Nitwitz 2005 tour diary
The original diary was written for the VPRO (Dutch broadcasting corp.) who published it on their website in 2005. The content has since been taken offline. I translated what was left of the original copy to English, lost a bunch of stuff (unfortunately some entries are missing, found a bunch of stuff, edited and added some more content. Click on the dates on calendar below to navigate through the diary.
They say time flies when you’re having fun. It was 21 years ago when I toured the US for the first time with my band, BGK. Our vehicle was a minivan that had only two seats : One for the driver and one for a passenger riding shotgun. The rest of the band stayed in the back of the van’s loading space, atop a structure of planks on top of the band equipment, leaving about 45cm/18 inches of room. No windows, no light, ventilation or AC, this is how we travelled sardine style driving 8 to 12 hours a day. for three months. Let me tell you it gets mighty hot in Texas. It was some Spartan shit.
Many more tours were to follow, including ones where we had to sit in complete darkness in the back of the truck, without even a seat or a matress. But times have changed (a little) and things are picking up. The rental vehicle on this 2005 Nitwitz tour spacious and comfortable : 3 rows of seats, 2 beds back in “the nest”, and even has a dvd player ! Not exactly nightliner rock star level trave comfort but a big step up. Total luxury. Bonus : this thing is fast, over 145 km (100mph) per hour, fully loaded.without speed limits on the German autobahns, this blue cannonball on wheels might just will save us 3 hours of preciousshut eye time per night. I’m ready to rock, so let’s roll !
Not so fast there, buddy.
This wouldn’t be a NITWITZ tour without some bullshit from the get-go.
Paul says our cd release has been postponed ! The CD factory people sent us a letter to inform us that they regretfully cannot fulfill our business order, because of the “unacceptable” cover art. Their letter comes with a phonebook thick stack of legal papers, photocopied from the German book of law.
“Whaddyamean ? What’s wrong with it ?” I exclaim agitated.
Paul, whose German is fluent, scans the passages that have been underlined with fluorsecent marker, and explains that duplication and even display of nazi symbols is VERBOTEN in Germany.
“Nazi symbols ? What nazi symbols ? there are none !”
Turns our new band logo, the German “Reichsadler” eagle is the culprit. Okay maybe it’s a Third Reich eagle, but it doesn’t hold a swastika. Our eagle grasps a smiley in it’s talons.
“Um, yeah, but the eagle is illegal and according to German Law. Officialy it still counts as a Third Reich “nazi symbol”, Paul explains.
“Third Reich Schmurd Reich ! We’re no god damn nazis ! I just thought the eagle was funny imagery for our “Totalitarian RocknRoll” schtick ! Look, ccan’t you just write these assholes back and tell them you’re Jewish and that you’re OK with the eagle ?” I suggest.
He mumbles “No, dude”, while photoshopping the sleeveartwork to remove the offending image, “it’s the law. But I CAN tell those Kraut bastards to suck the nacho cheese offa my 100 % kosher, circumcized, American cock”.
While Paul Photoshops the cover artwork, (thank god we don’t need to hire some guy for this), I am becoming Mr. Worrywart. Postponing our release by two weeks means we won’t have CD’s to sell during the first half of the tour. This totally defeats the whole purpose of doing the tour, which was intended to promote the new release. What kind of retarded motherfucker goes on tour to promote a new release without having a new release ? US, that’s who.
So this is kind of setback. Since we mostly have door deals, (some of those Scrooges even make us play for HALF of the door) we’re missing out on revenue. Not much, but, when you’re on a budget of exactly ZERO, and everyone in the band is broke, selling those 8 or 12 cd’s per night does make a difference. Merch is what keeps a band going. Buy their stuff, this is how bands like us pay gas. In Europe, gas is $ 9 a gallon if you can believe that. Plus tolls, ferries and bridges need to be paid for.
“ARGH ! Why do Germans always have to censor everything ? THEY are the nazis ! they invented all that nazi shit, not us.” I complain, recalling an incident from the previous tour. We had a couple of last-minute cancellations because some uptight douchenozzle took offense to the cover art of our new 10″ release “Nibble The Giblet”. It had a picture of a topless and blindfolded Moroccan girl chained to a steel cage on the cover sleeve… Big fucking deal. The record labei was responsible for that. The cover model who got paid and enjoyed posing for the record. We had no say in it. I just thought it was a funny SPINAL TAP “smell the glove” reference. The fact that we are now actually banned from playing a few places, makes the whole situation even MORE Spinal Tap
You know what’s offensive ? Being stranded 600 km from home with nowhere to play, nowhere to go, no money in your pocket, twiddling your thumbs for 3 days and and knowing you still have to pay the rental van when the tour is over.
“I know, Germans got a stick up their ass about lots of things.” Paul responds, “They just don’t have a sense of humor. Even the KISS logo is illegal here.”
Oh well, what can you do. Making the best of a bad situation, we spend the next couple of days practising at Paul’s studio, and recording / producing a German group called the DYNAMINDS. They are a real nice bunch of fellers and a cool band. Buy their album “sophisticated Slaves”!
ROADHOG DICTIONARY :
Tetris : loading the van systematically and with surgeon precision because else the equipment won’t fit
“You can’t put that that amp there, it goes in last. You have to tetris it just right.”
Anuslover : One who loves anus. Any guy, person, dude.
The nest : bunk beds in the back of the van where one may rest or sleep during travel
“Are you going to nest ? Nest in peace !
“You guys had dinner while I was nesting. Bullshit ! Why didn’t any of you anuslovers wake me up ?”
Nest egg : can of beer to be consumed in the nest
Yolk : Contents of nest egg, beer
Yolker : One whose physique displays the result of long term yolk imbibage.
“See those homeless guys sitting on that bench ? TOTAL Yolkers”
Shell : Spent nest egg, an empty beer can.
“We need to clean out the nest, there’s a million shells back in there”
Scrooge : Promotor of a venue or club. They always try to weasel us out of money