From: June 12, 2004 Los Angeles, CA
In the morning Julian took a car to LA, not wanting to fly. He'd booked it for noon, so I moved forward the pick up time to 11 AM to allow more time for the journey. A smiling, soapy bath-foamed Julian answered his door and said sure, he'd leave earlier for LA. Imagine my surprise when I was finishing breakfast with our Paul and Julian walked in to Mels Diner at 11:45 AM and ordered something to eat.
We left for the airport and got there way early (students of band punctuality can draw their own conclusions as to why this happened...although it's not for me to say.) Fab wandered off to get some fast food, Danny and Paul browsed the Tie Rack and Sunglasses Hut and Albert, Nikolai and I ate some breakfast. Actually, it more accurate to say that Albert ate Nikolai's breakfast as it was so tasty. I just watched.
Two men feasting. It was enough to be a spectator.
At LAX we waited forever for the luggage and drove to the venue, stopping only once this time for caffeine and to pick up our friends John and Judy.
It was easy to be scared in the backstage menagerie at the Weenie Roast. I tried to hide in the trailer but the band wanted their passes so I had to go to out into the hostility area. Albert did an on-air interview for KROQ. By the time he'd finished Nick and Fab were in the audience heckling. But try as they might their efforts were in vain. No one ruffles The Professional.
Slash and Mat Sorum were in their trailer after finishing their set with Velvet Revolver. After a quick chat with Fab, slash agreed to play on New York City Cops. He and Matt came to the Strokes' dressing room to figure out Slash's solo and his cues. Julian sang along and Fab played a leather chair. It took 3 minutes. Then everyone just kept playing and playing for the fun of it, pretty much until it was time to go onstage.
The show was tight. Slash not only played NYC Cops but also came on for a shamen dance during Last Nite, just to help with everyone's vibe. The man's got gifted feet as well as fingers, as anyone there will tell you.
At the end of the show Fab's kit ended up in a pile on the stage and Julian and Fab both finished the show in the crowd. Nick's still psyched about having played with Slash. It's Tuesday today.
We got back to Hollywood around 2 AM and everyone went for a pool party. As one does in Hollywood on a Saturday night in the summer.
There were more In and Out Burgers involved somewhere along the way. But by that time on a Saturday, who was counting? Besides, it's not like anyone's got a problem with In and Out Burgers. They could stop eating them anytime they liked.
From: June 11, 2004 San Fransisco, CA
The day got off to an early start with our sound engineer calling from the UK telling me his flight reservation wasn't confirmed five hours before his flight and ten hours before our travel agent was due back in the office. Fortunately both the airlines we were flying on were helpful and all the Strokes crew who fly in from the UK (of which there are four...) were all flying over the Atlantic before we'd even got out of bed in New York and finished our porridge. Which is how it should be.
Nikolai, Albert, Julian and I all drove out to the airport together and stumbled through JFK, collecting a rabbit on the way. The rabbit ended up sharing a first class seat with Albert. Julian slept and enjoyed a strange, ripe silence with the grumpy bloke sitting next to him. Rabbit envy, no doubt. During the meal the airline chose to show documentary footage of people starving in Africa, which seemed odd. Passengers spooned doughy desserts into their mouths while boney African children stared at the camera. Nikolai read Brave New World. Later Nikolai gave me the skinny on apartment-hunting in New York. Nikolai is a well-informed man when it comes to New York real estate, not something that's always readily apparent to the casual observer. He's a man who knows the difference between a 3rd floor walk up and a penthouse, that's for damn sure.
Vance, the runner from Live 105 BFD met up at San Francisco airport. As we drove slowly though the Friday evening traffic Albert practised the set on his acoustic guitar while Julian sang along. Nikolai used some burger Juju to guide the van towards In and Out Burger by the venue. For the record, the order of the weekend was either a Double Double or a Cheeseburger. With fries. And a coke.
We met Fab and Nick at the festival site. Happy vibes, everyone seeing friends, saying hello to the crew (who they hadn't seen for a couple of weeks), catching up with the Yeah Yeah yeahs in the neighboring dressing room. All the production people were great - (Cheers Nigel, Cheers Pam!). We watched the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Violent Femmes and the Beasties.
Julian attempted to deconstruct the PA system during the show and later the onstage monitors, alarming the security gaurds (sic) in the pit who were more than a little shocked to see 100lb speakers raining around them. Sorry chaps, it was only a bit of lighthearted fun. Julian spent more than a little time in the crowd-- thanks to anyone who's (sic) drink he appropriated--you shall be remembered fondly, if a little fuzzily.
On the drive back into San Francisco we stopped again at the drive-in In and Out burger (sic) by the venue. We waited in line in our van for about half an hour and gave the world's most convoluted burger order to teh long-suffering late night staff. $52 later we got a steaming mountain of meat, cheese, bread, fries and ketchup. It wasn't pretty.
At the hotel bloated band and friends rolled groaning onto the sidewalk. Bellmen helped the worst casualties to their rooms on carts. The weak-willed whimpered vainly for burgerectomies and new stomachs. We left the worst of them outside to see who would last through the night.