Demons Dance Alone - Tour Journal Part 2 

March 10
Royal Festival Hall 

I cannot reiterate how bad the bus toilet smells.
B-a-a-aaack in London Towne. It’s always intimidating to perform in London. No one tries to be particularly warm here and the stage is huge and you feel insecure and like an asshole, because people are very wary of you here and sit with their arms crossed and don’t give up the claps or the enthusiasm very easily. Is this in my head??

There is lots of food here.  Lots of fish.  Last night’s show was so much fun! The vibe in Amsterdam is always (in my extensive performing history of 3 times here) so incredibly great! They really get it and just ride with us, and it’s so energizing. A’dam and The Residents are a perfect fit, for sure. People are so different in different places in a real general way.  Individuals always seem measurable and comparable to one another-there is something relative in the one on one experience: the person who tries to put you at some kind of ease when you meet, and the person who gives off a weird bristly vibe…  But groups have such different dynamics.  It comforts me to think that there are a finite number of boxes to check. There are so many f***ing people in the world and we travel so easily, beginning and ending things in a matter of hours, always leaving and always arriving.  I can’t seem to focus long enough on anything to become expert at it so I dally in things and never really master them. That in itself is decadent living. Wealth and technology have changed our concepts of our own existence. Now we have consultants who get paid a lot of money to tell you what you’re really good at. Working is a luxury…  ”What do you do?” equals “Who are you?” which is a fair question, and it’d be kind of quaint if we still lived in village fashion and all relied upon ourselves and each other to make the town function…if everyone had an easily definable “I am Mikey the Town Drunk”; “I am Derek the Blacksmith”; “I am Cecil the Cobbler”. But we know that the beauty of the Modern Age and Living in America is the right to Self Determination. Though I might think I wish for a smaller kind of life where subtext wasn’t so prevalent, I really wouldn’t like to have to say, “I’m Molly, the Chambermaid” for my whole life. 

Maybe that’s it- with traveling you see how much people believe themselves to be locked into what they know. If all you know is a few examples of ways to be, chances are you will try to mold yourself into something as close to your examples as possible. That’s why I love small town freaks so much - that defiance in the face of a small but stern and powerful majority. Country town gay boys and whatnot…people who just manifest what’s inside them, not because it’s smiled or frowned upon but because it’s just what is. Mostly people are uptight as they battle their own inner weirdness and sublimate it in some way by becoming more and more identifiable as part of the culture. You know that everyone is fake to some degree, whether you write it off as manners or something deeper. We want to spare each other from our more offensive sides or the parts of ourselves we deem unsuitable for daylight. I find I always value honest people and that for the most part my best friends have dirty mouths.

Tues MARCH 11, 2003 

I got a little bit drunk last night at the excellent party after the show. Usually I feel awkward at those things cause I don’t know anyone and I can never think of things to say to people I know, let alone strangers. This party was so much fun I almost think I like parties! My friend Andy P was there as were some other good friends of the family, which is always so special especially so far from home. The show felt weird, disconnected, nervous, and too small. After I sang “wonderful 2” someone in the audience shouted, “Where can I get my money back?” which is always good for the soul. At one point of the show I was totally distracted by thinking about how much I hate the English and lost my place in the song and f***ed up a line.  I am so not punk rock! I hate myself here and feel like a sissy.  But then the end came and the audience cheered and seemed to like it and the sun came back and I realized (1) that I am a total whore and (2) that I am so easily swayed, like a trained monkey, by hands clapping or by harsh words. Clapping? Good Monkey. Monkey sleep good tonight. Booing? Monkey BAD! No love for Monkey. I have spoken to people about this before, fellow performers, and they say it’s best not to concentrate on this aspect of things.

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