Bad Manners Ska Tour

Bad Manners On Tour

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Jake - Thu Aug 19, 2010 @ 05:55AM
Comments: 8

Allright my little droogies, it's off to Ohio with the Bad Manners crew. Kent Ohio is the same city where the Kent State incident occurred - a sad chapter in American history: 4 college students protesting the war in Vietnam were shot and killed by National Guard troops.

But back to another sad chapter in history, the 2010 Bad Manners tour! We stop at a music store as a downpour begins. They don't have what we need, so we head off to another shop. At some point, I realize that we've left Justino back at the 1st music store. He's also left his phone on the RV..."Hello, Soundboard Music, we think we left our drummer there...He's mad? We'll be right there!"

We're playing an old theater called the Kent Stage. Seating and ska are always a bad combination. The PA is playing Marley's "Legend," surely the LAZIEST music selection possible at a reggae-related show. The crowd looks older (nuffink wrong w that) and none too energetic. The only strategy for BM is to crank up the energy to 200% and try and shake the place up. There is a small contingent of two-tone/skin looking folks up front, and they do their best to give us some energy back.

We put on a fine show, by now most of the jitters are gone and we're starting to play as a band. After the show, we accept the invitation of Jamie, the "Red Reaper" to crash at her place outside of town. Jamie is a funeral director, and is on call to pick up bodies the night of the show. Right as we're packing up, she gets a call. Josue (trumpet) and Lee (bass, drinking) decide to go with. We get a few cryptic messages from Josue, but he's just joking around. Jamie is a solid citizen performing a needed service, and in this economy, who can scoff at that? get some great shots of Buster stretched out in the back of the van on the body cot thing...Buster is also very attached to the Martian helmet he picked up at Professor's Pub, where a bunch of BM and EB band and crew go to unwind after. The entire BM side wind up at Jamie's, along with two local skins we met at the show. We always like to bond w the locals and learn about what it's like in their scene, town, etc. Concerns arise as soon as we get in the locals' car. They put on Biohazard (WTF??!!) and then some horrid new Oi shite. Justin and I are begging them to put on something good. The other local skin is blind drunk, alternating between falling asleep on my shoulder and violent demands for a cigarette. We get to Jamie's and cigarette boy still won't shut up. He's threatening violence if he isn't properly cigged. But when he's given a smoke, he keeps demanding cigs. He also says a number of very rude things. Luckily for him, we are too tired to properly educate him on matters of racial sensitivity. Jayskin from Iowa would have loved to meet these boneheads in trad clothing.

The good far outweighs the bad in Kent, as Jamie's place has many beds, couches and rooms to crash in/on. I wind up in the "princess room," in a bed with iCarly sheets. I get my 1st good sleep since leaving LA and have a hot shower as well. Buster takes a liking to Jamie's pugs, and acn be heard calling out "Pugsley! You dirty dog!" and other such endearments. The pugs love him back. I'll try and post some shots later.

We leave Jamie's place the next morning and head off to Philly.

Comments: 8
Jake - Tue Aug 17, 2010 @ 09:44AM
Comments: 8

Friday the 13th in Chicago, what could go wrong? Another numbingly long drive across the hot and humid Mid-West turns particularly moist as one band member accidentally pees on another in what we chalk up to an "honest mistake." The Bounder is a faithful transport, but she lacks most of the amenities, including a working bathroom. Somehow, we avoid a potential stabbing and end up closer for the experience.

The club, Double Door, is located in the Wicker Park section of Chicago. This 'hood is packed with young, hip, tattooed folks of all shades. I spend a while admiring the seemingly endless parade of beautiful women. Time well spent.

After a few false starts and one great show in Denver, it's CRUCIAL that we put on a good show tonight. It's Friday night, it's Chicago, and my ex-wife will be in the audience. A good talking-to by Buster has us all ready, and we deliver a nearly flawless show full of the trademark BM energy and spirit of fun.

After the show, we head over to Late Bar, where the liquor pours til 4am as the dj's spin obscure mod soul gems for the sharply dressed crowd. Dave and his staff show us a fantastic time, as do the locals. I wake up at dawn, the RV parked somewhere in Chicago...as I throw up (why the Sambuca?) in the gutter, I realize I haven't felt this alive in a while. Losing my job was the best thing to happen to me since being offered the same job.

Lessons learned:

1. Chicago. Kicks. Fucking. Ass.

2. Every once in a while, it's good to drink until you puke.

3. Pee happens. Nuff said.

Here's a review of the Chicago show for a 2nd opinion

Comments: 8
Jake - Sun Aug 15, 2010 @ 09:46AM
Comments: 5

Okay, so we're gonna cover a bit of ground here so that I can catch up on the doings that have transpired thus far. Bad Manners is on a tour of the US with The English Beat and Chris Murray.

We all met up in LA, rehearsed for 2 days and headed out to Salt Lake City, Utah. The venue (The Depot) was new and the staff helpful. First show jitters and a late start/all-night drive had us off our game, and we didn't exactly take off like a rocket...Still, 1st show done and on to Omaha.

But first, we felt that we needed a bit more practice after last night's show. A proposed practice on our day off turned into a surprise show in Denver at a place called Toohey's. All credit is due to BM keyboardist Pablo Fiasco for putting the whole thing together. The show was a huge success, and we all had a great time in Denver. Thanks to local band Potato Pirates for providing support and backline.

Another long drive in the AC-less Bounder had us hot, tired and sticky as we drove up to the Slowdown in Omaha. It's a new place built by the folks at Saddle Creek Records, whose HQ is in the same complex. Our show was quite a bit better, but I'd have to give it to Dave and the boys, who were particularly tight and energetic. As always, we hung out after the show and met some cool people from the surrounding area. Some local trad skins came out from around Nebraska and Iowa, including the homie Jayskin, who reps SHARP extra hard in the land of prairies and cornfields. I'm glad he's on our side!

jimmy and buster

practice day 2

Comments: 5
Jake - Sat Aug 14, 2010 @ 04:41PM
Comments: 5

Hello Bad Manners fans, friends and parole agents! This is Jake Smith here, 2010 tour guitarist for the band. Longtime (currently inactive) BM drummer Steph DiFranco began the job on the last tour, and since I made the mistake of telling him how much I enjoyed his blogging of the tour, he graciously handed the reins over to me...So before you do anything else, go back and read Steph's posts from 2009. Below you can see Steph (r) and myself at our historic summit in Omaha at the Bad Manners gig on 8/12/10.

jakesteph2010

Comments: 5
Comments: 12

Well we did it, Off to the Rock 'n" Roll Hall of Fame with eight other bands in October. We called pretty drunk from the Key Club in Hollywood shortly after hearing our name read by the judges. Lee Kavenaugh of the Kansas City Star has been a champion of our cause and wrote a couple of articles on our going and winning a spot.

Here is Sundays page....

Kansas City Weasels make it to the finals of the Battle of the Corporate Bands

The Kansas City Weasels rocked into the finals Saturday night on their quest for the title of America’s best corporate rock ’n’ roll band.

The band secured one of eight spots to play at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in October for the final competition of Fortune magazine’s Battle of the Corporate Bands.

The band lived up to its old name of The Screaming Weasels when its members phoned from Los Angeles with news of their success late Saturday night. They were hard to understand amid screams and laughter except for three words repeated over and over: “We did

Lee Hill Kavanaugh, lkavanaugh@kcstar.com

Posted on Sun, Jun. 21, 2009 10:15 PM
Stephen DiFranco | Create Your Badge
Comments: 12
Steve - Thu Feb 12, 2009 @ 02:59PM
Comments: 5

The Filmore Final barsThe last day of the tour was my favourite, I got to hang with Grace first at Meg's apartment.

I headed from Brooklyn to 86th in Manhattan, Meg has a beautiful apartment right by the Guggenheim.

I dumped my stuff, took a shower and Grace and I headed to the museum, it was just fun to hang out and talk about the past three weeks.

I was so tired, we got coffee and I had two soft boiled eggs, then headed back to the flat. Got all my gear together and rode the train down to 14th street to the Filmore.

The Filmore is a historic venue, you can just feel it when you walk in. I met up there with Ryan and we set up camp in the dressing room. I could sense tonight was going to be great.

Slowly but surely the rest of the band showed up, and we set up for a sound check, we were playing with Big D and the Kids table, they were great, lending us all their gear. Souncheck was great, the sound system in there is excellent, run by a team who know what to do.

Literally after soundcheck they opened the doors and within 30 minutes the evening had begun with Big D. The place was filling up so quickly, it was totally sold out.

Grace was across the road having dinner with friends, I waited impatiently for them to arrive, I paced around as per usual, this is where i ran into an old friend sitting on a box of t-shirts. Heidi Minx, a long time old friend was just sitting there. I had often wondered what had happened to her, and there she was. She just looked at me and then freaked out. We hugged and laughed, and she asked "what the hell I was doing there", "playing" I said. She laughed again. Heidi used to follow the band even to England and take photos.

I headed behind stage just as Grace was getting in the door, along with Brent Bliven, Lynn Hutchinson, Meg Rhodus and Lynn's friend Michelle. Brent is a long time friend from Kansas City, he moved to Boston a few years back. Lynn we met along with her husband Art in Maui two years ago. We kept in touch and last year Grace and I attended their wedding in Boston, and that is how we met Michelle.

The Show flew by, I blinked and it was over, but I will never forget the feeling of walking on and all those great songs

The picture kind of says it all for me, I know from this picture where I was in the set, I am at the ending The Can Can, the final song of the show.

After the show, i headed backstage to dry off, grabbed a beer and headed out the door. There in front of me was Grace, Brent, Meg, Lynn, Michelle and Scott all kissing me and hugging me. It was a very emotional experience, and to have several friends there is something I will never forget.

Comments: 5
Steve - Tue Feb 10, 2009 @ 11:00AM
Comments: 61

Here are several places to find tour shots by pros and fans.

SKAPUNKPHOTOS.COM

Multiple pages of band and Fan pics

Bad Manners

Comments: 61
Steve - Tue Feb 10, 2009 @ 10:32AM
Comments: 63

DrumsI have been trying to write this entry for a while, things got crazy and I have not been able to upload and talk about the final day and hours of the tour.

I mentioned we went to New Jersey, we played at The Crazy Donkey, what a place, not really a Bad Manners and English Beat venue, they were not really prepared for us.  Bad Manners has 8 members on stage, three horns, drums, bass, guitar, organ and eight vocals, that’s many mics.  Then you get into the English Beats situation and you run out of room on the desk, so basically we are a sound guy’s nightmare.

We left Brooklyn around 11:00am; it was freezing on Thursday last week.  We were told that the traffic would be terrible, so best to just get there.  We had no heat on the bus and were also joined by Doug’s drunken friends.  One of them, a girl was going to play violin that night with us, she was very nice, not sure of here name.  The drive was only about one hour, so we got there around noon.  We then hung out waiting for the English Beat to turn up and sound check.  We were also told that there would be three bands on in front of us.  This is a pain in the arse as there is not enough room in the dressing rooms for all of us. 

We ordered in Chinese food and I did my usual pacing of the venue, it was 50 Stef steps long and 40 wide, I kept this up for about 1 hour until I was bored and decided to pace somewhere else.

Finally the bar staff arrived and we could get a beer, I got the worst pint of Guinness I have ever had, still it was wet.

Outside was so cold, and they informed us there was a dressing room outside in another RV.  The thought of going onto a different RV was sickening, still we did it, we discovered how the place should really look and that the toilets do actually flush.  It was still freezing in there though and I decided to take my chances inside with the masses.  I staked a claim in the dressing room and stared down anyone who came near it.

Soon it was time for the first band to go on, they were great, noisy Ska-Punk band, full of energy, then the second and third.  While this was going on the dressing room was being frequented by a monster of a man.  He wore a green MA1 any Army green pants.  He was about 6’5” tall and about 275lb.  He just walked in, filled up his pockets with the third bands beer and walked out to the tune of about 6 beers.  We all looked at each other, it was funny everyone’s expression was like, why did you not say something.  We all laughed until he came back 20 minutes later and did the same thing. 

I headed out to the stage right and got my gear in place, we had about 15 minutes until show time.  I saw the club MD and mentioned the mountain in the dressing room.  I did not want the third band to think we were all just drinking their beer.  He then led me over to this bouncer, he was about 5’ 11” and really broad.  He spoke with a thick New York accent and asked me to show him the guy so he could elect him from the venue.  Well, I could not find him, and he proceeded to make fun of the fact that how could a mountain disappear. 

This guys name was Bruno Bruni, turns out he is a New York Cop, he was brilliant, we hung out until I headed for the gig.  We had a great gig, despite only being able to line check everything.  The show was all ages and there were so many kids in there who I chatted with before and after.  After the show I walked off stage and saw my mate Bruno, he then told me he had found the guy and thrown him out.  The situation was made funnier by the fact the guy just went quietly and said sorry.  Bruno and I struck up a friendship, he asked me how he could get a Hooligan shirt, and being as I own them I got him a shirt cap and stickers.

He belongs to The Forsaken Guns MC of New York Motorcycle club and is sending me their shirt.  Also gave me his card and told me “bro, if you ever need me, just call”.  He, Bruno Bruni was just one of the many fantastic people I will never forget on this trip.

To top it all, I was standing there and bumped into several old friends from The Scofflaws, I had not seen them since we toured back min 1991.  We stood there and swapped stories from the past, mostly drunken youth stories.  They are older as am I and there is this wonderful respect between us all, like we went to war together.   It is really hard to say goodbye to old friends, these are some of the people that changed my life. 

Comments: 63
Steve - Sat Feb 07, 2009 @ 12:39PM
Comments: 4

Last night was brilliant, we played so well to a sold out Phimore. The day was so crazy, I woke up at 7:00 am in Johnny's place, with about six other guys all snoring. My motivation to get moving was that Grace was staying with Meg in Manhattan. I headed down to the Tube, and went and met my wife. It was great we had a great day hanging out, we went to breakfast, and to a museum.

Around three I headed down to the venue, more later, got to go to dinnner.

Comments: 4
Steve - Thu Feb 05, 2009 @ 04:30AM
Comments: 5

We are just about ready, we are heading to a club on Long Island, I think it's called Crazy Donkey, sounds interesting. Had a good night's sleep at Matt's place, in a bed. It is so cold here today and we have several extra people riding on the bus, if the bus is still there.

It was parked under the Brooklyn bridge and left. Yosi and Justin are heading to pick up the RV and we are going to board the ice box.

 

 

 

Comments: 5
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