Staredown in the Desert 

Greetings webpage visitors! Our webmaster just reached out too me and said “Scotty, we need some content for the new site. What about doing a blog” (by webmaster I mean our tech-savvy drummer John Lalley) My only experience with actual blogging was back in 2010 when I put one up about a lo-fi Garageband  punk rock record that I made with my old Luther Victim co-creator Pat Madden aka Glam Parson. We wrote and recorded 10 songs with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a shitty old Mac laptop. The results are here at http://scottymccullough.blogspot.ca  if you wanna have a listen/read. 

But anyway, I figured maybe I could go back in time and tell some funny/ridiculous/tragic/ stories from the band’s heyday in the 90’s, when we were out of our heads and all hopped up on goofballs (you may have to google that phrase if your under thirty) And the first thing that sprung to mind was a tale about that singer from the band Everclear. You may recall them as they had some pretty big hits in the 90’s, starting off with “Santa Monica, that tune with the chord intro ripped directly from Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire”.  

We had spent the bulk of 1995 touring the U.S. with Collective Soul, who were labelmates of ours on Atlantic Records. While I wasn’t the hugest fan of their music, they were super nice guys who treated us well on tour, giving us lots of room to set up in front of them on stage and periodically giving us all the extra bottles of booze on their rider. But occasionally, we would go off and do some other gigs opening for the likes of Matthew Sweet, Goo Goo Dolls or No Doubt to name a few. It’s hard to believe now, but we actually headlined over No Doubt at the late great Town Pump in Vancouver. Anyway, that’s how we found ourselves opening for Everclear in Arizona for 3 or 4 shows.  

I had heard some rumblings through the grapevine about their singer/guitarist Art whatever the fuck his name is . Some magazine had done a piece about how he was disliked in his adopted home town of Portland and even insinuated some darker stuff I won’t get into here. He was a self declared former drug addict who had gotten clean and sober and was now finding big success with the band. Suffice to say that I was neither clean nor sober although really, all I was doing at the time was drinking too much, as there were piles of rider booze every night. We met the band before the first show without Art around and they seemed like nice enough guys. I can’t remember the venue but I believe the gig was in Phoenix. This was the second or third show we’d done with them and I guess I’d become comfortable enough with them that when their road manager jumped up on stage to sing a Stooges karaoke number with the band, I decided to join him for a singalong! 

Anyone who knows me will attest to what a huge Stooges fan I am, so when they launched into a cover of something from the first Stooges record (again I’m a little fuzzy on what song, maybe No Fun or I Wanna Be Your Dog) I got a little too excited and ran onstage to sing it with their road manager (Art was taking a break and just playing guitar on the song) I mistakenly figured he’d be into a duet but when I tried to sing a verse into the mic he was holding by the stand, he pulled it away from me and took back over the tune. I guess I can be a little slow in my non-verbal interpretation skills so  I proceeded to give it another go, bouncing back up to the microphone to try again. This time though, when he tried to pull the mic away from my mouth, I was also grabbing the stand, and he inadvertently on purpose bopped me in the teeth with it.  

For some reason that just didn’t sit well with me. I was a little bit sauced, but no more than usual, and decided if he wasn’t going to hand over the microphone nicely I was going to take it from him. So, in the middle of the song, with the band all wide eyed and Art staring me down like he wanted to murder me, we proceeded to wrestle over ownership of the mic stand. After about twenty seconds of what I can only assume was a very comical grappling match, I gained control of the mouth stick! You might think I would just start singing now that I had the prize, but when I looked up after the wrestle, Art was staring me down with a properly hateful look in his eyes. So I decided that my next best course of action would be to smash the mic stand onstage ( a Ken MacNeil trick) while staring right back at old Arthur. Anyway, when the stand was all properly busted up I proceeded to wander back off the stage at kind of at a loss at what to do next.  

At that point, our road guy Tim Husom ( who now represents Academy Award winning movie score dudes) ran up to me and declared that it was “the funniest thing he had ever seen”. That was probably an overstatement but he didn’t stop laughing about it until about a week later. When I next saw the drummer and bassist they were also pretty cool about it and just laughed it off. Not King Arthur though, he stormed on to our tour bus when I wasn’t there a complained about me being, and I quote “a rockstar”…”and on drugs or something” At that point in time I was making about $200.00 a week and could barely afford “drugs” outside of a few doobies and as far as being a rockstar goes…it was kinda my job really so I took that as a compliment. 

We might have played one more show with them after that although I really can’t remember. If you want accurate details on rusty tour stories, it’s best to ask our bassist Jimmy Moore, as he didn’t smoke weed and largely tried to stay away from excessive tour drinking. Well that’s all I have for today, hopefully you were entertained. There’s plenty more where that came from so I’ll try and check in with one of these semi-regularly from now on. Bye, and thanks for reading!

32 comments

  • Morley Gammon
    Morley Gammon Bathust N.B.
    Everclear are my favorite band ever. You guys suck ass.

    Everclear are my favorite band ever. You guys suck ass.

  • Corey Dahlen
    Corey Dahlen Saskatoon,SK
    that story is fuckin gold!!! saw everclear once in the mid 90's they were so fuckin bad. embarrasingly bad infact

    that story is fuckin gold!!!
    saw everclear once in the mid 90's
    they were so fuckin bad. embarrasingly bad infact

  • Joe Malone
    Joe Malone Rigermortis
    Yeah for the funny

    Yeah for the funny

  • Derrick Cook
    Derrick Cook LeClaire, Iowa
    Sounds like a killer time hahahahah. Come to the states again!

    Sounds like a killer time hahahahah. Come to the states again!

  • Paddle to the Sea
    Paddle to the Sea
    @Morley Gammon is probably on the roller coaster at Moncton's Crystal Palace right now, most likely listening to Nickelback on his iPod

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  • Colin Smith
    Colin Smith New Westminster, BC
    Fucking eh! Great story, stoked to read more (all) of 'em. Cheers to rock n' roll.

    Fucking eh! Great story, stoked to read more (all) of 'em. Cheers to rock n' roll.

  • Tim Husom
    Tim Husom LA
    Its all true. And its still the funniest thing I've ever seen. The look on that guys face will never leave me! - Tim

    Its all true. And its still the funniest thing I've ever seen. The look on that guys face will never leave me! - Tim

  • Tiffany
    Tiffany Calgary
    Hilarious! Thanks for bringing back some memories of my teen years! Keep on rocking. Lots of my friends and I hit 90's bands when they play in Calgary. Hope you come by!

    Hilarious! Thanks for bringing back some memories of my teen years! Keep on rocking. Lots of my friends and I hit 90's bands when they play in Calgary. Hope you come by!

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    scotti antics. they are endless, and priceless.

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