Episode three: Kill 'em All For One

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Tour shirt plus pass and ticket

The tour that’s become legendary over the passage of time...of course, during the actual event it never really seemed like that.... with the benefit of hindsight it certainly was insane, audacious and extremely improbable that it could have worked.. but it did! We were ecstatic at actually having our 1st headline US tour... with new buddies Metallica in tow (as the openers on their first ever tour) along with our erstwhile crew (John London, Kev Hunter and Ian Kinnersley) two nutters drafted from the Old Bridge Metal Militia (Bulldozer Bob and Reb), Bill Pierce (doing guitars for James & Kirk), Lou “ lights”, Bill “ monitors”, Mark Whittaker on front of house sound...and our tour manager Tony Incigeri.
This could (and probably will at some point lol) turn into a novel...but for now, let me give you a small slice of the lunacy that was involved.....

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Tour posters/ fliers

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Maniacs on the street!


July 27th Royal Manor New Brunswick NJ
A local start to the tour as we were staying at Jon Z’s place...the enormity of what we’d let ourselves in for was quickly apparent when surveying our transportation for this expedition.
One Ryder rental truck with the PA, lights and monitors
One white Ford truck with the bands backline
One Winnebago motor home...with faculties to sleep...6 people
How you you get sleep with those logistics?
Quite simply...you don’t! The initial couple of days were a laugh riot of everyone getting to know each other...doing our respective things on stage...then I kinda snapped!
Back to the Royal Manor...the main thing I remember is a great gig for us.. and either Mark or I “redecorating” the suspended ceiling by violently jabbing our instruments through it...and the road crew revenge at not being given any booze. At the end of the night a human chain was formed with bodies lying on the floor from the bar to the door...passing out a seemingly unending supply of liquor bottles to the Winnebago!

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Mark live Chicago


July 28th Utopia, Bridgeport CT
I do NOT recall this as being very“ utopian”...ha!
A strange stage with a very large column planted squarely in the middle of the proceedings was very problematic...causing me to slam my bass headstock into it several times.
The venue also had an odd curved dressing room.
Cliff showing me his “ back up bass” smartly packed in what appeared to be the flimsiest shittiest guitar case I’ve ever seen.. he opened the case...revealing the shittiest flimsiest bass guitar I’ve ever seen...a weird Danelectro copper & white colored thing that was barely playable.
On to the show...and as usual mayhem ensued.
Not completely sure of the reasons but obviously due to sleep deprivation (and probably one or two beverages) but pre-encore backstage, Mark and Rob start to swing punches at each other...much to Cliff Burton’s consternation as they are trampling all over the “flimsiest shittiest bass case on earth” ....Cliff shouting “ OH MAN!!! NO!!!! THATS MY BASS!!!!” rings in my ears as I step out of the dressing room and march on stage to do my bass solo...
Of course, it was a ridiculous argument that both of them could not even explain or understand afterwards. This promoted me to have Tony the tour manager up against the wall by the lapels screaming
the immortal words “ WE WANT HOTEL ROOMS NOW OR WE ARE GOING FUCKIN’ HOME!”
This sensitive approach had some effect. The touring budget started to take a hit in order to preserve the health and sanity of all concerned...hotels!

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John live Chicago


Around this time there was an entertaining discussion regarding operating costs...filtered through gross misunderstanding of our thick North East “ Geordie” accent.... for the uninitiated.
the Geordie alphabet goes something like this....
A-ugh
B-ugh
C-ugh..... etc. etc....
So John Lowdon asks Tony the tour manager for road toll money... Tony hears
“ Tony, I need money for tolls” as
“ Tony, I need money for TOOLS”
he replies “ nope... I’m not buying you tools.. you will have to do that yourself”
John replies “ what? aam not paying for tolls...man.. that’s not right!”
And so it goes back and forth...until the penny drops....! Communication was re-established....toll money was provided and the army marched onward.

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Kev Hunter and Mark at “ The Rat”

 

July 30 The Rat, Boston MA

Although I see this listed as a gig on the 30th and another on the 31st... I recall it being an underage show earlier in the afternoon.. and a 21 and above show on the evening. Regardless, the “ Rat” was something to behold... kinda like playing in an expanded World War II gun emplacement! A real “ hole in the wall” place... but the shows were killer.. just a rabid audience at both shows....Still suffering sleep deprivation.. the club manager gave us her car keys.. directions to her apartment and her apartment keys.. “ go take a nap guys” were her instructions.We pull up to a pretty swanky looking tower block in a decent neighborhood.. take the elevator up.. open the door...Horrifying!The place looked like a crime scene... all we needed was the chalk outline.I remember Kev and I sitting gingerly on the sofa and Kev just pulled out a huge mat of human hair between the cushions.. the bathroom...let’s not go there.We looked at each other and said.. “ let’s go back to the Winnebago... we prefer our own filth!”

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The Rat, Boston