Hi. Originally I wasn't going to do an online tour diary for this trip, but thus far (a few days into the tour), the trip has been so weird that I wanted to document it somehow, so here goes.
Friday April 19th
Skate and Surf Festival, Asbury Park, NJ
I headed up to Asbury Park, NJ at around 11am from Philadelphia. I had not been to Asbury Park before, and really only knew that it existed through the Bruce Springsteen record, "Greetings From Asbury Park". Asbury Park is the most bizaare town I've ever been to. It looks like it's the set of a post apocalyptic movie. It's like a ghost town. It's completely empty, with tons of decrepit, abandoned buildings. There are NO people anywhere. It's really creepy and weird. All that aside, Asbury Park's mammoth Convention Hall was to be the site of the Skate and Surf festival! The promoters of the show put together 18,000 bands and totally extreme athletes demonstrating their skills together. The show was to start at 4pm. I was playing at 3:30pm in the parking lot just outside the hall. I arrived at the show, and the 'staff' of the show was pretty unfriendly. Someone ACTUALLY said that he couldn't help me out, when I had a question, because I was one of the bands that was at the 'bottom of the barrel'. Nice! Polite! So, I took advantage of the 'pro-ness' of the show, and got some Boca burgers, and 14 bottles of water, played and quickly left. I did meet some really nice folks who helped me carry stuff back to the car. I headed up to my Grandmother's house in northern New Jersey and ate dinner and hung out with her for a while.
Friday April 19th
Saturday April 20th
I woke up, and me and my grandmother ate some breakfast, and went to the post office, and bought me a road atlas. Afterwards, I left for the long road to Buffalo. I arrived at the show in Buffalo, met some friendly people, and met some unfriendly people who worked at the bar that was hosting the all ages show. The show was fun even though I watched the Philadelphia Flyers lose game 2 of the playoffs while the other bands were playing. After the show I stayed with some wonderfully hospitable folks. I stayed up late trying to work out my immigration papers for getting into Canada the following day. Apparently, there had been a series of errors, which led to my immigration papers not being filed correctly, so I was asked by the fellow who had arranged some of these papers (he didn't arrange ALL of the papers... see Sunday's diary entry) from the Canadian side to get a bunch of stuff printed out, and work it out at the border the following day. See, this was the first time I attempted to play shows in Canada legally, so there is a fair amount of paperwork, and a fee, but to me, it was worth it for the peace of mind of not having to deal with the border patrol. I got REALLY fucked a few years ago by the Canadian border people, and ended up getting detained for a few hours, had my van and records impounded and fined a bunch of money, but that's a totally different story. So, I went to Kinko's at 11pm, to try and print out the necessary stuff. It was CLOSED! YES! This Kinko's in Buffalo was NOT a 24 hour kinko's like every other Kinko's in the world. The sign said it opened at 9am on sunday morning. Urg.
Sunday April 21st
Toronto, ON? No!
I got up early, and went back to the anomolous Kinko's at 845am. I waited until 930am until someone finally showed up to open the store. I printed out what I needed to print out, and was off to border to get my paperwork and head to a friend's house in Toronto, who I hadn't seen for a number of years. Easier said than done. I got pulled over at the border, detained for over an hour as I tried to file my paperwork, and gave them the papers I did have, but because I didn't have the form that Mr. Canadian show fellow was supposed to get to me, the border patrol denied me entry to Canada so I had to turn around and head back to Buffalo, NY. Luckily I had the phone number of the nice folks I stayed with the previous night, so I called them and went back to their house. Faced with a day without activity, I went to the 15 movie cineplex and saw The Panic Room and Blade 2. After those 4 hours of sitting down, I treated myself to some Indian food, and ended up running into a nice fellow named Andrew that I had met at the show in Buffalo the day before, and we went and played some bubble hockey at a pizza place. Afterwards, I went back to where I was staying and went to sleep. The complete paperwork was NOT going to be able to be processed according to my friends who book my stuff, so the Canadian shows on this trip have been cancelled. Now, I have 4 days before I have to be in Burlington, VT for my next show, with nothing to do and no one I really know. It's not looking like a promising 4 days, especially since Blade 2 was one of the better movies showing. I have now been refused entry from Canada 3 times! Getting into Israel on tour was easier!
Monday April 22nd
Ottawa, ON? No! Brattleboro, VT
I headed east from Buffalo, not really having a firm destination in mind. Luckily, I have some friends who run a record distribution center called Surefire in Brattleboro, VT, so I headed in that direction, and got in touch with them while on the way. Luckily, they have been completely hospitable, and I'll be staying with them, Dave and Robin for a few days until my post-Canada shows resume on Thursday in Burlington, VT. Brattleboro is a cute town, with lots of little shops to look at, and it's always nice to go record shopping at the distributor warehouse.