report filed - 7/31/99 Monkey Biz #1

Friday, 7/30/99 - 12:18pm

We got out of San Diego on Wednesday in the late afternoon. Aside from driving through a torrential rain storm and getting pulled over a couple of times by our friends in the shiny boots and dark shades, everything was all good when we got to Flagstaff to crash for the night. After a deep snooze in a cheap motel, we hit the road in the morning. Made good time and got to Durango yesterday while the sun was still shining.

This is the first trip where Alley and Chad are traveling with Tim and his wife Crystal. Both have their young sons with them. Quite the roving family of minstrels. The rest of us are in the 15 person Ford Econoline Tritan 350. Right now everybody's sacked out, except Reedo behind the wheel, and yours truly trying to make technology dance on a laptop...

The San Juan room was jammed last night. The last Colorado Winter tour finished up at the San Juan, this time it was the kick-off. Regardless, yesterday's show was just as wacko as the last one. Everybody was in high spirits... the band, the crowd, even the guys working the door. There's just an energized buzz surrounding a WMO show in Durango.

Even though WMO just released "Pathways," the band has a bunch of even newer tunes. And they just seem to keep getting better and better. During the course of a blistering two-set show, the monkeys jammed on old and new material with a tipsy swagger that at times only mirrored the bedlam of gyrating bodies heating up the dance floor. There were well over 350 wild and crazy monkey fans getting down with their inner boogie child at the San Juan last night.

A few of the new songs have Ed Fletcher switching from drums to keyboards, with Timmy taking his spot as keeper of the beat. Tim also added a Timbale to his percussion setup out front, occasionally giving the monkeys a syncopated low-rider, fresh chips and hot salsa sort of vibe.

Right now, we're about 4 hours out of Winter Park. Today's drive will be the longest for the next week or so. Before we split Durango, Reed hooked up with Al at Southwest Sounds, a music store there that stocks WMO's CD's. All of the WMO albums sell well up here and it really helps the band when the local stores sell a bunch of CD's. WMO's ever growing popularity and record sales up here is due in part to the strong support of local radio station KDUR-FM, which plays WMO in heavy rotation. That stuff really makes a difference on spreading the word.

Another one of the folks that jumped into the monkey barrel up here in Durango was an old buddy of the band named Scott, who knows the monkeys from way back in the Tempe days. These days Scott's the Durango rep for "Headquarters," a multifaceted online company that works closely on a variety of projects with the monkeys, and has supported the band since its inception.

So that's the deal at the moment. It was an epic show last night and now we're off to the next one. Lots of asphalt to cover and mountains to climb... the tour is now officially underway.

Saturday, 7/31/99 - 10:22am

Just got back from a pretty nice pancake breakfast. Most of the monkeys are still sleeping, but Ed, AG, and Scotty just made their way into the real world in search of food.

Last night was one of those twisted little, whut-the-hell-wus-that kind of redneck vibe. The show was at The Creek, in Winter Park. Very much a bar/restaurant, the place had a cramped layout and a few really drunk and stupid patrons. At least the sound was good. And in fact, the monkeys played quite well.

In additon to an inebriated goofball that continued to yell, "Where's the monkey?" all night, some other liquored up jasper kept knocking stuff over. At one one point toward the end of the night, he fell over, knocking over Sean's keyboard and smashing his beer mug on the floor, shattering glass everywhere.

Although the guy was almost a foot taller and alot heavier, Seany grabbed the big fool by his collar and literally pushed him across the bar, out the door and into the street. Of course the band kept playing, and Sean made it back in time to hit the last note of the tune, coincidentally a new one called, "People on my Lawn," written about fans that go over the edge. "Sheer buffoonery," says Ed Fletcher describing last night's mayhem.

In addition to the "WWF/Sean Hart, Giant Slayer" sideshow, a couple of older, never released and rarely played WMO tunes got a workout. "KFG," formerly known as "SLM," a latin/afro cuban space instrumental, and "Pack it Up," more of an uptempo disco-tech rave up, both ripped. There's a good chance that one or both of these could wind up on the next WMO album.

Although the band was playing extremely well, they wouldn't come back for an encore in spite of the crowd's din. "After the scuffle, I was just over it," said Sean. Ed summed it up best when he said, "It was just a couple of assholes that ruined it for everybody."

Saturday, 7/31/99 - 4:35 pm

We pulled up to the Ogden Theater just a few minutes ago. The guys are setting up the stage and I've finally got a chance to get on the net.

Tonight's show is a milestone for the monkeys. It's the first time they've headlined a theater and everybody's psyched... definitely a step up. Looks like the stage will be ready pretty soon, so I'm going to cut out here and try to post this journal entry. More later...