Day 12 – What doesn’t kill
you, usually still hurts a lot.
I woke up about 6am just as we were speeding through the streets of Sao Paulo. We were still going the same speed only now it had a different perspective because we were hurdling between traffic and pedestrians. We only slowed down when a motorcyclists got ran over by a bus in front of us. The body was still twitching when we rolled past. And so began our return to Sao Paulo, home to an average 25 murders/day and 10,000 stolen cars/month…
We got dropped off at Pedro I Shot Cyrus’s apartment. Enough money was made to pay off the bus fees and the driver’s fees so we got that all squared away. We napped till noon, and then took turns trying to figure out how to get a call through to our mother’s back home. (My mom’s one of the biggest supporters of my lifestyle and also the person responsible for my obsession with chocolate and fart jokes, in case you were wondering.)
Tonight’s show was a biggie – the Verdu-Rada Hardcore Fest featuring I Shot Cyrus, Mayombe, Good Intentions, Discarga, and us. The venue was a large hall surrounded by tables waring all sorts of vegan goodies, from sandwiches to full entrees to sweets to drinks.
ISC shredded. Their singer never let up once from jumping and yelling and smiling and muscle-flexing, and their 2nd guitar player – a big guy with a little guitar – thrashed so hard he ripped the front of his shorts wide open. Mayombe obviously still had a lot of pent-up anxiety from the bus ride last night and used it to play intensely and aggressively. GI were what you’d think they sounded like – East Coast hardcore with a posi- edge. They were having a great time which got the (huge) crowd to have a great time which got the whole vibe of the place into a fully positive swing. Discarga opened with a Motorhead medley which had more people watching than dancing, curious to see what was gonna come next. Three minutes later they were ripping through their own songs and the place erupted again. By the time their set was done there was so much energy in the air I had trouble eating my 3rd one-pound brownie.
For a last show, we couldn’t have asked for more. The energy of the room never let up and though I somehow acquired some serious boo-boos it was one of my favorite WHN? shows ever. It helped that we had so many friends there, and there was so much good food, and everywhere I looked people were having a good time.
Boka and Fralda from Ratos de Porao were there and after the show took a bunch of us across town to a festival they were headlining. They VIP’ed all of us not only into the show, but backstage as well. In their dressing room were ice chests full of waters, sodas and beer, deli trays, desserts, and a bunch of rock magazines. I looked at one of them and the back cover was Boka making an Arrrrrrggghh! face with a handful of drumheads. Some guy was taking pictures (probably for that magazine) so I asked Boka to sign the advertisement for me. He did with a smile as pictures were snapped and poses were made. When I got the magazine back it said "Fuck you, Kreg."
I’ve just missed RDP in Brasil, I’ve just missed them in the States, and I’ve just missed them in Europe, so I was really excited when they played tonight. And so were all our friends who hadn’t seen them in a long time either. They put on an awesome show but man…what I wouldn’t do to see them in a basement. Boka is such a rad drummer and Gordo’s such a awkward frontman (being shaved bald, over 6 feet tall, and close to 400 pounds) that to see them in an intimate environment would be just…heavy.
On the way back to Pedro’s apartment we got locked down in the subway while the police hunted someone down. Our friends recognized some of the cops as skinheads that used to come and fuck up shows not too long ago.
Before retiring to bed I took a shower and inspected my body in the mirror when I was done. My forehead (my friends call it a fivehead) looks like I got shot with a semi-automatic BB rifle and my chin looks like it has road rash. I blame both of these on Devon’s chair from last night. I also have a black eye that I think I got tonight, along with some cracked ribs that either happened when I landed on someone or when someone landed on me. Throw in my twisted knee and a finger that won’t bend because it’s filled with bee-sting pus and it’s probably as good a time as any to take a break from playing shows. It’s just too bad I will be spending the next couple weeks hiking and mountain biking and doing other things physical.
An acoustic guitar-based sing-along lasted until about 5 in the morning. Being the guests, we didn’t say anything, but Robert assured Mozine that he will have to fall asleep sometime, and when that time comes he’ll likely be getting some Bavarian Goggles (or perhaps some other surprise involving Robert’s testicles).
Day 13 – Touring isn’t so much a question of "Where is my next meal coming from?" as much as "Where/when am I gonna be able to take my next dump?"
Us gringos woke up when a previously unknown roommate walked about the living room this morning. We apologized for whatever noise we may have made last night and we assured him we had nothing to do with the sing-along. He apologized back and said that he was tired last night, but that tonight he promised to start his own sing-along.
A huge gang of us went out to a Krishna restaurant for lunch. It was nice to see so many ‘average’ folks enjoying vegetarian cuisine. With the exception of us there were no punkers, nor were there any teenagers or robe-wearing Krishnas or alterna-types eating. The clientele was largely 2-in-the-afternoon business persons on their lunch breaks.
Karoline, Devon and I somehow managed to catch a bus across town and 90 minutes later we met up with Farafa. He sings for Garage Fuzz and his wife, Alexandra, works for MTV Brasil. Between them we sat for hours listening to story after story of crazy Brasillian shows (no, really, shows here can be sorta nuts) and rock excess and celebrity faux pas’ and who is a jerk and who is not and why. These are stories I could not divulge but they were edge-of-my-seat interesting nonetheless.
We all made it back to Pedro’s two hours across town without incident and were greeted with another party. Not necessarily in our honor, but a group of people drunk and cavorting howbeit. I spent most of the night talking with Estella Infect (or "Pastella") who has an incredible working knowledge of both English and heavy metal. She didn’t know Udo Dirkschneider’s birthdate, but she did know all there was to know about both Racer X and Rose Tattoo. We whispered for hours in the quiet room until her ride left at 3am. The rest of the party went on until 7am.
Day 14 – "100% time happy," says Fartito.
Everyone was up by 9am to pack and reminisce. Mozine said this tour was "100% time happy" for him. We agreed.
Devon and Robert went to go buy Devon a plane ticket to Bolivia so he could meet us there in a week, after he stuck around to interview Coffin Joe and hang out at some RDP practices, and after we went mountain biking down The World’s Most Dangerous Road. Max is gonna stick around Sao Paulo for a week and visit as many skateparks as he can.
We all went out with some friends for one last hurrah at another pastellaria before Junior drove Karoline, Robert and I to the airport. Just as my check-in luggage conveyor’ed away I remembered my pocket knife was still in my carry-on guitar case. Rather than risk getting it confiscated or me put in jail for bringing weapons onboard, I gave it to Daniel with instructions to use it solely for cutting/corkscrewing/filing/toothpicking fascism. He accepted the responsibility and off we went to places unknown…
Thus concludes the punk rock portion of our sudamerican tour. To check out our trip to Bolivia and Peru (complete with tales of shootings, chokings, coffin hostels, Devon-losing/Devon-finding, threats from Peru’s welterweight kickboxing champion, gothic massages, getting stranded, and lots of other stuff not particularly punk-rock-related) please PROCEED...
Discarga - email@example.com
WHN? in Sudamerica - May 2002
0 – Please wake me for meals.
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