Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 6, June 2003
FEAR AND LOATHING AT THE WATSONVILLE FAIRGROUNDS
“The music business Is a shallow monkey trench, a long plastic hallway where pimps and thieves run
free and good men die like dogs. There is also a negative side.” Hunter s thompson.
Sorry I’m late I knew eventually a month would come and I’d get stuck for shit to write about in this
It seems like so much happened that I don’t even know where to start.
So I guess I¹ll start here……
The highlight of the month, for me, was getting to go out after the memphis show and
have a drink with teenie hodges…. he wrote the song “love and happiness” and “take me to the river”…
i asked how he came up with “love and happiness”
he said something about how he just wanted to get laid but his girlfriend was mad at him
about some trouble he said was really her moms fault… he said he just wanted a new
song to hopefully get his girlfriend back on his side… so… love and happiness.
Make you do wrong
make you do right.
I also got to ask him what it was like to hear his song coming out of a plastic mounted
He said profitable.
Oxford was oxford.
Then we flew up and played the last club buddy holly, the big bopper and richie valens
played before they died.
The surf ballroom.
Then we went to Hibbing and saw the house Bob Dylan was raised in.
He has a bar in Hibbing now called Zimmys…….
i just adore him.
He¹s not only my favorite songwriter but also my favorite comedian
And if it wasn’t for that damn restraining order I’d be at all of his shows.
The next stop was California.
Melita and I flew out to our favorite spot in santa cruz the night before Petaluma.
We drank wine on the beach and then went over to a club called the windjammer to play
with my buddy larry hosseford and the wind jammers.
We did a bunch of billy joe shaver tunes.
Great bar. One of the last California dives you can smoke in.
The next day we stopped at the Bonny Doon vineyard on highway one.
They say when you do a wine tasting your supposed to taste and then spit out the wine.
Fuck that. If I was drinking for the taste I¹d drink water.
They say the Petaluma show was ok.
I wouldn¹t know
Then it was reno…
i got to hear some of Robert earl keens new album that’s coming out here soon.
I only heard about four songs but what I heard I loved.
Santa cruz… we got lost and showed up late for the fat fry. It looked for a second like
we might miss the whole party.
I turned to bart and his wife nani, skip and my wife and said
“I don¹t mean to be overdramatic but this is the worst thing that has ever happened”.
In santa cruz it seems like peoples knee jerk reaction to stress is to mellow out
and Thanks to laura, who runs kpig, the whole thing ended up being funny and making for
good stories at the end of the day.
Of course they were all at skips expense and he didn¹t think any of ’em were funny.
He also says he’s going to kill me someday
and I believe him.
During the show I got to try out my new song about the kingsmen.
After the show melita and I went back to the beach and built a fire with our surfer friends
shelly and brian, plus bart and nani and a few other santa cruzers…
including sleepy john and his wife betty. They made us dinner.
The next day we had off and so sleepy john and all of us went over to kpig where laura
often lets me go on the radio and dj.
Paul thorn called while I was on the air and requested “I will survive” by Gloria gaynor.
We couldn¹t find the record so I sang it “alcapoco” as billy joe would say…
kpig says the next time I’m in town I can pull an all nighter on the radio.
Heres a tip.
It may not be for everybody but if you want what I’d call a get away
Fly to santa cruz, go to bonny doon vineyard, get a case of big house red with the hip
screw off top, get a pocket radio, check into a hotel called the ocean echo lodge, ask for a
cabin with a deck, ask around for shelly the surfer, get her or her husband to bring you
some California grass, roll the grass, pour a glass, tune the radio to 107oink5, walk out on
your deck or to the beach or the cliff above the beach, sip the wine,
fire off the California grass,
and get back Jo Jo……
I wrote beer run, new connection, whats wrong with you, rose city, parts of statistician blues,
anywhere, and a bunch of other crap in those rooms…
They don¹t have phones in them.
After the radio we went swimmingŠ
or tried to swim and got mangled by waves I should say.
Later that night we all cooked out and sang with everybody from the lodge like a fucking
gidget movie… I even got to hear a bart bacon song… I loved it.
Thanks nani and bart for coming out, the great dinner, and the ride home in Denver.
When I got home i sat down to re write down the tabs to all the old chords to all my old
three chords in, I thought,
” I could be making up new chords to new songs right now”
So I started doing that.
My songs are “Alice¹s restaurant” give or take a chord.
You are now officially as good as a wreck.
“Knock knock……hello……can I come in? gee it was a wonderful show…oh…you
haven¹t gone on yet? Well…how was I supposed to know?”
handsome Johnny prine… “onomontopia”.
That’s it for now… see you on the road I hope.
Love and happiness