DID YOU EVER SEE DALLAS FROM A DC NINE AT NIGHT? 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website


Todd Snider Road Journal:
Volume 14, August 2004

part one…….
I’ve been going on bob and tom for ten years now
and I still don’t know how to get there from the hotel
jimbo picks me up
The next person I see is toms kid.
He looks like a teenage mick taylor.
Then its into the show.
The show moves very fast.
And stays constantly funny
literally the funniest radio show on
and voted so over and over
I would say
 the main thing I think I have learned from working with them
 for so long
is that the one guy in every social circle
that everyone thinks should be a comedian
couldn’t be.
at the in store show I got a custom made
vince pawless guitar.
I am still a little speechless about it
melita sold five paintings
and counting
I am so proud …
The cui ui gallery did a great job
and were also a lot of fun.
The show runs til the end of the month
in September she has a show here in nashville
I can tell you this.
 Love painting or hate it.
Love her painting or hate it.
Melita is as passionate
and honest 
and hardworking with her art
as will or tommy or jack
or jerry jeff or john
or anyone else I look up to.
We  almost got remarried
so did bart and nani bacon
but we went to the lake  instead.
The last day in reno I got up before melita and walked from the hotel
to the river where all the punker kids hang out.
In the coffee shop I got in a shouting match with some guy.
One of us is a real jerk.
Im not sure which.
I went to the other side of the river found a flat rock and fell asleep .
A little bit later I was shaken awake by an older looking women.
“You hungry?” she asked.
Waking startled I noticed  quickly that she was probably homeless
 and probably thought I was.
My knee jerk was to tell her 
I was staying at the hotel
and that I was fine
and that I wasnt homeless
but then it hit me that she hadn’t asked if I was homeless
she asked if I was hungry.
So I said
“Follow me” she said
 we walked a few blocks to some church and had
a great sack lunch
 sandwich, chips and an apple.
After reading a few of the reactions I was getting to the  poetry
that I had started putting on the message board
under the alias “kal”
I became enraged and decided to just sit in my hotel right through the dallas show
 I just sat up in my room and partied …
 my marching orders to elvis?
“Don’t tell them til the last second”
then I ordered more room service.
“what about the crowd?” E cried.
“Let them drink beer” I scoffed.
When I woke up a few days later
I was on a stage in a parking garage trying to remember
the name and number of my booking agent.
The promoter didnt want to pay me til I had dinner with her.
One of us is a real jerk.
I think I know which one.
that same weekend I saw kent and sterling
and my old pal trog.
I told you he was real….
Then we played at some biker thing.
I heard a voice yelling for django walker songs
When I scanned the crowd to put a face with the voice.
I found django walker….
Nice one kid
in seattle we went on a boat to vashon island for lunch
and at the show played greg browns guitar
In portland I saw my mom.
 And everybody else…
to write about it would take up the whole journal.
         viva la beef…
then we went to michigan for the wood tick festival.
Stick with the tick.
It was a lot of long travel made better by gracious hosts and great food.
I hope to go back and bring friends next year.
Now we have a little time to rest.
melita and I borrowed a house boat on dale hollow lake
we leave tomorrow.
im walking out the door now to the bookstore
and the fishing pole place.
I cant see any reason why I won’t set some sort of bass fishing record.
(And for your moment of zen…….)
or as hixx said on the album (listen close)
or as kimbrough said one night
Ok then, thats it for this month
enjoy yourself.

“WE’RE THROWING SOME BLEACHERS UP OUT IN THE SUN…..” 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website


Todd Snider Road Journal:

i just got off the message board.
i loved that hippie ladies poem
and i sure didnt mean to scare the girl in colorado

they gave me drugs to kick drugs
and then i had to kick those drugs
no big deal

(so other than that mrs. lincoln…..how was the play?)

it wasnt that hard
all you gotta do is let them see you sweat.
and most of it i did on a plane with john prine
who helped me to see the humor in the situation

i’ve actually been doing well

sleeping and everything

yesterday was one of the best days on the road in awhile
we drove down highway sixty one…
which was a first for me.
we played dylans record as we drove.
the road has no signs ……….
its river and farmland…..
it made me wonder….
“do people really hate these people”
i doubt it.
i dont think this is the america that the rest of the world is sick of.
this road is what we are at our best
i think.

so I said…..
“i got forty red white and blue shoe strings
and a thousand telephones that will not ring
do you know where i can can get rid of these things?”

and louie the king said…
“let me think for a minute son,
yes i think it can be very easily done,
just take everything on down to highway 61″

“im in a really really really great place”
tanya harding

“im in a really really really great place”
general custard

“im in a really really really great place”
richard nixon

“im in a really really really great place”
hilary clinton

“All i want is the truth….just gimmee some truth”
John lennon.

“dammit…..who let him in here????”
tom parker

“there goes the whole neigborhood.!!!!!!”
archie bunker

“these chicks dont even know the name of my band”

what i meant to say last month was that
i was gonna take a month or two
off the journal entrys
after rereading last months
i wrote this months
as so not to leave on a sour note
so on this happy note
i begin my break


at the end of this sentence


thats it


NEW CONNECTION – An Interview with Todd Snider 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website

NEW CONNECTION – An Interview with Todd Snider

Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 10, January 2004
NEW CONNECTION – An Interview with Todd Snider

Todd Smith – Sharkbitten.com

As a writer, opportunities to interview people you find interesting can be difficult. Usually it involves a horde of public relations people, managers, agents, and anyone else except the person you wanted to interview.

A few weeks ago, an interview I had always hoped to conduct came looking for me. I received an email from Bart Bacon asking if I would interview Todd Snider as a replacement for his normal journal entry on his website.

In light of Todd’s well-known recent battles with drug addiction I jumped at the chance. After all, Todd is among my favorite musicians—an influence on my own writing and songwriting. Further, I had a distinct interest in breaking the silence that had prevailed after his wife Melita posted an exceptionally honest letter in mid-November about Todd’s drug problem.

Todd opened his life to me, and in turn to you because he felt he owed everyone an explanation regarding his troubles. In this course, I found one of the most genuine people I know and a man I now think about daily. I’m sure you’ll find the same.

(Todd Snider) Before we start the interview, I want to thank everyone for the cards, letters, flowers and gifts. It’s been so moving for me. I can’t describe the feeling. Also, the reason for the interview is that I wasn’t sure how to approach this as a journal entry. It was a little too close to home for me to do without help.

Also, anyone who knows me knows I like to joke around. Let me assure everyone that I’m taking this very seriously even if I joke around. I hope to never let anyone down again.

(Sharkbitten) First and foremost, how are you feeling and how is your wife Melita?
(TS) Melita is in the room and she says she’s fine. As for me, I’m writing more than ever and going through tons of notebooks. Emotionally and physically I can only say that I’m so-so. This whole thing started for me when I was in the 6th grade. That’s when the teachers started saying I needed to go to a psychiatrist. I flunked that grade. And, how should I say this? That, whatever that was is still there then is here now and it’s hard for me to sleep. I’m sleeping every couple of days but I’m working on it. I started going to those types of doctors when I was a 6th grader. They said something must have happened to me when I was a 5th grader. I got suspended 8 times from high school. That kind of behavior didn’t end for me until I started smoking pot and drinking. Then as I got older my back started hurting and that’s how I got on the pain pills. I’ve been living on that combination for a long, long time. So anytime I’ve ever stopped, whatever it is that makes them say I’m crazy comes back. I don’t think that I’m crazy but I’m at least at an age now where I’m old enough to acknowledge something’s going on there. If don’t find a new way to face it or deal with it I’m going to die. So I’m trying to find a new way to deal with that. Right now I’m just working on trying to get to some sleep. From there we’ll figure it out. I’m alive. Not knowing what comes next, I’m assuming that’s a good thing.

(SB) How long have you gone without sleep recently?
(TS) Well, I sleep like every couple of days and then I have nightmares. I don’t want anyone to go, “Oh poor Todd!” you know because I made it through junior high school like this and I can make it like this. I’ve never stuck with any of the shrinks that I’ve gone to because it seems they all do the same thing–they hypnotize you and want to talk about your parents. I go until they say they have some long word about me. Then I say, “Well now that you’ve got some word I’m going to go back to work.” This time is the most dedicated I’ve been to it. I’m going to three doctors. It’s kind of like doing press but you don’t talk about the record. I don’t think anything happened to me in the 5th grade but they think something did and that’s where I am with that. Also, my back is hurting a lot now and I’m going to start doing yoga.

I’ve never been a partier. There are two drugs that you can say I was addicted to that I’m still not sorry that I took and that I will miss. There’s another drug that is just the devil and that’s the one I’ve never bragged about or made jokes about on stage. That’s a dangerous drug.

(SB) What was that?
(TS) Painkillers. Oxycontin—that’s the soup du jour now.

Like I said I’m not a partier. I never really go out. I smoke pot to keep me from being so angry. I started using that same excuse for the Oxycotin

When my friend got sick, it just escalated everything.

(SB) Kent Finlay by any chance?
(TS) Yeah it was sort of Kent and Skip all happening at once. In the moment I was not really aware of what was going on. I just thought that I needed another pill. Now a month later I can look back and see what I was doing. Skip told me as he was dying that I had to quit when he died.

(SB) I’m really sorry about Skip.
(TS) We feel like he’s following us around. He had a very specific smell to him that was like Marlboro, Southern Comfort, marijuana. I swear to you we get in the car, like just the other day we went to get our Christmas tree and the car smelled like Skip. It doesn’t smell like Skip all the time so we’re convinced he’s following us around.

(SB) The last time I saw you was November 8th near Tampa, Florida—the site of your last show. You looked great and sounded as if you were in great spirits. What happened between that night and your trip to the hospital?
(TS) That’s a great question but I don’t have any real recollection of going to Florida. I remember being in the airport and I was really down because we had such a good time the last time we were down there—me, Skip, and my wife Melita. My stomach hurt and you can’t find a clock in an airport which I don’t understand. I remember being in the airport getting ready to go and being pretty angry about not being able to find a clock. I might have even mouthed off to someone who had nothing to do with it.

Then I woke up in this cabin out in the woods in a cot. I thought, “Oh fuck!” I thought I was in jail in Florida. I looked around and there was all these other guys. So I started looking for Josh, my new tour manager, because I thought, “Oh please don’t let me have gotten this new young kid’s life off on the wrong foot. And then I noticed that it looked like I could walk out. I thought, “Shit there’s nobody by the doors or anything—seems like you could just leave.” So I sat up.

When I sat up my stomach hurt and so immediately some lady came over and started talking to me. She wasn’t in a nurse outfit or anything but she said I had fainted in my doctor’s office. And then it started coming back to me. Then when I talked to my wife she told me that when I came home from Florida I had this really bad stomach pain. She said that Sunday or Monday when I got home it was really bad and her and her mother and father took me to the doctor where I fainted.

(SB) What was your first thought when you were told you needed to return to rehab?
(TS) I had already scheduled to go in January. Like I said Skip had said when he died I had to go handle this. It was a promise I made but I also had those tour dates I wanted to fulfill. I was planning on going to rehab the day after New Year’s Eve. My stomach broke the glass on the alarm so to speak. I really fucked up my stomach and I didn’t see that coming. I didn’t know what it was. So when I woke up there I wasn’t that put out about being in rehab. I felt really bad about canceling shows but I knew that I needed to be where I was. I had already gone through the motions. The place I ended up was expecting me in January. I’ve never wanted to be hooked on those pills. That was something that really bothered me. It only takes about four days in a row to get hooked on those pills.

(SB) Melita wrote a rather frank letter on your website explaining the situation. How hard was that for her to do?
(TS) She had her parents here with her. It’s funny. I read her that question and she said, “I’m as bad as punctuation and spelling as you are.” But the truth has always been pretty easy for her to tell. Neither of us is really afraid of failure. I’m more afraid of the telephone than I am of failure and I think she’s sort of like that too. When you put yourself out you face rejection. She could have gotten a lot of mail going, “Well fuck all y’all! We had tickets!” but we didn’t any letters like that.

(SB) How long did you spend in treatment?
(TS) Just long enough to get over the detox part so it’s like which I don’t know how long that lasted. It seems like when I go–this is my third time in rehab–as soon as I’m not sick anymore they ask me all these questions. It seems if I get the questions right I can go play ping-pong, sit in circles and stuff. I never have been able to answer the questions right. I can’t figure out what the inkblots are. I think it looks like a cloud and apparently it’s not a cloud. The three times I’ve been to rehab they tell me I have a lot of long words that I am. Like now I’m bipolar. I also have a lot of slogans I’m supposed to say now. They want me to take lithium, which I’m not sure I’m going to do.

It’s not that hard for me not to take the drugs. It’s just hard for me to face things. I don’t know why but I just get really nervous going anywhere. The phone makes me really nervous.

To finally answer the question I was probably there a week or a little more than that.

(SB) Are you still in outpatient care?
(TS) Yeah and I probably will be for the rest of my life.

(SB) The traveling troubadour lifestyle doesn’t jive too easily with recovery. How do you plan to tackle the temptations you’ll certainly face back on the road?
(TS) I won’t be able to do the meet-and-greets and things like that. After the show I like to go out and meet everybody but that’s when people hand me drugs and that’s when people say things to me that make me want to take the drugs. I got to get myself together with that before I can go back out there.

(SB) What about the red wine?
(TS) Oh man I’m going to miss it. I have a psychiatrist and psychologist—they tell me I can drink wine again someday. I have to wait for my stomach to heal—I blew a hole in it. They say I can probably smoke pot and drink again if I ever just figure out what’s wrong with me. Right now I’m enjoying being off everything to be honest with you.

I’ve been writing more than usual. The last time I got straight I didn’t write anything. Then I was playing at a hippie festival in California and someone threw a joint on stage. I put in my pocket, smoked it and wrote “Beer Run.” That was one of the reasons I was really scared to get straight. This time I was about halfway through with a record or at least halfway writing a record when I got straight. So I came out and wrote the rest of the record. It worked very differently this time. I filled a few notebooks full of short stories and things too.

This is the first time I’ve been interested in getting my head clear and figuring out why I can’t sleep and why I have nightmares all the time.

(SB) So is sleeping going to be your biggest challenge in your recovery?
(TS) I think so. That and the part about the job I have a hard time with is being judged and misunderstood. Those two things are very hard. Those are two concrete things I know will be difficult without any kind of pain-numbing type of thing.

(SB) Whose judgment are you worried about?
(TS) It’s just random. It’s everybody. I don’t want to think about that, and I don’t think about it to the point where it changes my actions. Most of the people on the Shithouse Wire notice it’s happening and try to save me from it—but you line up some people and start shaking hands with them and some will very subtly tell you who you are, what they don’t like about you, and what you should do. I wish I was a little stronger at handling that but I’m not. Like I said I don’t take it to the degree that I change who I am, but I take that stuff hard. I’m a pretty sensitive person. You only need to make fun of my shirt once for feel sad and go back to my room. I usually go back to my room and smoke pot after the show and watch the news.

(SB) Have you talked to John Prine or Kris Kristofferson–anyone at the label?
(TS) Yeah. Kris sent me a letter just a couple of days ago.

(SB) He has a lot of experience with the sort of thing you’re going through.
(TS) He sure does. In fact one time I was in a hotel room and there was a knock at the hotel door and it was Kris Kristofferson and he had a huge bag of pot. We just spent the whole day smoking pot, drinking wine, and trading songs. It’s one of my favorite memories of being a musician.

(SB) Your fans are often known to treat you as a friend and their outpouring of support has been quite amazing. Have you kept up with the amount of well wishes they’ve been writing on your website as well as on the infamous Shithouse Wire?
(TS) The Shithouse Wire thing I don’t listen to because I want people to feel like they can criticize me. I don’t think I should be on there defending myself. I don’t want them to stop. I’m probably too sensitive to watch without getting on there and making the whole thing boring for everyone. I have checked my website though. I’ve gotten a lot of stuff at home and at the record company. It was really moving to me. People have said stuff about my music that meant more than, “Hey that was a fun Friday,” which is as far as I’ve really been able to look at it until now. It makes me feel good. Some people are taking away more from it than just a place to go get a beer and yell, “Alright Guy” every once in a while.

(SB) I’ve heard people say that if all the money they had would buy them a Todd Snider CD and a ticket to a show that’s how they’d spend the money.
(TS) I always try to keep myself from that because criticism and praise are both unhealthy if that’s what you’re fixated on. I’ve tried to avoid that but with this thing that just happened one of the blessings I guess is that I’ve become a smidge more aware of that kind of thing. It makes me feel better than I could probably put into words.

(SB) You recently played a highly anticipated show with the Nervous Wrecks. During that show you apologized to your fans for the roller-coaster ride over the last few years. You also mentioned you planned to celebrate your birthday by getting drunk and taking drugs. How do you feel about those two statements now?
(TS) I don’t feel bad. First of all I like to tell the truth more than anything else. Second, in that moment I wasn’t thinking of mushrooms, pot, or red wine. This may sound awful but there’s nobody that I would tell not to take those drugs. I would keep your kids away from me because I won’t tell them those things are bad. The thing is that when I say things like that I assume that nobody thinks I’m talking about painkillers, which I’ve always thought of as my shameful little secret. There are probably about four people in the world that knew that what a huge part of my life it has been for so long. If you think of where I was coming from in saying that, taking out that I was addicted to pain killers, I’m kind of glad after that show smoked a bunch of pot and drank a bunch of wine with my friends because I may not get to do that again.

I’ve done cocaine once or twice in my life and I can’t stand it. With that said, I was just glad that for my 37th birthday I went out and did some things I enjoy. I was saying earlier and I hope people don’t find this offensive but ten years from now when I’m not smoking joints and I’m not drinking wine it’s because my stomach is fucked up. It’s not because I was ruining my life or felt so sad. I even have a therapist who doesn’t believe I’m a normal drug addict.

(SB) Some folks, myself included, that saw you that last night near Tampa noticed the very haunting version of “Waco Moon” you performed as the lunar eclipse began. Eddy Shaver’s death as chronicled in that song was weighing on your mind wasn’t it?
(TS) I assume that night, because like I said I don’t really remember, but I can tell you this and I’m trying not to be too over-dramatic in this interview, but the drug that killed my friend I was on enough of it to die in that moment. Looking back I can only imagine I was very aware my friend died from the drug I was on in front of all of those people. When I wrote the song it was the same thing because I was on that drug when I heard he was dead. My favorite line in that song is “it hits me like a waterfall.” I was really sad about my friend and mad at him too because he’s one of a few people that introduced me to the drug. But I was also feeling sorry for myself. I wish I had been straight for the lunar eclipse.

They tell me that I’m bipolar now. I think there’s probably some truth to that. The three times that I’ve gotten myself messed up on narcotics is when I’ve hit the bottom. When I’ve come out I’ve had some baggage–pills I mean.

(SB) During your recovery, what’s gotten you through?
(TS) Playing the guitar. Playing different music. I’ve been playing the mandolin and piano. Actually playing the music really helps me. It’s like a drug to me. You can make hours go buy. I’ve been recording in the studio. That’s been fun. I’ve never done that straight.

It’s funny. I hear that word “recovery” and I’m trying to pretend I’m not an alcoholic or a drug addict. If you go through detox you are. You can’t pretend you’re not. When I hear you say “recovery” I think the biggest part of my recovery is trying to figure out why I can’t get my brain to sleep. In that light I feel like I may never recover.

I’m like a panic attack-type person. I got in a lot of physical confrontations until I was in the 10th grade. I’ve never touched anybody since then and never will. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a fistfight but there’s thirty seconds right before when you know what is going to happen. I feel stuck in that place sometimes. Just waiting in line at the grocery store or trying to find a clock in the airport. That’s why they want me to take lithium.

(SB) Do you get worried about that you’re just heading down the same road with a different drug?
(TS) Yeah. I do not want to die. I get so depressed I think about killing myself. I always come to the conclusion that I’m not going to do that. Sometimes at the bottom I think about it but I’m not going to do it. I know that I’m not.

Sometimes I get scared because I know what it means to go back down that road.

I really want to communicate with people but I’m not going to be one of those guys that comes out of rehab and ten days later says, “I’ve really got my shit together now.” Right now I’m worried and it’s tough. If anyone wants to do me a favor don’t give me any drugs at the show. Bring me flowers. Throw flowers on the stage—any kind.

(SB) No trips to Key West anytime soon?
(TS) (Laughs). I’d like to. I may even get to smoke joints again someday. They keep telling me there may be some event that I can process and work through. If that happens then maybe I could have a glass of wine on New Year’s Eve but I’m not going to look at it like that right now. I so desperately need to not think about it like that right now. Right now I need to keep thinking that if I take any drugs I’m going to die.

(SB) That’s how you see it?
(TS) That’s just the truth. I almost died.

(SB) Do you look in the mirror and see an addict?
(TS) Yep.

(SB) Is that hard to see every day?
(TS) It’s harder to see my how fucked up teeth are. (Laughs) I don’t know why. Some days of course I do. I’ve been an addict since I was 18. So I don’t really like looking in the mirror much.

(SB) Your songwriting often lends itself to the more humorous side of life. There’s not much to poke fun of in your recent experiences. What makes you laugh these days and is it influencing the new songs?
(TS) It almost always influences my songs. Although the ironic thing is that most of the funniest stuff sometimes comes from the darkest holes. It’s almost like the subject is too hard for me to approach without levity. Will Kimbrough is very funny. My wife is very funny. She’s painting like crazy.

I called Will to cancel a date one afternoon recently because I needed to see a shrink and he said he could have told me that a long time ago.

Skip’s funeral was hysterical. I know that sounds weird but it was funny. I love stuff like that. For some reason it helps me to laugh even in moments of pain.

(SB) You often say that your wife’s paintings make you laugh. Has she been able to work much recently?
(TS) Yeah. As we speak she’s painting.

(SB) Speaking of Wrecks, you’ve been almost continually working with Will Kimbrough for years now. He’s one of the hottest guitarists and songwriters out there. He’s on tour with Rodney Crowell and just wrapped up recording with Jimmy Buffett. Is there anyone more deserving than Will?
(TS) Well probably not but I’d have to meet everyone. (Laughs) I’ll tell you he’s a good slow dancer but he’s a terrible, terrible, violent man. He bullies the elderly. He steals. He flat refuses to admit I taught him to play the guitar. He attacks me physically from time-to-time for no real discernible reason. And when I see him again you can bet I’ll be heavily armed. The man is a true menace to society and a draft-dodger.

(SB) You both recorded on Adrienne Young’s “Plow to the End of the Row.” How did he rope you into that?
(TS) We owe each other a lot. He could call me and say he needed help washing his car and I’d drive right over.

I was driving down the street the other day and heard Adrienne Young on the radio. The studio that they made it is right down like a block or so from here. I know the guy that runs it. They just did the White Stripes and Loretta Lynn record there like three months ago.

So that’s what I’ve been doing–recording. I asked if I could produce myself. The record label thought that sounded great. So I went down to that studio where Eric, a friend of mine who runs it and is about my age and who is a gifted engineer works. I started—just like you say—I roped Will into like how he got me to play harp on that record. I called and said, “Hey I’m over here and I’m stuck and I need you to come over.” He’s always been like an older brother to me and he’s good about metaphorically holding my hair while I vomit. Now we’re producing the record together.

(SB) Some of your fans have sent in some questions if you have the time. First, are you surprised none of the questions were about your recent illness?
(TS) A lot of them seem to know–a lot of those Shithouse Wire people don’t grill me about what’s going on. They don’t grill me about wanting me to do things their way. One of the hardest things in this job is when people want you to do things their way. And if you don’t then they think you’re listening to somebody else. I’ve been lucky with my group of people. They seem to understand that I’m going to be autonomous. It seems I don’t get as much “when you are going to do this or that?”

(SB) With a little time off, what are you listening to? Any rock or country acts you find interesting these days?
(TS) I’ve been listening to classical music a lot. I like the Kings of Leon, the new Robert Earl Keen album, and I’m a big fan of both the Strokes albums. People say the Strokes are derivative but they’re derivatives of people I haven’t heard. It’s pointed me back to the Velvet Underground. Everyone keeps saying they’re like the Velvet Underground. So I went and checked that out. It reminds me of how someone my age would have listened to the Stones and then checked out Muddy Waters.

Greendale by Neil Young is probably my record of the year–the Neil Young record. I just love it.

I like the song with the White Stripes guy. I like that one riff (does the riff). I haven’t heard any of the rest of the new stuff though.

Country music–you know–I like the whole Texas circuit. Jack Ingram is my favorite. I like Pat Green–I see him on TV and I like his song “Wave on Wave.”

(SB) Your setlists have recently been quite varied. What do you consider when you’re picking the songs you’ll play?
(TS) I try to go with my mood combined with my memory of what I did the last time I was in town. Somehow when I get into the dressing room I remember what town I’m in. That’s when I remember if I told this story or that, this song or that one–so don’t do those again. Then I get a rough plan together. In the last few years or so I’ve been saving a spot just to let people yell stuff. I’ve been surprised they don’t just yell, “Beer Run” or “Alright Guy.” There doesn’t seem to be one particular song they all want. I don’t have a “Freebird.”

Playing the crowd is like surfing. I don’t know how to surf but we have some friends in California that do. They tell me surfing feels just like what I’m doing. You choose a board and you choose a specific beach and you choose a specific day but once you get out there it’s up to the waves. The waves sort of decide what’s going to happen. And the more you’re open to the wave the more therapeutic the show is going to be.

(SB) No one told you paddling out is the hard part?
(TS) Yeah! (Laughs) That’s good. I didn’t think about that. I’m going to ask them why they didn’t tell how hard it is to paddle out.

(SB) Once upon a time you the rumor was you were going to record an album with Jack Ingram. What’s the latest on that one?
(TS) Another bastard. A rotten bastard who owes me $7.50. All negotiations are bogged down until that $7.50 is returned to me. Another menace. A true land shark who refuses to admit I wrote “Biloxi” and has egged and tee-peed my house on more than one occasion. He’s one the one that needs lithium. He’s the fucking crazy person with his make-believe friends Bruce and Charlie or whatever. I know these people don’t exist. He just yammers on. Another good slow dancer though I must say. Both him and Kimbrough.

(SB) Doesn’t step on your feet?
(TS) Never. But I could take both of them in wrestling match I think. That’s what I’d like to see. I’d like to see Kimbrough and Jack Ingram go at it.

(SB) Who do you think would come out on top of that one?
(TS) Ryan Adams. Maybe Pat Green. (Laughs)

(SB) Finally, you can bet all of your fans will be reading this. What would you like to say to them?
(TS) I’ve been thinking about them lately–more than I ever have before. Especially some of the ones–like Lynda and Michelle, the Riddle brothers, Sparky, the Carries, Fay and Mike, Tom, Mel and his wife. It chokes me up to think about how they have supported my desire to switch my styles so much. They may not always support the music but they deeply support my desire to follow my own heart regardless of what the labels, DJs, or even Shithouse Wire members think. There are bands like AC/DC and the Ramones that figure out what you like and stick with it. Then there are people like Neil Young that keep making left turns and right turns and going different directions. It’s a lot to ask someone to stick with you through that. Just recently I’ve had this awareness of how there’s been people that stick with me. They don’t always like the direction I take but they like that I go the direction I want to. So I guess, “Thank you,” are the words I’m looking for. That’s what I was trying to say the other night at the Reno Wrecks show. Most of them seem like they would stick with me if if I wanted to make a jazz record and for that I’m incredibly thankful.

That and anybody that had a ticket to one of those shows that got cancelled and the people that promoted those shows–those guys work so hard. They lose money–everyone I cancelled on lost money. So I’m apologetic for making my personal problems their problems. Other than that, I would quote Bill Murray in Meatballs, “Wear bright colors and stay low!”

ILOVETHECITYOFBROTHERLYLOVE 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website


Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 11, March 2004

i think its funny that they booed santa
and i love to play
in all my years playing i have encountered almost every situation
and have almost found a way to handle every situation
one time a girl flew from a rope swing into the drums
in a band i was in called kk rider…..i played rhythm.
that didnt fluster or stop us in the least.
fist fights, arrests, people talking over me and amongst themselves, booing,
requests, singing along, even yelling the same thing over and over
none of this bothers me
i am not a folk nazi who needs everybody to sit quietly and listen to me sing of wolves and birds….what
happpened in philly is just quite frankly one of the few areas in touring where a crowd can take me somewhere i
dont want to go
and leave me there with no way out..
its not put downs, or cat calls, or even heckling
i can handle “you suck”
i can kinda get into it
but if its a sold out show and everyone is there to see me
and i have a real cool plan in my head that im excited to share with everyone
that i know will really be fun and impress that friend they drug out
my prayer is always that the crowd will just let me do it
unfortunately sometimes (not often) there will be some loud guy or some loud guys trying to get under the lights
this guy usually has a nickname and would be my drinking buddy under other circumstances
the kinda guy id probably rather hang with around my neighborhood
but wouldnt want at my show
skip was like that a while….i didnt let skip go to my shows at first.
he ruined them
i used to have to tell skip he was ruining the show by yelling at me everytime i tried to talk or sing…..he got it
and stopped
he made up for it by being tougher on me off stage……
philly did not
nor did they stop
they really just kept yelling at me about how to smile or laugh or what to play
and it interrupted every chance i had to talk to them or get a rhythm going
i cant concentrate on my shows when other people try to create parts for themselves in them
(as in the want me to, “engage them in a way that draws attention to them.””
and often times its more than one guy
the worst part is that only they and i can hear this….
the back row only sees the flustered guy in the lights
they dont see the drunk in the dark

in philly
the first few rows were trying to start conversations with me
i mean like eight or ten guys
trying to start conversations
about god knows what all
i just couldnt concentrate anymore
so i split.
i mean …..i couldnt remember lyrics and stories.
i hate that people think i threw a fit
i didnt throw anymore of a fit than a guy whose john deere breaks down in the middle of a job.
just one of those ….”oh well……fuck” episodes

i couldnt tell how or if the rest of the crowd was digging it
the front was too loud and intruding
yelling at me to laugh and asking me about my clothes
i hear it all
even as i sipped water
some woman would be yelling at me to smile
which i found annoying
but honestly,just all the people asking questions before during and after songs
broke my talent threshhold
and people say well you gotta be able to handle that
to be in show biz
i know
thats why im barely in show biz.
you may have noticed guys who really have this down
say springsteen
you may have also noticed
play way bigger rooms than me…..
just like a guy whose great at football
but not quite fast enough for the pros..
not only can i live with that fact, im alive with it.
i cant remember stories or words when this kind of thing happens
im not saying it shouldnt happen
i think people should pay there money and do what they want to do
whatever that is.
and i want to be there and learn and work at this til i can handle every situation
i was up all night after philly asking myself what i could have done different
i came up with alot of ideas….but…its like making a list of what youll do in a car wreck and then the
wreck comes and you realize that ,list or not, your just gonna scream
i want the crowd to leave happy ….very happy
its just that sometimes what they want me to do makes what i want to do
nobody heckled or said anything mean
and i think everyone was just trying to have fun
and i think the college kids thought i was enjoying our banter
but i was really just losing my train of thought and getting dizzy
i even over heard some college kid say
“fuck with him dudes, he loves it, it makes him do better, fuck with him”
well…..this is totally untrue
my shows are kinda planned
nevertheless they went on to interrupt every story and song i did
at a volume level only i could hear
so to the back row i probably looked angry and frustrated
and they couldnt tell why
couldnt tell what i was fighting
they just saw a guy with the easiest job in the world
looking like a flustered ungrateful angry asshole…
and man that makes me sad
sad to think people see me like that sometimes
and even sadder to think its true sometimes
i asked the front row of college kids and older guys stuck in college mode, politely, off mic, to stop but
they didnt ….so i took a break
i took a break cuz one guy kept yelling “youre scaring me”…between during and after the songs..
if you recall i said “i dont want to scare anyone so ill take a break”

after the break
the guy with the zollo sticker (that i loved)
kept trying to start conversations with me between and during songs again
“hey dude….jack ingram says he dont owe you shit”
this he yelled to me at a volume only i could hear
while i was trying to tell my story and play my song about horseshoe lake
i aborted the song
its the one distraction my talent cant cover.
it confuses me.
i think catering to this behavior would be worse in the long run
for the kind of career i want
i dont want to do the carol burnette crowd participation comedy
i want to do a show……without somebody trying to steal it.
its probably too much to ask
but i feel its better to look like an ass , than to send twelve guys home with the message

“yes i do want to be talked to,
rowdied up,
and fucked with between songs.
please bring more buddies to do this next time.”

honestly id rather fail
which i may do….
and if i do that will be my problem
and it will make some people in philly happy
others sad
either way
i’ve never showed up at a concert in a bad mood, i was really happy and excited to be there
it was just one of those nights where the crowd wanted to control the show
and i dont know how to do that ….its beyond my skill level
so i guess im kinda sorry to the cool people in the back that felt ripped off
i thought the show was alright right up til the front row got involved
i didnt think i came out looking mad
i came out excited
was i sick?
yeah….airlines….i get colds in planes all the time
and ive played through a million
that had nothing to do with this …..i had plenty of energy
i just could not hear my self over the questions i was being asked
by the front rows
Before during and after songs
this is how the show ended,
“it wont work this morning, i cant punch….”

“hey todd dude , did you do a song about george bush dude?”


“theres to many questions….”

“dude are you gonna do alright guy or what….i mean your break was like an hour”

“under my skin…………..

and then i said
“god bless all of you”
and left.
i’ve never claimed to be proffesional or complained about the money i’ve missed out on
because of this.
if you want to see some driven dedicated goal oriented crowd pleaser of an artist in concert
there is clay aikin and rueben studdard on tour all this year
and nobody has seen them enough to think they know what all there facial expressions
mean…..so theres a good chance (at least at the first show)
that everyone will think there having a blast
i always have a blast …..but my facial expressions have been around so long
that people know me better than i do….
im sorry if you felt ripped off in philly. i am doing the best i can
to be the best i can and give people their moneys worth
i fail sometimes….and i admit it….
sometimes i cant admit it
without some ego attached excuse pinned in…..but i admit it.
if you still like me
i still like you
and if you hate me now
ill keep trying to like you anyway
and probably will….
so i did a show and some of you hated it….which means it decision time
and as yogi berra says
“if you see a fork in the road……take it”

WHERE WAS AUGUST? 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website


Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 8, September 2003

Did that happen to you too? me too.
it was july and then it was october.
some kind of mix up
like the government or something …..
after skip died i went to the bar……
met a whole lot of people that i still dont know
just got in about an hour ago
the shows i played in august i dont think were that great
the crowds were great…
my mind is on my friend skip and my friend kent.
i’m not ashamed of shows that arent great
just ones that arent honest
so im not ashamed of the shows.
just think i coulda done better
i’m a little more back to normal
and i just had a great time in urbana saturday
sorry to not write in so long
our computer crashed for a while there
and i also stopped picking up the phone
plus i had nothing to say
i’ve been working on new songs though

out on the road so many of you have said so many nice things
about the last time i wrote stuff up here
i sure appreciate it.
i dont have any funny stories from the last couple of months
cant really remember much.
didn’t want to.
my give a shitters broken and
my heart is in san marcos

many of you have been asking me about this nervous wreck thing.
for starters joe mariencheck wont be there
not because he’s not wanted
for years now i’ve been trying to tell many of you
what i understand about
why joe quit
without getting it wrong or speaking for him.
…but when i try to pass it on after shows
some of you still look confused.
the other day it occurred to me
joe is listed
if you really need to know.
long distance information get me memphis TN.
and ask him yourself
i cant say anything other than that i love him
that i thought he was the heart of the nervous wrecks
and that it really will not be the same without him
we oughta just call it the wrecks
with that said….
we found someone
at least just as crazy
who agreed to play bass
i’ve never heard him play bass
i cant even prove he knows how
i just like him
and with that
i thought
what the fuck
and so i called kimbrough
and he thought what the fuck
everybody thought what the fuck
in fact
i think thats how the whole mess got started to begin with
so now what?
god i dont know.
i try not to look at things like they are up to me.
im a natural born pinball
with no desire to be something else
i do know that we’ll be doing a show in santa cruz
in december with the same line up as reno

what time is it?
now what time is it?

hey crusher
good to see you in indy
we gotta get together
play the prine game again
i saw a post you did somewhere
about your midnight Harley ride
i love you
oh fuck it
i love all y’all
not just some a y’all
but all y’all
thats it for now

“i’m taking a walk
i’m going outside
just me and the birds
i dont need a ride”


THE LAST TRAIN SONG (PLAY A FUCKING TRAIN SONG) 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website


Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 7, July 2003

Moments like these make me wish I could spell and punctuate better.
telling and singing stories has always been easy
standing in the middle of them even easier somehow.
Typing? Not my strong suit……but I¹ll try……
Lots of dots means……
i skipped English and don¹t know what to do so I do this…………
dig?. dig.
I also wake up very,
very early……usually before six am
I like to wake up and walk when nobody else seems awake.
I have a specific route I like to walk through little Hollywood……
which is our neigborhood.
It passes by all my favorite Spanish style homes……
i usually make five laps around the three block circle……
One morning, when I was just new in the neigborhood, as my walk turned the corner
towards one of my favorite Spanish homes……
and I got closer to the house
I saw three rough looking guys who looked like they had stayed up late rather than got up
one of them looked exactly like one of the guys from BR549……
they were on the porch drinking beer in leather coats with there hair all slicked back……
I passed by ……
a few minutes later my lap had me back in front of the same house……
this time as I passed one yelled.

“want a cigarette……” they all laughed…… I kept walking……
about a week later…… I pass the house again……
this time just the one older guy was on the porch…… he was drinking whiskey with his
shirt off…… as I passed he yelled
” you know all that exercise is going to kill you someday!”……
I thought that was funny……

A few months later I was home getting ready for happy to be here to come……
one morning I wake up for my walk……
this time melita was up early and came with me……
as we turned the corner toward the green Spanish house I heard this guitar part that
sounded familiar…… it was ringing up the whole street……
Then the vocal came on “theres a truck turned over on the highway…….flares burning out
of the snow”
Getting closer I see the shirtless whiskey drinking old man with a shit eating grin on his
I said “where¹d you get that music?”
He said “I could tell you but I¹d have to kill you”
I figured it wasn¹t that important.
He offered us whiskey……
we accepted……
He offered us pot……
i accepted.
And that’s when the laughing started…………the laughing that just ended.
(I hate to ruin one of skips good stories, but this is how we met.
He never had me and melita arrested for skinny dipping in his pool.
it wasn¹t even his pool.)
A few days later……
I¹m sitting in the radio cafe alone at the bar……
behind me I hear these three people talking about this cop chase that had happened a few
weeks earlier…… it went right passed the radio cafe……
some crazy old man on a harley with a broken moped helmet pulled up to the stop sign at
about seven miles an hour with ten cops behind him……
the girl telling the story said the old guy stopped at the stop sign, honked and then
waved at everyone in the bar……
Well, I’m a collector of this kind of shit,
so immediately I was sitting with these people and needing to know more about this slow
speed cop chase story……
They said it was the guy who worked running sound at the bar……
They said he was always doing shit like that……
i asked what he looked like and she described the old man from my street.
I said “does he introduce himself as uncle skip”
“that¹s him” she said……
no shit, I thought…… now that is fucking funny……
unless your one of those people who thinks it not…… which is fine……
(maybe you like the show where the four thespians do improv skits.)
(somebody does)

from that day forward my morning walk ended at uncle skips……
i first wanted to hear the cop chase story but that evolved into a longer better story that
skip was almost finished telling me when he died……

skip was from maryland
his dad beat the shit out of him and his brothers
he would get drunk and make them play russian roulette
he did three tours of duty in vietnam
One night in maryland, after the war, in the seventies he was sitting in the basement of a house he was
At some point he heard a noise that drew him to the window……
Outside the window he saw a man dressed in all black with a rifle crawling across his
instinctively he reached for his gun and fired……
he says he yelled “fuck you motherfucker!” first…… then shot……
Then there were cops everywhere……
and I don’t mean in minutes I mean seconds……
it seems the cops were getting ready to raid his coke dealing neighbor and hadn¹t told
the guy didn¹t die……
but they arrested skip……
even though the guy was crawling with a gun on skips property.
Skip thought he was being railroaded and that no judge would believe him so he decided
to escape……
Now I cant remember exactly how he escaped but he says he did……
I do remember him saying he used card board to pad the barbed wire
which it didn’t.
Then he ran through some woods……
they shot at him and he thought he was hit……
He kept running through the dark until the ground under him surprisingly dropped about
ten feet to a small river……
he says he went as far down river as he could and made it to a friends house……
cops searched the friends house with him in it but did not find him……
he then went to check on his girlfriend……
he stayed at her house a couple of days until they got in some kind of fight.
She turned him in.
Later he went to trial for the shooting and was found innocent.
Later, on trial for the excape, he was found guilty and given a year.
After prison he joined back with his motorcycle gang……
not long later he had a heart attack and nobody came to see him in the hospital……
which pissed him off.
When he was healthy again……
he took his bike and just drove away……
landing in michingan for a while and then cincinatti ohio where he tour managed a band
called red bud thunder for a while until they folded.
Then he said he lived in homeless shelters for a while……
Trying to put his shit together and having loved the roadie gig
He decided to grace Nashville.
After a few years on the circuit……
his appetite for life began to take its toll so he decided to take the house sound gig at the
radio cafe……
this is where he became the unofficial mayor of east Nashville……
If you wanted something and I mean anything…… you called skip.
It reminded me of the big lebowski when john Goodman says.,
“you need a human toe dude? I’ll get you a human toe”
Skip never got human toes but he got jumper cables, rides, pot, bootlegs, pills,
Christmas lights, cigs, fake I.D., guns, fake community service letters, gigs whatever……
The music at the radio cafe always sounded great when skip was working
melita and I went there all the time……
skip was our best buddy……
we shared our last four Christmas eves with skip……
ill never forget them…… he was a saint…… a legend……

Every night he had six or seven bars that he had to stop by……
there were bar tenders who needed joints.
women who needed to be told how pretty they were……
skip never forgot to tell women how pretty they were and he honestly thought all of them
were pretty……
he was one of those guys from the movies……
he drove a long black beat up caddilac with no plates and no drivers license……
he always had pot in the trunk and he always sped and when he pulled into a bar he
literally parked on the side walk right up to the door where you had to sidestep his car to
get in……
but the owners never minded because they all new that the site of that car meant there bar
would soon be full of musicians and girls…… .its just the truth……
ask anyone around here.
Everytime skip entered a bar with music playing he’d yell play a fucking train song til he
got one
and he always got one……everybody learned train songs for uncle skip
Lots of traveling singers who live here just pop up unannounced and play the radio and
the slow bar,
it happens all the time.
Me, hank 3, Gillian, Lucinda, josie kuhn, george felton, the slow beats , tommy womack,
tim carrol,will kimbrough, duane Jarvis and even emmylou……
we all played train songs for skip and only needed him to yell it once.
Young singers who tried to fight it lost.
The club and the crowd were always on skips side.
I saw once at the French quarter a young band from texas who took a break to tell the
owner that they didn¹t know a fucking train song and that they weren¹t playing another
set til the owner got the drunk train song heckler out of there……
The owner fired the band……
Also another time , at the same club, skip was up in the front row watching a songwriter
and yelling for a train song……
The guy said he didn¹t know a train song, but that he had had one of his songs cut by
garth brooks and george jones……
he then went into a song he said he wrote called
beer run……
Without ever mentioning my name…… he got on stage and and made the guy stop.
” I saw some barefoot kid in Memphis play that song ten years ago you fucking
thief…… if you actually lived out your songs you wouldn¹t have to steal them”……

somehow, knowing that skip knew I didn¹t think that song was stolen from me or keith
christofer, and knowing that skip knew he was lying about having heard the song, and
personally thinking skip was probably wrong to bother the guy, somehow made it all
seem even funnier to me in some absurd way.
I don’t know why.
the singer obviously didn¹t get it and was pissed……
The guy went into another song
Skip sat back down and started singing my version of beer run at the top of his lungs……
Once again, another musician was in a “he goes or I go” situation with skip.
It was the last thing the guy ever said in the French quarter……

Skip loved to tell these stories on himself……
He never talked about the childrens charities, native American charities, wildlife charities,
and starving songer singwriter charity cases that he was always helping out with
some thing or the other……

Skip had a million sayings and slogans

He always said he wanted to “die peacefully in his sleep like his grandfather
And not screaming and whining like everybody else in the car”

He said “dying is the best part of living that’s why I saved it for last”

He said “never go straight always go forward”

He said “never apologize to me……i don’t care enough”

He called me “sunshine”

He answered the phone “I’ll play your silly little game”

Once while after making a hair pin turn at eighty miles an hour with semi trucks on both
sides of him……
george felton asked “how do you drive like that”
He said
” its simple…… .i don’t care if I die…… and I sure don’t care if I kill you two.”

He had a little childrens song he sang in the morning that went
“sunshine lollypops and laura tabs…… tra la la la la la lala la.”
There¹s more……more and more and more.

“its just another bump in the road”
right on.

About a year and a half ago……
after being told he was already on his last leg
skip started feeling worse……
one night in his house he passed out from pain and woke up in a normal hospital……
Not the shitty V.A. hospital
he called all excited about the morphine drip……
I heard a nurse in the background say
“you cant smoke in here mister litz”
and I thought to myself ………… I’ll take that bet.
After a week in the hospital, and hundreds of visits from hundreds of friends,
the doctors told his wife mary joe that this would be the end.
The next afternoon I get a call from him saying that he did not want to die in the hospital
and could I please come get him, bring him home, and grill him a hamburger……
I said sure…… he said pick up some southern comfort on your way over……
When I got to his floor I heard a bit of a commotion.
Then I saw skip.
He was in his hospital gown and boots with a joint in his mouth and plastic spoons taped
to his head……
he was in an old dying mans room making jokes about how they fucked up his plastic
surgery (plastic…… get it?)
he said “I don’t look anything like elvis”
The hopital was trying to get him to go back to his room……
the old man very obviously wanted him to stay……
so he stayed…… (that was skip in a nutshell actually……
right and wrong……)

The nurse said sadly “are you taking him away from us?”
They loved him……
The doctor told me personally that he wouldn’t make it through the night.
It was scary……
but we wanted to honor his wishes so we drove home and had a cook out.
The cook out turned into a party ,
that turned into a trip to the bar.
By 2am I thought I was dying ……
Three days later skip shows up in some pickup with a couple of chicks and an electric
piano in itŠŠ..
He handed me the piano. Driving off he said……
“you saved my life so I brought you that keyboard……
If you were single I¹d a brought you these chicks……”

Not long after that
I was sitting down at skips house listening to some music while he went through his mail.
Laughing he showed me a bill from the hospital
It was steep. 35,000 and some dollars if I remember right……maybe more……
He wrote DECEASED on it
and sent it back.
We never heard another word about it.

Six months ago or so……skip was very obviously still alive and in pain.
The doctors said there was a surgery that wouldn’t cure him but would ease his pain……
the only problem was that he probably wouldn¹t make it through the surgery……
well that¹s a pretty big problem if you ask me,
but with skip I liked the odds……
The night before his surgery he called meV
” sunshine!…… bring me twenty bucks”
When I got there he was dressed and out of his hospital garb……
He had ripped out his I.V.’s and still had the tubes hanging from his arm
” lets go” he said
” skip?……”
” shut up! …… fuck you!”
the next thing I know were in a bar by the belcourt with tubes hanging from his arm,
telling the bartenders girls that he’s gonna die the next day and
“could you please show me your breasts”……
Of course they did……
Then I took him back……
I was in philly when the operation went down the next day……
i was waiting in the dressing room for the call……
“he made it” said melita
of course he did……

Pretty soon skip was up and around and looking better and sounding better than I had
ever seen him.
My tour manager chris had just been picked up by shedaisy and skip, who knew
everyone, was trying to help me replace him.
My buddy george felton said he’d try it
Skip agreed to come along and show george how to do it.
george hated it…… he’s a singer and a songwriter…… always will be.
Skip took over……
He said he hadn’t felt that usefull in a long time.
He was a natural tour manager and contrary to all the wild stories I like to tell about him
He was mostly just really smart and really giving
skip decided he was gonna tour manage me until he found me someone else
or got sick of it or me……
He was the best tour manager I ever had……
perfect combination of keeping everything safe
while at the same time helping me get wreckless.
We saw the brewers play in Milwaukee, saw dylans childhood home in Hibbing, saw the
place wherre buddy holly died, drank southern comfort on the beach in santa cruz, raised a
lot hell in airport bars, Took over a radio station, got followed by a film crew, rented
convertibles, stayed in casinos, drew pictures , made songs , and we even swam in the
ocean off palm beach
(this will always be how I remember skip……
july 3, 2003……
swimming like a kid in the ocean……
skip,melita, me and crusher……we didn’t even talk……
laughing and crashing and laughing and crashing……
maybe the most fun I ever had.

our next trip was supposed to be to Virginia where his daughter and grandchildren lived.
He used to live a block away from me……
Just recently he’d moved about twelve blocks away so I walked over less and called
the day before we were supposed to leave I called in the morning to see if he wanted to
drive over and read the news paper like we had been doing since he moved.
For those of you reading into that, you’re right, but we also really read the paper.
Anyway, there was no answer.
I didn¹t think anything of it
He often stayed at the van zant house and I just figured that¹s where he was……
We called and called all day……
no answer.
We tried the cell ……no answer
We started to worry.

By happy hour we were out on the porch……
our friend libby decided to make a beer run and a cig run.
She said she¹d swing by skips and see if he was there yet.
Less than five minutes later she called saying
” come quick”
So sam and Lindsey knight,
melita and myself
dove in the van and started flying……
When we got there libby was on the phone on the porch yelling
“just fucking hurry!” to 911
as I moved passed her towards the door she handed me the phone and said
“will you please talk to this women”
I’m no doctor but I think libby was in shock.
As I entered the house the lady on the phone was saying they we’re almost there
and that they just wanted to keep us on the phone.
Just as I was hearing that
I saw skip
Like I had seen him many times before
On his sofa with his hands under his head like a pillow
The lady asked if we thought we could help him
“maybe?” I said
She said put him on the floor……
but as sam and I went to lift him……
We touched him and we looked at each other and we knew……
We both started crying.
…… we knew.
For sure.
We knew.
In the same second I noticed his face.
It had a smile on it.
He died laughing……

Just yesterday I was on the computer……
the instant message thing that tells you when a friend is on line
made that sound it makes……
I looked to see who it was……
it said uncle skip.
I ran out to the car and raced over.
I knocked and nobody answered .
I called skips best pal mack hill…… the owner of the radio cafe……
He said skips brothers and friends from home were in town……
He said they¹d gone to eat……
Having only met one of them
and wanting to meet the rest
we headed over to wait for them……
They had run for beer……
Skips friend dj was already with them.
We called melita and libby and they called skips other two best pals
jim cryner and josie khun.
At first we just all sat quiet looking at each other.
That lasted about a beer
By the top of the third the house was filled again with laughter……
Skips brothers decided to bury him in his
“your favorite band sucks” t shirt.
Then somehow ,
I was either elected or volunteered
to make the call to the paper about the obituary.
Just before they answered the phone skips brother Norman said something……
……I don’t remember what it was……
But everybody laughed ……
The first thing the lady at the paper heard was a room full of laughing.
Then she asked if I she could help me..
Still laughing I said
” yeah…… I need to ask about obituaries”
at that …… the room erupted even louder in laughter and I thought
skip would like this.

Later peter cooper from the paper came over to ask some questions about skip for a story.
He ended up just joining the party.
In fact,
him and I and mack made what I would call the most unsuccessful beer run in history……
i got carded without id……
mack went in and they said no because they knew he was with me.
Finally, at another store, we got beer
Walking into the house too many minutes later,
I dropped a case of bud and shattered about five cold beers.
Skips brother doug said
“your not going for beer anymore”
again the room erupted in laughter and I thought
skip would love this.

Towards the end of the party a wobbly peter cooper tried to get back to work.
He asked skips brothers
“was skip drafted or did he volunteered for Vietnam?”
” neither…… he went to avoid jail”
loud laughter
“how come he was in jail?”
“he stole the mayors car”
loud laughter

into the night

Laughter .
and more
It¹s just so funny……
unless your one of those people that thinks it’s not.
(I’ll bet your show is on right now)
Sorry to be so brief but that’s it for july.
And just in case nobody has told you how beautiful you look today
I want to
Because I think you really look beautiful.
Get your train song ready townes.



Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 6, June 2003

“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
journal thing.
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
try this.
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……
get back.
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

HOUSTON WE HAVE NO PROBLEM 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website


Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 5, May 2003

so i give some guy two cards.
sign a piece of paper
and he gives me a car.
i cant believe im getting away with this again but i am……and i’m steering and writing at the same time. i got a picture of eddie shaver that someone in houston gave me on the dash board…..jerry jeff walkers jazz album on the cd player, and i just smoked half the joint that someone else in houston gave me ….this record is great.
i think i’m on i-10 coming out of houston…..on my way to san marcos to visit my friend kent finlay and his son sterling……..
and i am just this second getting out of traffic (pause)
now im in kents house…… nobody is here……
he lives in martindale…..
the drive way is one of those long rounding ones the trees have made a tunnel over. the house he built himself a long time ago.
from the back porch you look about fifty yards down a hill at the san marcos river as it turns against one of those red dirt cliff looking things…..
i remember swimming down there with sterling when he was five….hes twenty two now.
i met kent the first time i sang in a real club.
it was wendsday night songwriters night.
i had no place to stay so he and his wife diana gave me the couch for the summer……. he turned me on to kristofferson,shaver,prine,guy clarke,shel silverstien and some others….kent is one of my all time favorite songwriters and a long time close friend …….. to this minute hes the first person i play a new song for
and as it turns out
i still know how to break into his house
and where he keeps his wine.
shit. car. (repause)
(unpause) its just sterling….we’re going to cheatham street. (rerepause)
its three oclock in the morning …
everybody is asleep.
im on the same couch i slept on in the summer of 86……..
tonight was songwriter night….i couldnt believe sterling…..he sang his song and i knew the second he started that it was true and that he had lived it…..and the crowd got real quiet…i think it was about some fight he had with his exgirlfriend in austin…..her name is angie and she sang too and she was cool too. .sterling and her seem part of this little gang of young songwriters that hang out there..its amazing..they really sit and listen to each other….like a scene or something…. .
i think sterling finlays name is gonna be added to that list of great texas singers
&i don’t think its gonna be very long before it happens either…
so i gotta wiesel my way in now somehow…..
at the end of the night someone asked kent to play a song called
“the mines of terlingua”……..
he just sat at a chair without a mic and played it…..it got real quiet and everybody moved closer to hear…when it was over somebody yelled for another one…
“i never will get over you”……
and then another one and on and on…….it was one of the best shows i’ve ever seen…
the guy can do anything..
if your ever near san marcos on a wendsday night…try to make it over to the cheatham street wharehouse…
be prepared though cuz if you got a song they’ll make you play it……
remember ed holcomb
god bless kent finlay
those are two things written on the bathroom wall there at cheatham street….
i wrote the one about ed holcomb
just about anybody coulda wrote the one about kent.
im starting to fade a little now so im gonna pause again and finish this when the runs over next week…. oh yeah, by the way…..the new record is out and doing pretty good so far…….
“every record that i make is like a record that i’ve made. just not as good.”
Randy newman…
i had a surfer friend in california tell me once that
surfing was not about waves.
he said it was about a wave.
and when it comes you dont ask it how big its gonna get, where its going
or tell it where to go …..
you just try your best to get up on there and go with it
sometimes you ride
sometimes you crash
you gotta love both to surf
i remember him telling me that everytime someone says
“your on”
peace and happy travels to everybody
see you at the beach
eat a peach
yours truly
two chord toad schneider
the tipsy gypsy

HEY YOU Are You Listening to Me? 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website

HEY YOU Are You Listening to Me?

Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 12, April 2004
HEY YOU Are You Listening to Me?

“today i walked down the streets i used to wander
i scratched my head and made myself a bet,
there were all these things that i dont think i remember
how lucky can one man get?”
John Prine

in july i have a new album
when kimbrough gets time
he’s gonna get on here and tell you about it
i’m going through a very very hard and personal time
i truly do appreciate all your concern and good thoughts
i learn alot when i read the message board on here
and am just honored to still be thought of sometimes.

April Sucked… 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website

April Sucked…

Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 4, April 2003
April Sucked…

April sucked…

Shows got canceled… which is as bad as
life gets for me… It’s like having
Christmas canceled.

More importantly, one of nashville’s
greatest talents… tony brown… was hurt
very badly out in Hollywood… he had a
freak fall in a restaurant and is now in
need of prayers and good thoughts…

for those of you who don’t know, tony
brown is the president of universal south
records, he was the president of mca in
Nashville and he also produced my first
two albums along with albums by nancy
Griffith, lyle Lovett, and steve earle who
he discovered…

most importantly though, is the fact that
he is one of the most open and kind
giving people in this town… a very non-
typical record executive who allowed me
to try anything I wanted to. He also has
taught and continues to teach me about

he showed me how to find the parts and
arrangements to a song by taping it with
just a guitar and then listening to see
what my right hand was doing without

he’d say “you’re already playing the riff…
just not on purpose..”

for better or worse, if you like my music
or hate it… tony brown is a big part of
the reason why…

he also, along with his wife Anastasia,
throws the best parties in this town… I
just know that he is going to be fine but
please, … if you pray, pray for my friend


My name’s Todd Snider… 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website

My name’s Todd Snider…

Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 3, March 2003
My name’s Todd Snider…

Hey everyone… and welcome to the new web site. I started keeping a journal for it In december… this should be the third entry. The plan now is to have three or four entries up when the site opens may 13th or close to it. I don’t want to go any further into my portion of the program without first thanking bart bacon in Colorado for putting this together and to jack ingram for introducing me to bart.

i also don’t want to go any further into my portion of the program without thanking my buddy kirk lockhart and my other buddy shawn z. for putting up and maintaining such great web sites for so long… and I especially want to thank them for their help and cooperation with this new one… you two are saints… and not to slight you shawn but even you know how long ago kirk started his … so… kirk, I’ve decided that the next studio record will have a thunderous punk rock hidden track in your eternal honor … it’s the least I can do…

So why a web site now? Well…as some of you know I signed away my t-shirt rights backstage at a buffet show in 1995. I think I got a sandwich and a ride back to the hotel… people laugh at me for this but they don¹t relize how big the sandwich was or how far we were from the hotel so… you know… i… uh… stand by my decision… if any of you are ever in need of a manager or negotiater I am available… anyway… this year I finally managed to convince the guy to let me out of the deal… now I got my tshirt rights back and thus the website.. and my new friend bart’s garage full of t-shirts hope you dig the web site and the shirts…

So that’s the entry for march I guess… mostly I was home playing guitar for the construction guys adding on to our house… the best part of the month was watching nascar at mike markeeeeeeeees house… and listening to zepplin in the bar afterwords…

I also went over to tommy womacks house and played guitar all day one day this month… the highlight was that some guy from his neigborhood was walking his dog and stopping in front of tommy’s literally every twenty minutes… .well… if you look up paranoia in some dictionaries you’ll see a photo of me and tommy passing a joint back and forth… so by the fourth time the guy stopped in the yard tommy had convinced himself that the guy was casing his house… i did little to discourage his fears for hope of some action… brothers and sisters let me tell you – there was action… it would be impossible to describe the scene other than to call it hunter thompsonish…

“just what in the god damn world is going on out here!? You think I don’t know!? You think your dealing with children here!?” he screamed as he turned on his hose

“Ill show you children you son of a bitch!… “

“shower him tommy” I yelled..”shower the thiefing bastard”

Ah yes… Good times… good times. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I didn’t come here and im not leaving.
If theres any of you out there checking this web site that have never heard of me before… My name is todd snider and ive been driving around for fifteen years making this shit up and singing it to anybody that will listen to it. Some of its funny some of its sad some of its short some of them go on longer than others and sometimes I¹ll ramble on for as many as eighteen minutes… in between the songs. This one I don’t say nothing I just play… B double e double r – u – n Beer

A Friend of Flea’s… 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website

A Friend of Flea’s…

Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 2, February2003
A Friend of Flea’s…

I’m riding through Alabama in a rental van… The van I usually ride in needs a new engine… Last night
at the show in auburn I played my first ever version of satisfaction by the rolling stones in open D and I
didn’t even know I knew it.

After the show… We stopped at the seven eleven for a couple beers to take to the room… Chris, who is
tour managing the run, went in and I waited outside… As I waited outside I was approached by an older
black man with very few teeth who had just pulled in out of the rain in a beat to hell old red and rust
colored Toyota Celica… In stone washed pants, a baseball hat and an Atlanta Olympics t-shirt… He
stepped out of the car, smiled wide and said “hey brother, you got a few bucks a young brother could
hold for a while?”

“I’m a folk singer” I answered quickly. he reached through the open window of the old car for something.
My first thought was that it was a gun so I laughed and said, “oh come on man… you’re not gonna
shoot me for being a broke folk singer are you”

“oh no” he slurred back, pulling a family sized package of frozen chicken from the seat… “i’m a
musician myself… best bass player in Alabama… how about a cigarette?”

just about this time chris came out to see who I was trying to avoid being shot by… he had a cig
dangling from his lips and another to spare… he handed one to the bass player who took it and said
“you boys like chicken?”

“I like chicken” I said “.

“come on give me five bucks for this chicken man I need gas…”

“I told you I didn’t have any money man…”

he said “yeah that’s what you told me”…

“listen man, you keep the chicken for later and ill put some gas on my card for you”

his eyes smiled big and bright. He wanted cash but he’d take the credit… still grinning he said “you
know flea from the hot red peppers?”

“I know who he is” I answered.

“well he¹s a close personal friend of mine”

“no shit” I answered..

…chris and I put gas and smokes and some beer on the card for him he promised to pay us back… we
didn’t discuss how or when… but I know it’ll work out. We all shared a beer and a smoke in the parking
lot talking about flea and music and the war and everything and then we waved goodbye to his little
trashed out celica as it coughed and choked and smoked its way back into the night..

“priceless” I thought out loud “its three in the morning at some back road gas station in jerk water
alabama and I’m drinking beer in the rain with a toothlessly waisted personal friend of flea from the hot
red peppers… who just happens to be illustrating and punctuating his conversational efforts by waving
around a family size package of frozen chicken.”

This is why I travel around.

When Im driving in my car and some man comes on the radio telling me more and more about some
useless information that’s supposed to fry my imagination. I cant get no… no no no… hey hey hey
that’s what I say

Yesterday’s News 150 150 Todd Snider - The Official Website

Yesterday’s News

Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 1, January 2003
Yesterday’s News

“me and my friends used to listen to you in high school”
said the southwest airlines girl as I handed over all my shit.
And that’s how I started my trip to Hollywood
yesterdays news.
I am now sitting in the back aisle seat of a southwest airlines airplane on my way to sing on the craig
kilborne show. Beer run.
I have taj mahal on my head phones.
I’m writing my first letter to the web page in a little green notebook as we rumble and take off.
For me television has always been touch and go…
that gac debacle was an embarrassment to my entire family and community…
there have been others but I cant recall¹em specifically…
I vaguely remember talking to luke duke of hazard but that coulda been a dream oh well… here comes
the drink cart…

ok, now im in room 938 at the top of the Roosevelt inn on hollywood blvd…
I have an excellent view of the city…
rhett miller was in town at some club last night…..
damn…. tonight there’s nothing…
i’m gonna call home and go to sleep…. (second pause)

now I’m in the CBS green room with my publicity guy Jim Walsh and my tour manager Sam Knight were
watching tv and drinking the free Heinekins in the fridge…
theres a bigger green room where the crew and other guests are hanging out but were shy and nervous…
it really is harder to remember all the words to one song than it is to remember a whole shows worth…
i cant make my head stop going over them…..
fuck craig kilborn
fuck that kangaroo chick
and fuck that Dallas mavericks guy
fuck the camera man and fuck the weather man
fuck the government and fuck the police
fuck everybody that was ever mean to me
fuck everybody that was ever nice to me
fuck everybody and everything fuck this
fuck me
fuck you
ok… now I feel better …
what’s the big deal?… it’s beer run…
and don’t get me wrong… I actually like all those people I just mentioned its just that sometimes I cant
do anything until I say fuck everything…
its like a superstition. Now that I feel better I think I’m going to go over to the big green room And see if
I can grift a few free Dallas mavericks tickets.(pause)

(un pause one hour later) well that didn’t take long…
i walked out during the commercial…
the crowd was yelling at me…
…it was the first time I saw Craig Kilborn he nodded and smiled I yelled “thanks” over to him…(for
having me on).
the crowd was still yelling and standing and then some one yelled “were back” over a bull horn…
craig yelled some shit, then turned and looked at me…
I figured it meant go…
Now I’m back in the green room …
From here we’re going over to bob mercers house.
The plan is to listen to van Morrison.