Dwarves Tour Diary: Pt. 3 – December 5-7

Punk legends The Dwarves are currently on tour, and their frontman, Blag Dahlia, took the time out of his busy schedule to share his feelings about life on the road. Check out the latest installment of the Dwarves’ tour diary.

December 5: New Orleans at The Goat

New Orleans has always been the land of the living dead. From the ghostlike junkies prowling the streets, to the fetid ooze of swamp that permeates the very air you breathe, this town is like no other and long may it reign. The punk scene here has always existed on the fringe of the fringe. Too aggressive for the blues and jazz tradition, it rears its mohawked head in fly-by-night dives with no dressing room or PA, but that never stops the locals from enjoying themselves. If nearly everyone was drunk or on pills, well, the same can be said of my band half the time.

I love a sweaty cramped club with no barricade or security; that is the punk rock scene I grew up in. I just wish there was some way we could make obscene amounts of money in these places, but alas, we had to be happy with some tasty jerk chicken from a homemade smoker and the love of our NOLA fans. And it gave us a chance to pull out a deep cut from the Sugarfix record, the classic … New Orleans.

Groovy folks from bands that came out included the even more ancient than the Dwarves pallbearers and heavy metal giants St. Vitus.

The Dwarves

December 6: Pensacola at The Handlebar

By now I’m sick, as seems to happen on every tour now that I’ve reached my mid-’80s. Nose brimming with snot, throat raspy and dry, eyes threatening to close every time I sit down. The vibe in the room was surprisingly upbeat, as the good people of P-Town seem happy just to have a venue again. There were a lot of smiles and people singing along and general bonhomie, and we coasted through a rocking if uneventful set. I still remember playing Sluggo’s, the back-in-the-day punk club here, and becoming fast friends with Gussie Brandt, now the Foo Fighters’ tour guru and still a swell guy, and though he wasn’t here, his wife was, adding a brief hint of nostalgia to the proceedings.

I missed the opening acts, HIRS Collective and Pauper’s Grave, but was later informed that they were the loudest, angriest bands anyone had ever seen. The unjaded part of me wishes I had seen them, but the decayed, sickly husk of a human I have become is kind of glad I didn’t. Every part of me is exhausted as we prepare for the ridiculous drive to Jacksonville tomorrow. Perhaps I should have gotten a college degree, or maybe pursued some kind of a trade, maybe just been a little more conscientious at my day jobs or when dealing with industry professionals? Nah!!!

December 7: Jacksonville at Jack Rabbit’s

I took a turn for the worse today. At one point I passed out in the van and awakened face-down on the side of the road covered in puke. I couldn’t seem to stand up without falling over, so our long-suffering tour manager Lloyd (aka the Lizard) took me to the emergency room, and the band powered on to play the show without me.

Instead of going on an extended rant about American healthcare, I’d rather point out that Lloyd has been the beating heart of our road operation, such as it is, for over 20 years. Always the smartest guy in the room, he rarely speaks. When he does, you can bet he’s right. An accomplished videographer, artist, college football aficionado, and devoted family man, Lloyd is that rarest of things, an honest, competent, talented person. Hailing from the Kiowa tribe, the fiercest horsemen in American history, he still drives slower than your grandmother on Oxycontin. But I digress.

I do not distrust hospitals, or doctors, or nurses, or vaccines. I’ve had overwhelmingly good experiences with them over the years, and being just barely a high school graduate, I tend to trust their medical opinions over mine. I know that some folks trust everyone from yoga instructors to shamans to osteopaths to some bald guy with tats spouting loud invective over the internet when it comes to medical advice, and good luck with all that, but I’ll just take my chances with the medical establishment. However…

City emergency rooms are ridiculous. Overrun with the flotsam of urban life, teeming with sickness and sadness, they make sense for about 15 minutes. Two hours after giving my name at the front desk and not being seen by anyone, I got a car back to the hotel and slept it off. I didn’t really want to know what I had anyway.

The band played valiantly without me. Nick sang most of the songs himself, with a few able assists from Ian and Mike from the Gamblers. If merch sales are any indication, maybe I should arrange to miss more shows, though a few malcontents bitched and moaned, and Sam Gambler had to straighten out some loud drunks in the street who felt that their punk rock dollar could have been better spent somewhere else.

I slept for 12 hours and awoke, if not refreshed, at least ready to do the last two dates on the tour without keeling over. Sometimes I think about doing something else with my life, but I don’t know what that thing would be.

Follow The Dwarves on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to keep up with their latest antics.

Photos courtesy of The Dwarves 

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