Boston, MA on the 29th of July
It was the first gig, at the Paradise Theatre w/ PSYCHO + ? I realized during the show that with the 150 or so punx there and the coupla hundred we made from that gig, that it was impossible for us to come close to breaking even on the tour. I realized I was going to lose several thousand dollars. I experienced true depression for the first time in my life. I was laying down on the floor between two rows of seats in the theatre and just very very sad, knowing that my wife, who is not into punk but was supportive of my punk activities and passion, was going to be part of this big financial loss. I phoned her that evening and shared the mathematical news with her. She kept her calm. I was pleased. Meanwhile, in a few weeks I slowly got over the financial loss part of the tour and enjoyed more and more the honor and priviledge of seeing RAW POWER live 24 times. ( When RAW POWER played Adams Avenue Theatre in San Diego with the DEAD KENNEDYS my wife wouldn't let me attend the gig and had me come home, just a coupla miles away, to bathe and be with her a bit. We'd been married 3 years at that point. She still says today that I was more dirty and disheveled when she first saw me after just 9 dayson the tour, that, well, I was filthy. I don't think it was that bad.
Hartford, CT on the 1st of August
The state was full of forests. I had never been to the east coast and haven't since. It was a treat to see my own country during this tour. Each scene had it's own flavor. The Conneticut punx mostly wore t-shirts and jeans and some with short pants with less of the punk get-ups. The gig was in a American Foreign Legion hall which they have one in probably every American city. Like it's Veterans of Foreign Wars.
We only had one cancellation, Washington D.C. That show never materialized. We waited in an idilic woodland home of the parents of some local Conneticut punk for 2 days to see if word of the D.C. show was going to happen. It did not. But that time in the forest was a very nice one. I spoke with the mom of the home. She agreed that most punxshe met through her son were very nice people and all she had to do was learn to get past their wild looks.
Philadelphia, PN on the 3rd of August
The only show on a college campus was in Philadelphia 8-3. It was also about the smallest room. The punx went wild when RAW POWER played. An African American who called himself Mr. Video video taped the gig and after the show showed it to us. He was all over the place. His taping was as wild and energetic as the show was. About 100 punx there. Unfortunately, about 5 of the shows were video taped but we only got a copy from Flipside of the Olympic gig. And that was the only show where RAW POWER wasn't jumping all over the stage because it was so croweded with kids from the audience.
New York, NY on the 4th of August
In NYC we actually asked from the stage if someone had a place for us to stay that night. In the end I asked one of the band members of CIRCLE ONE as I recall the name was, a band who played at the gig, there were 6 bands that night and the mic went out for Mauro's vocals. Only time that sort of thing happened the whole tour. This guy's apartment wasn't an apartment at all. He rented a basement. Half of it was full of pipes and the walls were bare bricks. I think he had some jerry rigged bathroom situation. It was so small that half the guys, there were 13 all together, had to sleep in the van. He told us we needed to lock the hood of the van. None of us understood what he was talking about. We managed to and in the middle of the night the guys in the van said that some local citizens harassed them and apparently you lock the hood because people may steal your battery. The good part was that he lived right in Manhattan just a few blocks from the site of the gig which had maybe 400 mostly punx but also maybe 100 skinheads, the most at any gig on the tour. They seemed to be peaceful. Or, at least, I didn't detect any fights. The gig was at some large hall. I'm sure CORROSION OF CONFORMITY played that gig. I think 6 bands all together played that night. I remember seeing during the tour that COC toured criss crossing the whole country all over that year. I'm pretty sure there was at least one other gig played with them on the tour. And I'll always remember that they never sounded better, on record or from any other live tapes I've heard of them from any other year.
One of the things that really surprised me about New York was that the state was mostly forest and NYC almost rose out of the forest like a huge vision. Traffic was horrid. And we experimented just for about 1 or 2 days with renting a U-Haul trailer to give us more room in the van. I drove the van with the attached trailer in the thick NYC traffic and I still don't know how I did it without hitting anything. Oddly, none of us felt safe, even being a big group. NYC just seemed to have a dangerous vibe to all of us. We bought a few giant pretzels from street vendors and discovered bums who would try to clean your windshield, I think dirtying it first, for cash. We stopped and had a snack. It was muggy summer. I bought an Italian ice and ate it in half a minute. I got ill, queezy, and suddenly it seemed to be more clear that it was good for someone to be around who could keep things together. The RAW POWER boys were terrific. They were polite and generous and helpful. They had to eat 3 times a day and only those 3 times. None was overweight and through that eating habit they taught me a lesson how so many of us Americans don't eat sensibly and many of us get fat. Oddly, I thought, they didn't care for Mexican food. Giuseppe in particular thought it was awful.
Los Angeles, CA on the 10th of August
After a few east coast shows we drove across country for the International Gig at the Olympic Auditorium in downtown L.A. put on by Goldenvoice. A few days before we arrived we were in the middle of America somewhere and running out of money. So I called the Goldenvoice guy and he Western Unioned us some money in advance of our take from that gig. The DEAD KENNEDYS headlined and there was a NY band, SNFU of Canada, SOLUCION MORTAL from Tijuana. It was the biggest punk gig I had or have ever seen, about 5,000 punx. It went pretty darn well too. At that gig on stage Jello was bumped into by some punk and it injured his leg so at the San Diego show the next night he was in some leg brace with crutches. The giant L.A. show had 5 pits going at once and I didn't see any fights. I forget how much money we made from that gig but it was like the equivilent of most of the rest of the tour's gigs combined, maybe $1,000 all together. When we first arrived in L.A. someone from the band was driving and we came over the mountains and suddenly the vast spread of L.A. came into view. The guys had never seen anything like it and we had to pull over so I could do the driving, which, of course, I was used to.
I remember I called my older cousin who lived in Huntington Beach with her husband and about 10 year old son while we were still in Las Vegas. I asked her if we could stay over night for one night. It ended up being the place we stayed while we were in L.A. She had all 13 of us stay in her son's bedroom with him not in it. Whenever I see her now I ask her, 'Can I bring over some punx?' and she always laughs and give a fake panic and says, 'NO WAY!' But it was a pleasant stay it was just a visual and large group surprise for her.
San Diego, CA on the 11th of August
It was packed, maybe 300 punx.
While in San Diego we decided to go with Luis Guaena, a great Tijuana punk
promoter, to Mexico for some fun. When we went we forgot that the passports
that were worked on by some people in New York that I do the paperwork for
the RAW POWER passports, had not gotten the passports fully completed for
all 5 guys.
So, after we were done with our nice Tijuana visit as we drove back across to the U.S. at the border, the U.S. Customs would not allow Davide and one other RAW POWER guy back into the U.S. It was the second and only other great time I essentially paniced during the tour. I had no idea what was going to happen and if the two guys would ever be able to get back into the U.S., at least on time to play the next scheduled gig. Fortunately, Luis was an outstanding host and put up the guys at his grandma's home as I recall in downtown Tijuana. Then when I drove back to San Diego with the other 3 members of the band the Customs guy didn't ask for anyone's papers this time! So we could have simply driven back with no problems if the other two guys had been with us! However, the next day the band went to a Mexican consult office to work out the problem. There was a long long line of over 100 Mexicans waiting patiently. We told some of the people in the line our situation and they all let us go to the front of the line. All 100 people. It was an amazing act of generousity. The Mexican officials fixed the problem because I was able to get the final paperwork from New York and so our biggest misadventure of the tour was solved nicely. But now I knew was great dispair and panic was for the first time in my life. I'm glad to this day it had a happy ending.
San Francisco, CA on the 17th of August
I have 15 tapes from the 24 shows.
One of them is labeled San Francisco, Mabuhay Gardens 8-17-84 so it
must have happened but I have absolutely zero memory of it.
Berkley, CA on the 18th of August (afternoon)
It was the only outdoor and only daytime gig of the tour: the "Eastern front Festival afternoon". I forget who else besides the CIRCLE JERKS played. It was on the west side of the city in a green park right along water just across the freeway from the San Francisco Bay. I think there were about 300 to 500 punx there. As always RAW POWER was well appreciated. Don't forget, there had been no non-UK punk band to ever tour the U.S. until 1984 with this tour and BGK of Holland also toured the U.S. that same summer. While at that show we got our only added on show:
Oakland, CA on the 18th of August (night)
A gal told us there was a gig she
was putting on for that evening in Oakland in the warehouse district and she
invited us to join that show. So we gladly did. There were about 3 or 4 other
bands that evening. It was in some industrial building. It was the only show
that Helder drank. Apparently, he was not used to drinking. He got roaring
drunk and when it was time for RAW POWER to play two guys helped bring him
by his arms and sat him onto his seat at his drum kit and somehow he managed
to play the set. He seemed to warm up as the gig progressed and it looked
like he was on automatic pilot, doing what he knew well how to do. Actually,
I think it was the only time anyone got drunk on the entire tour. There was
a little bit of pot smoking but no other drugs. I was glad because I knew
anything more would only likely add to any difficulties.
Las Vegas, NV on the 21st of August
The show at the Break Out was put
on by the older brotherof a guy in VERMIN FROM VENUS who, I believe, played
atthat gig. I don't remember anyone doing any gambling. It was a surprising
scene, who knew there were punx in Las Vegas? We had a chance to see the lower
middle class section of the city probably where many casino workers lived.
About 150 punx at that gig.
Phoenix, AZ on the 22nd of August
I don't remember the show but I do remember that RAW POWER really really wanted to see the Grand Canyon. So the tour split in too and they got to see it and we met back up in Phoenix. About 150 punx at that gig if I recall. The show was like in a rented store front in a small mall.
Tucson, TX on the 23rd of August
USELESS PIECES OF SHIT were the main people. We stayed at their house which was like a band gone wild place, the most messy place we stayed. It was nice to have a place to stay but, uh, everyone in the band was sort of taken aback at how they lived. You know, with left over pizza in the bedrooms, beer cans around, a bathroom you aren't sure if yer catching something when yer using it. But great people. They, of course, played that show. It was video taped. I remember a gal from Tucson told me a few years later they would sit around and watch that tape sometimes. The gig was in a rented hall.