Sonic Temple

Week Four USA June/July 2001

June/July With Monster Magnet

Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia and New Orleans

BOREDOM!! Three days in Milwaukee, and I am going insane with boredom. We are in town to play the Milwaukee Summerfest, and the actual show is amazing. But the routing has us hanging around the town for a day before the show and a day afterwards. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing particularly bad about Milwaukee – it’s just that there is only so many Starbucks you can drink, only so many hours on the Playstation, only so many walks around the Mall you can take before you start to go mad!!

We go down to the festival site the day before our show, to catch Slash’s Snakepit do their thing. He seems to be having fun, and Matt catches up with all the gossip pre-show. After their set, we say goodbye and head off to the funfair. Billy D, Tony and Bone all stay with feet firmly planted on Terra Firma, but the two kids of the band (namely Sorum and Myself) shell out fifteen bucks a piece to ride the most insane ride we can find. As we are spinning around like rag dolls, seventy feet in the air, in the rain, Matt starts asking me if I ever think of the crackhead junkie freaks who bolt these things together??!!! SHUT UP!!!!!

One adreneline rush later, and the evening is finished. We head back to the Hilton for an early night.

Show day, and we have all day to kill, before leaving for the festival at 8.00pm. More walking, coffee and boredom, but eventually we hit the stage at 10.00pm and the place is crammed full of people. Thousands of people are there to see The Cult, and they scream and chant us through an hour and a half of Big Rock Show Cult. As Ian says…..”Radio C.U.L.T……where the hits keep coming”!!! It’s a great show – Ian dressed up in full leather in tribute to Jim Morrison (thirty year anniversary of his death today) and singing like a demon. At one point he disappears into the audience to break up a fight – and then he’s back on stage with us, as if nothing has happened. It’s a good night, and we finish the set covered in sweat, but happy.

The next day………”Lets get a Starbucks for a change!!” We’re not leaving Milwaukee until midnight, so its another full day of hanging around, until we decide to take the busses back to the festival site, and we wait for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to play. They have a full house, and play all the hits, and when it’s all over, we finally pull out for the overnight drive to Detroit.

“Try not to get shot”, is the advice ringing in my ears as I leave the bus in the morning, to go for a wander around downtown Detroit. I take the advice to heart, and off I go to see what the town has to offer. Half an hour later, I’m back on the bus!! Now I understand what Iggy Pop was yelling about!!!

So most of the day is spent hanging around on the bus, playing Playstation 2 games and watching TV. Eventually, showtime rolls around and as we sit in the dressing room before we go on, we start to get an idea that tonights show might be a bit good…….the crowd are chanting “Cult….Cult….Cult” and making loads of noise. The cheer that greets us as we hit the stage is deafening, and we launch staight into RISE. Its amazing!! Stage divers, the biggest moshpit we’ve seen on this tour, all the crowd singing all the words. It’s a fantastic show – hot and sweaty and loud, and by the time we finish the encore with LOVE REMOVAL, we are all shattered!!  Smiles all around, as we leave the venue and get on the busses – a good feeling. The whole band sign autographs tonight – one guy waits four hours after the show tonight to get Billy Duffy’s signature, but his patience is rewarded, and as far as I know, everyone who wanted stuff signed that night went away happy. We fall into the bunks about 4.30am and the busses leave for Cleveland.

I start the day like I always start the day………the search for the Non Fat Caramel Latte!!! I’m a Starbucks man, and the quest in every city for a Starbucks becomes more and more like Indiana Jones looking for the Temple of Doom every day!! Today, in Cleveland, it involves walking sixteen blocks, getting a pedal taxi ride from a mad Matt Sorum fan (would you believe it? – two thousand pedal taxi’s in Cleveland, and I get the Matt Sorum fan, who recognizes me from this months REVOLVER magazine and proceeds to tell me how much he loves Matt whilst trying to kill me in his search for a Starbucks for me!!!!) and a bizarre incident with a manhole cover!!! ENOUGH!!!! The excitement is killing me!! I get back to the safety of the bus and hide with my coffee and about six Camel Filters and wait for us to go to the venue. Tonights show is very cool – by the river downtown, with abandoned factories and heavy machinery all around the outdoor stage. As the sun goes down, the city’s “mini NYC skyline” lights up, the boats on the river start hanging around behind the stage to find out whats going on, and we walk onstage to do another show. The onstage sound is good tonight, and we play well. Sweet Soul Sister has everyone in the place with their hands in the air and I get a chill through me as I watch thousands of people clapping to the music. I love playing this stuff!!!

The aftershow is very chilled – outside, with a few friends and guests, and eventually we pack up and head off to Philadelphia.

Philly is another theatre show, and another amazing crowd reaction, much like Detroit. Its good to be up there and see people actually getting off on the music. I spend most of my time hanging with my friend from England, who is making a record out in NYC and has driven down to see the show. Afterwards, we stay in town and I get a good nights rest.

The next day starts in true rock and roll style. The busses take us to the airport, straight onto the tarmac, and stop right next to our private Gulf Stream jet, which we have called Sanctuary Airlines flight 001!! We are flying across to New Orleans for a couple of days to play at the Endfest, with Papa Roach and Staind. Ive gotta tell you, it’s the only way to travel. We checked out at noon, took off at 1.00pm, landed at 3.30pm and were onstage by 5.00pm. I was back at our hotel in New Orleans by 7.00pm!!! The actual show was stupidly hot!! Probably around one hundred degrees!! It was hard work, but we gave it everything we had, and went down well. Once we had all made it back to the hotel, and had a swim in the hotel pool, we went out in the Quarter for a “team” meal and some suitably “adult” entertainment. A good time was had by all!!

The next day was a day off, from start to finish – no travelling, no press –  so our sound guy, T-Bone had organised a few Harleys for me and Billy D. My bike was lent to me by Mr Lawrence Fishbourne – you know……The Matrix and all that??? He was a cool guy, and my thanks goes out to him and our hotel manager, Sidney for letting us have the bikes. In the evening, we all went down to the House of Blues to see Lynrd Skynrd play and to eat again – (in New Orleans, that’s all you seem to do……stuff your face with food!!!)

That’s been our week – private jets, movie stars, pedal taxi rides and strip clubs!! Sometimes it’s just all too much!!!


Billy Morrison