Rainbow for about an hour and a half, our friend Jessica and her friend showed up, ran into some other people. Everyone was pretty hammered and it was getting late, so it was time to rage. WOW there are 2 parking spots open up front, hold the spot and ill go get the stage.
We parked right in front of The Rainbow, opened up the door and started raging. After we finished our first song everyone wanted another song, after we finished that song Chad wanted us to do Reign in Blood. 15 minutes sure flies by and you kind of forget about the police coming. Everyone piled in, I think more people piled in than I even knew were going to pile in, I don’t know who the fuck was back there. I pulled out and turned on the next street down to Santa Monica. About 30 seconds later Chad calls me and says there are 2 police out front asking everyone where we went.
I then turned on Santa Monica Blvd, I do not even need a GPS down here anymore, and I knew that there were about 30 stoplights between where I’m at and the freeway. It was like playing a real life version of Grand Theft Auto! Right now I was at 5 stars, if a cop saw me they would surely pull me over, and when they saw what was going on in the back of the U-Haul they would fucking shit! I can not even imagine what would happen, it is not legal to have anyone back there at all right now, let alone drinking beer.
When I got to the freeway entrance it was closed and I had to take a detour up to Sunset via a bunch of side streets. Just when I thought I was free, it was another 10 minutes of driving around, my adrenaline was fucking pumping. As soon as I saw the entrance to I-405 North I opened the back curtain and had Bekka relay the message to everyone to crank up the PA and fucking start partying hard!
One point on the way home I kind of glanced in the back and I don’t even want to know what was going on back there, some people were scared of it all and hid in a bunk, I don’t know much as I have only heard a couple different versions of the story, but, well just leave it at that. We made it back to Castaic, everyone piled out the back, and I kind of just sat in the drivers seat with the door open for about 20 minutes. All the stress from everything and then its all over, it is such a crazy relieving feeling, and on top of that, you just did something no one else has done, played in a mobile stage on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood…For the 4th time in 2 weeks.
I passed out some time around 4AM, right as Dano was pouring himself an everclear Rockstar. Woke up to Dano still awake, and told him he needs to write all his crazy fucking epic adventures down in a book, because I am done trying to explain them, the happenings of last night were crazier than I have heard in awhile, but it is just another day in the office for Dano. He just took off with Shane to go hang out with Mastodon in Long Beach, as well as one of our other good friends that can party harder than most people we know, Darren. I decided to stay here tonight, get caught up on blogs, edit videos, you know, let all of you know what we have been up to all weekend.
As for the rest of the week we are going to lay low for a minute. We have to stay here until next weekend so we have another 10 or so days left, and we need to make sure to not get the van impounded. Also we have absolutely no money and everything around here is so far away, it is really hard to sell merch when the police are chasing you around. We are kicked out of Anaheim, Hollywood, and the city of Los Angeles, with a couple close calls with Los Angeles County Sherriff’s.
We have done so many crazy things since we’ve been down here, and we have truly made our mark. We have definitely accomplished more than we ever dreamed with a $2000 U-Haul from a lawnmower repair shop in Eugene, OR. The registration and insurance expire on it March 1st. It is very very very expensive to insure and register Music Adventure I, because it is not considered an RV and there is not enough room to install the things to make it an RV. It is why as soon as we return home at the Beginning of February we are starting on Music Adventure 2, it will be registered as an RV, it will be longer, taller, wider, faster, and more powerful.
There is nothing wrong with Music Adventure I, no it is not for sale, and never will be. The main focus right now is building the new one and using the old one as an emergency backup. We will own it forever though, it is a total prototype that we built with no plans, only determination and weed. Hours upon hours were spent building that thing, and the last 8 months we have spent in it have changed our lives forever.
We built it because we wanted to play shows wherever the fuck we wanted to, and we have accomplished that. With the mobile stage we have played most of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, most of the Rockstar Uproar Festival, the off dates in between, in the middle of the road in random cities across the country, about 50 shows all over the city of Eugene, The John Henry’s Burlesque show probably 10 times, the Sunset strip, La Brea Avenue, High Voltage Tattoo, Crazy Girls twice, The Rainbow 4 times, The Whiskey, The Roxy, The Key Club, The 2010 Guitar Center Drum off, The Grove in Anaheim, The Anaheim Hilton, and who knows where the fuck well stop on our way home.
If you aren’t living your life, your dying. If you’re working somewhere you don’t want to work, then you need to quit and do what you want to do. This isn’t about money, this inst about fame, this is about playing music. Music saved our lives and so we dedicate our lives to it.
I hope what inspires more bands to realize that it is not about getting paid, and that you have to play music like it is a hobby until it naturally turns into a job for you. This shit is not easy at all. In fact everything we are doing down here is harder than driving 800 miles a night this summer on the Mayhem and Uproar tours. It takes balls, determination, and dedication to what you are doing. We are eating $.88 cans of ravioli every day, we do not care how much money we are making, just as long as we have enough to get to where we are going. I could die tomorrow and totally be cool with it, because I know that I am truly doing what I want to be doing in life. If you never try, you will never succeed, the world is smaller than you think it is, and you get out of life what you put into it, nothing is free.