...and this dude next to me turns on his barstool and looks me in the eye and says, "Honestly, and I really mean this, you guys are the worst band I have ever seen in my life."
Here's a little post-script to our utter and uncontested triumph over Tipitina's: the next night we are still in New Orleans, having found a groovy bunch of young fans to crash with, their messy apartment actually overlooks the noisy French Quarter (harsh morning light streams in through the ancient white-washed horizontal slats on the shutters; somehow it's meaningful to be seeing them from the inside, instead of gazing up like all the tourists), and that night we hear about an event at Tipitina's, a movie opening party or some such official closed event with popular people and free food and drink, and somehow the idea of crashing this party gets stuck in our minds. So we get seriously tricked out in our finest white tuxes and green pants, adorn our strong young bodies with trinkets, beads, and other swag from the Quarter, get a little liquid courage on board, pull our Hawaiian punch brims low over our eyes, and follow the searchlights over to Tipitina's. In a purposeful single file the three of us walk in past the velvet ropes and black-clad bouncers like we own the place. Which, in a sense, we do. If anyone shouts at us to stop, I certainly never hear it. Inside we mingle and drink and eat, entirely at home among the celebrities we do not recognize. High class. Right where we belong.
But here's the punch-line: at the bar, we overhear the manager-type, who never bothered to show up the night before when we played, bitching about something. Apparently the assholes in one of the bands last night threw fucking marshmallows all over the place. They got ground into the fucking carpet, and there was no way to get that shit out before the party. They almost had to move the whole thing to the fucking DoubleTree hotel! If he could just get his hands on those guys...
Jackson, MS was pretty wicked cool as well. Here's the story, recorded in our tour diary that some of you may have seen, but most of you have not, I'm guessing:
We were in the van on tour, hurtling down the road in probably Georgia or Mississippi. We were on our way to a gig at a club in Jackson called W. C. Don's, which was nothing more or less than two decrepit trailer homes nailed together to form a "T." The nailing together of the two homes had been done in a very half-hearted and probably illegal manner. You could see the sky from anywhere in the club and when it rained it basically rained right on your amps and your drummer.
We were playing there for what they called "Teen Night," an event that drew about 300 hot-looking youngsters to this nasty dive bar. It was a huge social event for the entire southern area! Since everyone was between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the bar couldn't serve any alcohol. So all of these young people were out of their minds on Extacy. The owner of W. C. Don's was no dummy -- he realized that this unpleasant drug actually sucks the fluid out of your brain and makes you ferociously thirsty, so the bar sold little plastic cups of tap water for $1 apiece. When he was paying us our $125 at the end of the night he told us that the bar had made $1,500 on tap water alone.
Later we learned that there was no one actually called Don, or even W. C., involved with this skanky place in any way. It was called that because the owner and his friends were sitting around trying to think of a name, and the best they could manage was "We Couldn't Decide On a Name." W. C. D. O. N.' s.
But we rocked W. C. Don's! The drug-addled teens hugged and shouted, especially when GT tossed florets of raw broccoli to them. We couldn't fail, because the drugs they had taken forced them to fall in love with anything anyone did. They loved us passionately. It really didn't matter that we were scorching the hell out the place. But we were anyway -- NDI doesn't know how to NOT rock!
The last few days of the tour were fuzzy with fever and face gruffle. But we did make it home! And when we did, it was time to record our first album...