Jack Russell checks in with a play by play recap of the AMERICA ROCKS TOUR!
Great White featuring Jack Russell on the AMERICA ROCKS TOUR 2012
AMERICA ROCKS -You really can’t make this shit up….
By: Jack Russell / Great White
As you all know, my band Jack Russell’s Great White just wrapped up our summer package-AMERICA ROCKS-where we headlined around the country with our very special guests Faster Pussycat, Bullet Boys, Pretty Boy Floyd and Lillian Axe. It was quite an adventure.
We started the tour in northern California. To say that first day was a real life "Spinal Tap" is an understatement. All the buses, all the people (some I knew, some I didn’t, but they all seemed nice enough), all the gear…it was chaotic at best. On one bus you had a bunch of good ole’ boys with a bunch of Hollywood rocker dudes (it took a minute for that to gel) although everyone there survived, some barely. On the other bus were the real pro road dogs, sharing their space with 1989, by the way that was a great year for me, so I’m cool with that. Some did not last the entire adventure, but I won’t speculate on that. We had our own bus, THANK GOD!
When the tour began, everyone was a bit under the weather, and I was definitely not feeling up to par. Things got worse before they got better, but eventually we were all happy and healthy.
We did a few shows in Cali. And then, in what seemed to be a random routing, we headed to Nebraska. Yep, Nebraska makes sense? So. Cal to Nebraska? Anyway, we had a really great show there, aside from the drunken in-house sound guy. He kept turning the speakers on and off, so we finally had him removed from the premises. We have our own sound guy, who is amazing, so we did not need his drunken ass screwing up our sound. However, every time he was escorted out the front door, he came right back in through the back door, we just could not get rid of this guy!
After that show we headed to Kansas, I don’t know if I had the flu or what, but I was not my usual fantastic self! LOL. The next day was the worst, Savage MN. People need to wash their damn hands, germs spread like crazy in this confined space…hint hint band members!
After that, we headed to a really cool venue right outside of Chicago. I have a lot of friends there, so it was an awesome night. Did I mention that the band kicked ass too? Better and better every show. I am a lucky man!
Then off to a show in PA. We got there late so all the bands just kind of threw their stuff on the stage and rocked. No real sound check or anything. It was one of the best shows on the tour.
Then on to Canada. After way too much prep work, we got in no problem (Canada is like Fort Knox these days ya know). However, one band, which shall remain nameless, could not get in, come hell or high water, so they went off on their own, no idea where. Faster’s bus broke down or something, so we had to wait at the border for them for HOURS! We were told it would be best for us all to go in together, well fuck that! We gave up the wait and went in, no problem. Thanks for that Taime! We had a blast however, hanging with the border guards for four hours…Anyway, Faster and Bullet Boys finally showed up (can ya guess who wasn’t allowed anywhere near Canada?) and it was truly a great show, great crowd, and great performances by all. Just a really fun time.
Out of Canada… and heading towards the eastern gigs. More great shows in OH, and New Jersey. This tour really brought out the fans and they showed us so much love! I sucked that shit up like a mosquito in a blood bank!
By this time, we were all really getting to know each other, and were really making some good friends. Some of these guys are really a trip, and are great players. Everyone was pitching in and helping each other and things were running pretty smooth at this point. I know it may seem easy, but trust me when I tell you that having 5 bands on one bill, plus having some promoters add a couple of local openers, was a scheduling nightmare. Getting everyone play to nice was quite a challenge at times. Except for me, I’m perfect. No, really I swear!
Next we had a gig in Virginia. There was some kind of crazy storm and no power all along the east coast, including at the venue! Had a day off instead. We rescheduled and will return there in November. Then went to D.C. where some of my band mates wanted to vent to Obama, but instead ended up taking obscene pictures with the Washington Monument (check Dario’s Facebook page).
My wife flew in and joined us boys on the tour bus for a week. Then it was the 4th of July in Alabama, what’s more American than that! The promoter told us it was the first time in 5 years that the crowd continued to stay AFTER the fireworks were over to watch a band. It kicked ass!
Then off to Texas, the birthplace of our one and only Matthew Johnson. Texas LOVES us, LOVES their boy Matthew, and we LOVE Texas.
The antics also started here…an end of tour tradition. Different band members would randomly jump on stage and do some really wacky shit to whoever was on at the time. Check out You Tube for Lillian Axe joining Faster, that was some funny shit.
Everyone started joining us on stage for our last song "Once Bitten Twice Shy", and on the last night in AZ they all wore our "JACK IS BACK" shirts. I thought that was awesome, then I saw Taime…his shirt said "JACK ME OFF". Thanks Taime, way to ruin a moment, just kidding, it was fucking hysterical!
All in all, we all really had an amazing time! I can’t thank Faster Pussycat, Bullet Boys, Pretty Boy Floyd and Lillian Axe enough. It was a great adventure and something I will never forget. We made some amazing friendships, and miss the guys already.
See ya soon.
Captain Jack "Mista Bone" Russell”
I asked my band and crew members to tell me about something interesting that happened to them on the tour , and here is what they said:
“One memorable moment off stage was in Dallas. I walked into the club towards the end of Faster Pussycat’s set and up on stage were guys from Lillian Axe. They were hazing the band, dressed as, well, I’m not sure what. There was Buck, their soundman/ tour manager , all 6 ft. 250 lbs. of him in a bra and panties with bad make -up on. I must admit that was both hysterical and scary!
Another was in Columbus, Ohio, the band was told we had to be in the venue at 5 O’clock for sound check. Dario and I were on the bus getting guitars and gear ready to go in and just as we stepped off the bus, the hot muggy day turned into a tropical thunder storm. The bus was about 20 ft. from the back door of the venue but by the time we got inside it looked like we had jumped into a pool! Everyone inside got a good laugh and of course…. we didn’t end up sound checking! Thanks Claude!”
Robby Lochner (guitar)
“One of my favorite moments of the whole tour was when everyone from the other bands came out on stage for Once Bitten Twice Shy in my home state of Texas. It was just so reflective of how so many strangers with different personalities bonded and became friends after 3½ grueling weeks on the road. However, I think my favorite off stage moment came early on – the second day of the tour to be exact. My high school friend, George Krieger, gave me a tour of Laguna Seca Raceway, where he works. We toured the whole track, and I got to see one of the most famous turns in racing – the corkscrew. Wow, to hear the stories that turn has to tell… pretty amazing. There are also a couple of stains there, and I’m sure there are many more left by drivers on their car seats trying to maneuver that particular turn…”
Matthew Johnson (guitar)
“When touring in a bus, there is a golden rule… No number twos in the bus’s bathroom!
So, we stopped at a truck stop somewhere to fill up and I decided the time was right to release the hounds.
I put some clothes on and out I went… After a few minutes, which seemed like an eternity if you are like me and hate public bathrooms, I came back to find that the bus was gone… Hmm, I did close my bunk’s curtain before I left, so they might have thought I was sleeping and left… FUCK!!!!
I quickly reached in my pocket and realized I didn’t bring my phone or a wallet or anything really. So, I think to myself, I can just ask someone to use their phone, right? Then I realize… I don’t know anyone’s fucking numbers!!
A deep sense of stupidity and humbleness fell upon me… As I walk around the store, getting acquainted with what seemed to be my new home and considering a new profession as a truck stop lizard, I glanced at another side of the store, and I noticed a bus getting its windows washed. Hey… That’s my bus!!! I skipped and twirled my way there… Well, at least in my head I did…
Moral of the story? You are not necessarily an addict if you bring your phone with you to take a shit…”
Dario Seixas (bass)
“Challenges-the show must go on… 5 bands on tour brings loads of opportunity for things to happen that you would rather didn’t… we started it off, ‘cuz some of our guys (including Jack) were either sick or right on the edge when we left LA, it got worse thru Minnesota, where Jack had almost no voice. He made it thru the show thanks to tea,ice packs before and after, and balls… started getting better for us, so we passed it over to Lillian Axe, who battled some recurring tire problems on their trailer. Later, the Faster Pussycat/Pretty Boy Floyd bus limped(!) into Sayreville with some really creative fixes to the brakes (u don’t wanna know!). Got some unscheduled rest in Springfield, VA because the gig was cancelled due to the weather causing a huge power failure! Things were smooth for a while, the Pretty Boy Floyd guys had to work in some subs after Dallas, props to them, Faster Pussycat, and the Bullet Boys for working together and pulling it off. Overall, it was pretty smooth, met a bunch of cool folks, the tour was a hoot!”
Claude VonTrotha-Tour manager, sound man extraordinaire
“Going on tour with Jack’s Great White for the first time was such an awesome event I will never forget. I had no idea what to expect going into it…but after the first day we were all like family. Everyone was awesome. Jack, Robby, Derek, Matt,Dario,and Claude , who showed me the ropes on being out on tour. I am super thankful and honestly back this band 100% . Everyone whoops ass!”
Shonn Oquendo-merch prince, stage hand, newest family member