All large scale touring may be effectively grounded for the foreseeable future, but you know what hasn’t been halted? The imagination of Old Man Gloom drummer (and occasional Decibel contributor) Santos Montano! Rather than sit around and simply think about “what might have been” regarding OMG’s postponed 2020 touring, our man put fingers to keyboard and crafted the greatest Old Man Gloom tour diary (for a tour that never happened). Relive the drama of Part I, and then strap in for Part II, which follows directly below.
Home sweet home! Well, Aaron’s home, but it’s basically my home, because Aaron is a white person from Santa Fe, and I’ve decided that because his people came to Santa Fe and opened up a bunch of overpriced cafés and ice cream shops, I am part owner of all of their homes. It’s an uncomfortable conversation EVERY TIME, and has landed me in the Santa Fe County minimum security correctional facility for men on six different occasions. Luckily, I’m awesome at handball. Anyway, I digress.
I woke up at the Turner compound, and had a whole day to kill in Seattle before the show. Whilst I was kinda tempted to stick around the island and watch Aaron answer emails about where some guys Discordance Axis record was that was supposed to arrive in the mail in 2001, I decided to hop the ferry and do some sight seeing.
Now, I know I should see the Sky Needle, or go to the Pink Place Fish Market, but I have some connection to the REAL Seattle. As some of you know, I’m a real BotchBitch, which is what we Botch super fans call ourselves, so I wanted to see some of the historic Botch spots.
First, I hit up the parking lot of Dick’s Drive In, where Brian Cook had his famous tethered knife fight that was the inspiration for the Beat It video. Legend has it Brian just wanted some fries, as he was attending a dinner party a few hours later, and some beefcake emasculated him in front of his posse. Well, words were exchanged, and a blade was pulled. Brian, being the street tough he is said the famous words, “You wanna use blades, then I’m gonna need someone to tie us together, because I don’t stop until every burger in this parking lot is covered in your special sauce. Blood, I mean blood. I know special sauce sounds sexual, but in this case I mean blood. Anyway, someone tie us together!”, and the rest was history. Out by the dumpster I found what could be blood from that fight! Or it was ketchup. It was probably ketchup.
Next I hit the famous Cha Cha Lounge. I myself had some weird nights at the cha cha in the 2000’s, but I wanted to see the famous photo booth where those fabulous Verellen Brothers took an unsuspecting photo with a young man named Bill Gates. Lore says that the Verellen boys had been painting Ma Gates’ front deck all day, and met young Bill. Being the rascals they were, they talked young Bill into coming out and knocking back a few Bud Heavies that night. Things got weird, as they usually do, and shirts came off, and into the booth the three of them went. Well, they tried to take the photo, but Lil Bill was so trashed he kept slipping out of the shot. The V-Boys kept propping him up, and saying “look into the little window, Bill!” Well, Bill was trashed, and was seeing 3 windows, and didn’t know which one to look into. In his slurry stooper, he nerdily said, “if only there was a way to organize these three windows so I knew which one to look into. You think you’re better than me, windows? You aren’t. I love you. No. Listen, I’m telling you, You think you’re better than me?” Well, the next morning, upon reflection, Bill had a little idea, and five months later, Microsoft Windows was born. It’s said that with the billions he made off the idea those Verellen scamps led him to, he sent them each a disc that allowed them to get one free month of AOL. His generosity knows no bounds.
Finally, I had one last plan, to corner Dave Knudson at his home and ask him when the Botch reunion was happening. Well, I haven’t been maced in months, and in retrospect, it probably wasn’t a great idea to pick up his child before introducing myself. Hey, live and learn!
Anyway, after I kicked out the back windshield of the cop car and ran all the way to the show, I was lucky enough to miss the openers, and was able to get one hand out of the cuffs just in time for the set! It went fine, but the loose handcuff hanging off my right hand smashed my face probably 68 times, so I’ll be a little beat up after tonight. Luckily, Portland tomorrow is a pretty short drive, and I can hit an Urgent Care in the morning for some stitches. Always a great day in Seattle!
Below is a transcript of the police questioning me outside of Dave’s house:
Cop: So, Mr. Knudson says he found you in his backyard trying to abduct his child?
Santos: Oh, no, no, no, no. I wasn’t trying to abduct him! That’s crazy! I was just being silly and saying i wouldn’t give his kid back until he played a set with Botch at our show tonight! come on! I’m not CRAZY!
Cop: So, you were holding his child hostage then.
Santos: Well, I guess, but it was in a FUN way, not a weird way!
Cop: OK, so you’re telling me there’s a fun way to hold someone hostage?
Santos; Also, I don’t want to split hairs here or tell you how to do your job, but wouldn’t it be more kidnapping than holding hostage? I mean, I don’t want to get into a whole semantics thing…
Cop: You realize that every word you say is making everything worse, right?
Santos: Right. I think you specifically said something about what i say being used against me. Is there anyway to opt out of that “used against me” business?
Cop: Right. No. No opt out option, unfortunately.
Santos: Listen, I can clear this all up. Do you have an auxiliary input on your cop car stereo? HEY SIRI, PLAY WE ARE THE ROMANS, BY BOTCH.
Cop: Are you yelling “Hey, Siri” at my squad car?
Santos: Right. Sorry. We’re in Seattle. My bad. ALEXA, PLAY WE ARE THE RO-…
(Into the car I go.)
Ah, Portland. I’ve never understood you, but I’ve always had fun within you. We got to the venue, and did the boring old load in. I was feeling off from the amount of blood I’d lost in the night, but I replaced it with a lot of Pacific Northwest, coffee, and was feeling capable. After load in and sound check, I looked up the closest urgent care. Time to get some of these wounds closed up! I found one that was very highly rated, and within walking distance. What I found when I got there was surprising. I should’ve known something was off when I saw the name of the place was:
“Urgent (Who) Care(s?)”
When I walked in, instead of a sterile room with a stack of Sports Illustrated issues and pamphlets on high blood pressure, I found a room room where the walls were veneered in reclaimed barn wood, with industrial antique brass lighting, and a god damn CBD vape lounge. There was the option to have a tarot reading while you waited, and some weird goth woman was smudging after each patient walked through the room. Goddamn you, Portland. I went to the desk, which was just a woman sitting criss cross apple sauce on a Native American woven rug, holding a kitten. I told her I needed some stitches, and she told me to take a seat. I asked if she needed my name, and she said “Names are a construct of the parental hierarchy that we reject. When the doctor is ready to see you, you and she will find each other through the instincts engrained in your heart chakras.” I asked about how long that would be. She said around 15 minutes. So, I went over and got a quick tattoo from the shirtless Japanese dude in the corner that he did using a real long sharp stick. I got Chinese characters on my lower back that said “If you ain’t a cowboy, you ain’t shit.” You only live once, folks.
When the doctor came over, and gently laid her hand on my shoulder, I locked eyes with her and I knew it was time. We went to the back, and the exam room was just a mishmash of Moroccan rugs and cushions. She motioned for me to lay down, and she gently spooned me and asked why my spirit found her. I was already bleeding from like seven places on my body, so it seemed pretty self explanatory, but I went ahead and told her about the cops and the cuffs and the stitches I needed. Turns out, she’s an Old Man Gloom fan! So we talked about Gloom for a while, and she had a lot of questions about what it’s like to be in a band with Aaron, and why Seminar II and III weren’t on Spotify. We lost track of time, and I was in there for almost an hour and a half. At that point, i had to interrupt her story about finding her spirit animal in a hostel in Guatemala to ask about getting some stitches. She looked me dead in the eyes, almost to my soul, and said “we don’t take BlueCross BlueShield, but i’m really happy you found your way here. I love you. Goodbye.” She turned and walked out of the room. Huh. Bummer. So, I looked for my underwear, and got dressed. Upon leaving, the woman on the floor informed me that for my consultation I owed them $3,400, and asked if I would be using a credit card or invoking a barter. I asked if she took colored vinyl, and she literally laughed in my face and said, “of course we do! We aren’t savages!” So, I walked back to the venue, and got the vinyl for the whole tour and took it back to Urgent (Who) Care(s?).
Needless to say, the show goers weren’t stoked about no vinyl on the table, and my bandmates were even less happy about it. Unfortunately, I was kinda fixated on the massive open wounds on my face and body, so couldn’t apologize properly. I popped into Walgreens, and found some superglue. I also bought some condoms and lube, because I didn’t want to be the guy who was JUST buying superglue. EMBARRASSING…
I glued up the wounds on my face, and once again, perfectly timed my day to miss all the other bands, and played a wonderfully mediocre show. I have to say, I did feel pretty calm up there. I think it was the ayahuasca from the water cooler in the waiting room, or maybe it was looking out into the audience and seeing my doctor standing with a sea otter wearing a top hat. Either way, it was a fine night. I ate a fuckload of fancy $8 donuts in the green room before we started driving, forgetting I have a gluten allergy, and had to make the fellas pull over so I could shit over a guard rail. Every time, Portland! EVERY DAMN TIME!
Below is a short transcript of the guardrail diarrhea fiasco:
Steve: I’m new to the Gloom. How often does this happen?
Nate: Which part? Pulling over so Santos can shit specifically over a guard rail, or us having to sit and wait for some self made “Santos disaster” to play out?”
Steve: Ummm…. both? Either? Wait, he’s shit over a guard rail before?
Aaron: He’s literally shit over a guard rail on every tour we’ve ever done. And that includes one-off fly-in shows where we don’t even drive on the highway.
Nate: Once in Denver, he took a whole bottle Claritin and drank half a bottle of tequila and took an Uber to the highway because he was told the giant horse statue by the airport was built by aliens. He jumped out of the moving Uber, broke three ribs, and shit over a guard rail. We only know this because he was wearing a GoPro the whole time.
Aaron: Luckily, we turned on “find my iPhone” a few years ago, after we lost him in a Parisian flea market and had to get the American Embassy involved because he sold himself to a Saudi Prince for a $40 Outback Steakhouse gift card.
Steve: Huh. Do you always finish tours?
Nate: We’ve literally never finished one tour. I haven’t bought a return ticket home from a Gloom tour in advance in 14 years.
Steve: Well, anyway, thanks for having me along! Stoked for Chico tomorrow!
Old Man Gloom’s Seminar IX: A Darkness of Being and Seminar VIII: A Light of Meaning are out now on Profound Lore.