“I’m sorry, sir, but there is no I-35 South in Oklahoma.”
“Um, I think that there is.”
“Hmmm…. Well, where did you say you were on it?”
“14 miles north of Marietta.”
“Is that in front of you or behind you?”
This conversation had been going on more or less like this for 15 minutes since I had pulled over after our left trailer tire blew up on the 35 South on our way from Oklahoma City to Houston. The night before we played at The Blue Note and had an incredibly good time. Free beer all night, friendly locals that know what Californians want, and a great support band in Los Hijos Del Diablo. Check them out if you like Sleep’s tone put to work with progressive structure and no vocals. After some down home lasagna lunch the next day we hit the road. We were on the I-35 South in Oklahoma for about 2 hours when the tire blew.
Houston is big. Way too big. It dwarfs L.A.’s suburban sprawl into the puny bastion of elite liberalism it so pompously proclaims to be. And there’s George Bush State Park, George Bush Intl’ Airport, George Bush Turnpike, and the dog stain that’s shaped like George Bush’ profile advertised mightily off Interstate 45 at the next exit.
Eric’s Uncle Randy was providing hospitality that night. Earlier he promised to have pizza waiting for us, just as long as we didn’t want any “faggot veggies” on them. We said faggot meat would be fine.
But don’t let Uncle Randy’s colorful language get you down. He and his family epitomized everything I’ve ever heard about Southern Hospitality. I mean, as soon as we were done with the pizza we got to play with his M-16s in the living room, a damn good deterrent to any ideas about spray painting anything in there. Next day we had biscuits, gravy, eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast, and then spread the guitar scales and God of War III duties equally before heading to Rudyard’s for our show in Houston.
Houston has some of the friendliest folk around. Pinche Gringo was the supporting band lead by El Jefe himself, a regular John Smith, if John Smith bought beers and shook hands instead of kill Indians and hand out crosses. The point is, he welcomed in his own way that made us feel part of his family. The venue had some of the friendliest staff and one of the best sound guys we’ve had the pleasure of working with. We look forward to coming again.
Next stop, Louisiana, home of vampires and accents I still can’t figure out.