Tuesday September 29, 2009
Woke early anyway, sat in the back lounge watching the trees go by and doing some last minute internet correspondence. Had to spread the word that once we crossed the border into Canada I'd have no phone service and limited internet access. Stopped at a grocery store somewhere in Vermont. Gary bought me hydrogen peroxide for my thumb which is starting to concern me. Looks nasty and infected but it's thankfully just a big chunk of dead skin. Rest of my fingers healing up more or less nicely, provided I don't tear it up loading gear. Robert the driver had bought something using a stack of ones. On the way out he had a cop waiting for him. There was a recent bank robbery and they wanted to make sure he wasn't the guy. HA!
Last ditch effort to get Wilson into Canada... a disguise!!!
But we still had the US-Canada border to deal with. Jrab had already departed from Boston since he couldn't make it in. Wilson was worried he'd either have to pay or be turned back. Ryan knew he had to pay and didn't have the money. The deal is, if you have ANYTHING of an arrest record, even stuff from 20 years ago they make make you pay $200 for a temporary work permit. And it mainly depends on who is manning the guardpost that day. Some border guards are cool, some take you for all you have because they CAN.
So Wilson is turned back to the US and told if he ever comes back to the border he'd be arrested. Mind you as a professional merch wrangler he can and has entered most of Europe with no problems. But it's all a racket so there you go. We didn't even get to say goodbye to him. They took him away, then they took Ryan (he came back), then the rest of us had to sit in a waiting room (Ryan still on the bus) while the bus physically drove him back to the US border. Luckily they had some special paperwork or would have had to deal w/re-entering the US and going through a longer traffic line and even more bullshit. So it took about 2 hours or so to get through.
Talking to the band it's taken up to 8 hours before. It's just effin Canada man, like we're really black market smugglers of moose and eskimos and shit.
Weather again turned sour coming into Montreal. We're now calling this the "Rain Tour". Fuck. Watching Montreal from my bunk I could def tell I was not in America. Different architecture, billboards and roadsigns in French. Venue was pretty cool, all kinds of weird graffiti on the backs of the surrounding buildings. Couldn't read it anyway so who knew if it was French or English. Also not used to French Canadian or the accent, not like anything I've ever heard. I swear they are just making it up, heh!
Lost a damn glove after Boston, the right one (the one I NEED). Luckily Ryan had a spare pair but they are fingerless. Go figure. Got loaded in and played the waiting game. Bus parked along a brush-lined sidewalk. Needed a machete to cut a path, weird. Catered food downstairs, yay! Some kind of slop with meat, corn and potatoes (later identified as shepherd's pie, very good). Football (soccer) on the tele, we are definitely not in America!
Mental note: bring a machete for the bus next time. And a BBQ grill.
Barely enough time for a soundcheck, no surprise there. Rest of our gear crammed into the metal freight elevator off stage right. Getting very cold outside now, went for a brief walk around the block with Ryan. Cool to walk around a place that feels like a totally different country. Then King's X went on and knocked them dead like they always do. Sounded goddam amazing onstage even though I could tell they were struggling a bit. Dug's been a little under the weather and having trouble hitting those Mariah Carey sog whistle notes in certain songs. Got the hell offstage and Ryan and I spent the first few songs of Porcupine Tree tetrising our gear back into the cases.
Downstairs in the dressing room Ty and Jerry very excited talking about band stuff and the new website, have a bunch of new ideas for promo and their upcoming DVD. Drank a few Borealis (? had a polar bear on it) and rested a bit/checked e-mail. Had loaders at the end of the night (spoke English but could barely understand them) and the rain had stopped but goddam was it cold. But we were done, so Ryan and I went to spend our $10CN buyouts at the bar next door ("When are we going to be in Montreal again? Let's go to a bar!"), which seemed cool from the back. It was OK, 80's American music and drunk college girls. Had 2 pitchers of some Canadian beer. Tipped in dollar Canadian coins but still felt like a cheapskate leaving change. Staggered back to the bus and slept.