12/11/1989

Off we go! All packed posting warrior travel madman to Portsmouth suburb Havant to see Alex and Graham T. {edit: Mystic/Noankers, yes, that is the one I am talking about}. Graham is traveling the Continent but should be back in a couple of days. Maura and Sarah buy me a pint of lager and a Guinness at the last resort pub and even a pack of Camels. Pictures taken outside Smoker’s Paradise and one even with a Bobby who couldn’t have been more than 19. Tube to Morden, last stop in London, very south, and walk 45 mins to Route A3 (oh A3!). The forecast from BBC2 is clear ‘til the weekend so everything should be fine.

A3 is like I-95 but everyone drives 80 MPH and the cops don’t bother “until you are over 90” the first of six drivers tells me. He was really cool and had traveled US, Australia, New Zealand. Says England is the toughest for hitching. Fifteen miles later, he drops me off at an exit and I walk with thumb out for easily five miles before a truck stops for me.

Two 22ish males, listening to house music and asking me about the States.

Seven miles with them and I walk, again, three miles, and a really nice sports car, like a Jag or something, stops for me with a tie behind the wheel. As I run to catch up to the car, my small pack pops open and spills its contents on the highway and grass. All I lost was my new cassette of Unknown Pleasures. I managed to recover two shooter bottles of vodka.

He drives about 20 miles and lets me off at a gas station where I get a cup of Java and put on my rain poncho as it is raining (Great! Thanks, BBC!). I then walk about three more miles when another car stops.

Young guy with a tie but not living that life as his car is full of shit, beer cans, sleeping bags, etc, and even “a cooker or two”. He drives about two miles to a pub where he is meeting his friends at now 10:30PM. He gives me a smoke and tells me how to get cheap reliable cars in Brixton and even in London.

Walking in the rain dark night on a Ledyard backroad that is still somehow the A3 but a far cry from the 90MPH I-95 section and I get about another mile when an old guy stops for me. He was fucking nice as shit, telling me about the dream house he is building and a story about a soldier he picked up once and how he was impressed with my canvas rucksack. He drives about five miles to the town that he lives in and apologizes for not being able to bring me further but he has to get up in the morning to work and he is beat tired. Tells me where to stand to get another ride and wishes me a Happy Christmas.

Short 300 yard walk when a car stops and the passenger gets out and yells “Do you want a ride?” Of course I do, you stupid sod! I get in and there is a guy in the back seat and the driver straight right off asks me if I have any hash or grass. No, do you? No, but we are going to get some, where are you going? They bring me almost to Alex’s door and all the while they are talking all paranoid of cops!

11:10PM and I knock the knocker on the door, #7 3rd Ave. Alex’s mom answers and invites me in and THEN realizes that I am the guest that Alex is expecting! She gives me a letter from my mom, talking of tragedies and all all all from home and I am glad that I am not there. Baked beans, toast, and tea comes in and is devoured by me like an animal while she tries to have a pleasant talk and calls Alex at his friend’s house. He shows up and actually gave me a hug and we sit around talking until almost 1:30AM.
{edit: scribbled numbers at the top of the page sum to 66 miles, so not a bad estimate for 1989!}

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12/6/1989 to 12/10/1989

12/6/1989

Maura and I went to a place called “The Station” tonight to see a Blues band made up of two ex-Yardbirds and two other guys. Very good. Skinny blonde white guy belting out deep South accent of old black man.

Four pints drunk and out to find Taco Bell way on the other side of London before it closed. At first Tube stop, Maura tries to steal my beret, so I warn her not to by picking her up and putting her down, but no! She tries again, so I pick her up and slam her down and she hurt her left knee. I felt bad.

Man, these cigarettes are mean. My whole chest hurts and I can’t breathe deep at all…no laugh.

Taco Bell was great, so we went to Burger King to get soda. Maura is in line and this English fuck starts talking to me about her and he proves right off that he is a serious wanker and ugly to boot.

Back to the flat and the others are watching “The Shining”. Into bed and everyone is amazingly tired but restless, so we just keep talking and joking on each other. Maura starts threatening to tickle me and I spazz and jump onto her bed and we start wrestling and I slam her head into the wall, but she said it didn’t hurt. I felt bad again and when the light came on, I had knocked over a wet ashtray and it went all over her clothes pile, so now we have to do laundry tomorrow.

12/7/1989

Night brings Indian food bland bland tasteless. The Calsberg was warm and flat like leftover keg party beer, so we went to the Rodane (our last resort pub) for a single pint each, which soon ended when Samantha and Cute-Or-Not showed up and we got hammered. Julie and Jill talking about how horny they are and tattoos. Julie talking about her ladybug on her upper right thigh and how she is thinking about getting another one on the left, but much…further…up. Wow. Eventually, she finds a room full of toilet paper rolls while on her way to the bathroom. She comes back to the table insisting that we hit it on the way out and so we did, after four or five pints.

On the walk back to the flat, Julie and I start horsing around and she drops to the ground and I lean over to pick her up, but WHAM! Out of nowhere I am suddenly up against a car, being held down by a Bobby without a tit on his head and he’s talking about bringing me in and it is a £20,000 fine for leaning on cars (that he pushed me into!) and going on about rapists and murderers and how I fit in with them. Julie is too drunk to get up, so another Bobby helps her up and starts going off on me and I am almost pissing my pants in fear. Eventually, Julie and the others convince the Bobbies that I am not a rapist and that we are all friends, so they let me go with a stern warning. That pretty much killed the night, but we came away with about 15 rolls of toilet paper.

12/8/1989

During the day, I took Maura’s Walkman and Rich Martin and Michael’s tapes and went to the British Museum to see Lindow Man and the Rosetta Stone. James Brown blasting as I find Lindow Man with the cord still around his neck and it was amazing to see. All this old old older than old stuff everywhere and I cannot help but smile as I walk around aimlessly and thanked three Buddhas (one of which was two-stories high!), but never found the Rosetta Stone.

Night finds us going to see three horror flicks: “Basket Case”, “Motel Hell”, and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. This was no ordinary movie house. They served beers and it was full of punks and the walls were covered in pictures, painted on cartoon-like, about movies and movie stars and all all all nuts.

12/9/1989

Maura brings me to Camden Town to see this big street market for weirdos. Weirdos is right. All kinds of drug paraphernalia and items and weirdo clothing and Tarot card readings and it was like walking through some third world country.

Into, of course, a pub. The Camden Town Free House. Stella, free jukebox, friendly people and we have five pints each. 6 o’clock and we are back in the flat, Maura working on her journal.

About two hours later, she emerges from her room and says we are going to a transvestite bar. So off we go!

On the Tube to the place, a bum sits down next to me with a half-empty bottle of Strongbow cider and asks me for 10p. I have absolutely nothing, so I ask him for some money or some of his beer. He took two mighty hits off it. I thought he was going to empty it, but he saved some and handed the bottle to me, so I downed it as he starts asking everyone on the train for some change. He comes back with nothing as our stop is approaching and I thank him for the cider and wish him luck and shake his hand and gone. Fuckin’ bums.

The transvestite bar turned out to be an Irish pub with a shitty band, unfriendly people, and bad beer. Out we go back to Camden Town to check out a Blues bar we saw earlier, but this turned out to be a biker bar, so we went back to the Free House, which is right around the corner. It was packed! Every type of person was there, all grooving out to Bob Marley & The Wailers. Love that place.

Second “last call” bell in the Free House and I am almost done with my pint and there are assorted half-dead pints on the table in front of Maura and me. Another bum comes over and slams a plastic bag with “kippers” in it down on the table, asks me for a cigarette, sits down, and starts stealing “my” half-dead beers. So I tell him that I saw them first, but I’ll split them with him, so he agrees and the table soon goes dry.

In the street, Maura comments on how she can’t believe that I am stealing bum’s beers all night, and I tell her that wherever there are bums is my home.

At the Tube stop waiting for the train, I start going off on everything and everyone and start talking to “Spanish” man who claimed “No hablo” but really looked English and I scared this chick with pink hair and her boyfriend off a bench so that Maura and I can sit down.

Back in the flat, up ‘til 3:30AM with the girls going off with girl talk and I just wanting to die because it is so graphic and gross.

12/10/1989

Suddenly it is the tenth and I am supposed to be leaving London today! Tomorrow.

In the Free House last night, I saw my Moroccan friend from Ashe’s and he came over and got a big kick out of seeing me in Camden Town and we laugh and say good-bye again. Small small world.

The silence of a Sunday night, as papers take form and “I can’t do this” is mumbled and somehow it all gets done and earns a B. Every Sunday is the same and sometimes on Monday also.

Today I cashed another damn traveler’s check ($100 = £59) and the bastard money changer shorted me £5, so I went back to the booth expecting to hear “Well, you can’t prove I didn’t give it” but didn’t even get the chance, as “the shift has changed” and he was gone. Lesson: count your money.

I decided around noon that I would leave tomorrow, so I packed the pack and even put it on and it was very comfortable and even lighter as I removed the hard-covered journals that I stole from the Coast Guard Academy and it felt really nice and tomorrow I will hitchhike to Havant Hants, Portsmouth, wherever the fuck that is.

The day of the Museum, I received a letter from Rich Martin. That was really great. Someone misses me. All goes shitty for our group and I am glad not to be there.

I just realized that this is the first day in about a month and a half that I did not have any, not even one form of alcohol. No DTs. No worries. {edit: there was a day back in Ireland, I think, but still, that was several weeks ago at this point}

Maura and Samantha staying up late writing studying smoking talking. I go to 7-11 to get smokes. All night they kept talking about Hob Nobs and chocolate, so I pick up some and find a late night chip place. In 7-11 in front of me in line is a tie (1:30AM Sunday/Monday) buying two huge bottles of Perrier and some tuna fish sandwich thing and he looked like he had been thru Hell. Behind me was the scariest evil death chick that I have ever seen. She kept getting out of the queue to get something else and when we got to the front, she ran to put stuff back. It seemed as if she had to work to breathe in, and the scary part was that she had a cross carved into the middle of her face, like Manson’s swastika. Man, she was scary. Into the chip place and the three guys working there were just going completely nuts having fun. They gave me “a lot” of chips and they were really good. Night people, mostly, are more friendly than day people.

Earlier, down in Samantha’s, all work stopped as some Rolling Stones in Morocco for Christmas special, or some such crap, came on the telly. Samantha started dreading up my hair even more, so now I have like twelve of the bastards and still have space on the back of my head for more.

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12/5/1989

Mudhoney last night. First band, The Dark Side, and then Mega City Four followed. First band was pretty lame. 2nd was OK, but not worth the Death Violence crush pit that went on. Mud Honey…

Andy, Maura, Samantha, Jill, Julie (crazy Julie), some other girl from downstairs, who is one of those girls that you can’t tell if they are cute or not, and me standing in front of the middle stage with barricade.

BOOM! Out of nowhere comes MCF and the crush just materialized with the first note and only got worse. Beer, just bought, flying everywhere and by the end of the first song only Samantha and I remained (I buffering her from a bruising, crushing wall of death-flesh) and stayed for the whole long, tiring show, getting stage dove upon and I almost in a fight with long-haired drunk who tried to use me to climb onto the stage and me elbowing him down “Fuck you” “FUCK YOU” the simultaneous grab and death stares his saying “I’m gonna hit you” and mine saying “That’ll be the last thing you do tonight” and really fucking meaning it and he backed down and every time he came near me I would punch him in the ribs.

Soon the stage diving got to be too much as Samantha went down once and me twice and both of us getting kicked in the head by combat boots and at the end I had a fat lip and bloody ears. So I would knock wannabe divers over the barricade slam on the floor and grab airbournes by the shirt and throw them honest to god down wham on the floor, more than a half dozen of these, and man was I fuckin’ pissed off and started yelling between songs that stagediving was for 15-year-olds and pussies. Show’s over. Julie at last report was piss drunk and no one knows where she is.

Home we go and within 20 mins Julie comes through the door with The Dark Side and their manager and sound guy and two girls, one very cute, and hash cigs blaze and cups of tea for everyone several times and even PB&J on peta bread. Very quiet fast (1 hour) post-gig party and to counteract the hash the manager blows a line and they are gone out the door into the night.

On the Tube coming home, it is me and four girls. Three drunk and high punks target the girls. No way, muthafucks, I’m still pissed off and pumped up and sober! Mild harassment as we four males sat facing they four females and not to claim to be a hero but just doing a saint’s job let the bastards know that they were going to do nothing. One did not get the clue and followed us off the train and claiming to be in love with Cute-Or-Not and I stop walking and wait for them to catch up with me and he sees me and knows now that I mean it and runs back towards the train. Not out of the station yet but up two long escalators and BOOM he is there bugging her again but soon leaves.

Today I found the spiciest pizza (Prima Pasta near Queensway Tube stop), Americana Hot. I looked for my next JK book as “Logic” blows but only found “On the Road”. Into Tower Records for a “Bible” tape of Faith, or 17 Seconds, or Joy or NO and came away with Closer and Unknown Pleasures. The full Bible.

Postcards wrote and off to see where Jack the Ripper ripped. What a poor depressing area. Death and murders going on to this day. Bums sleeping under parking garage lip and it would be very easy to “lose your shit” and go totally psychotically crazy living here…even today. Doomed out old abandoned school rising up out of junk field with light blue night sky and low white puffy clouds racing by…even the clouds did not want to be here…and the guide tells us that last month a bum was killed inside so I made Samantha take a picture of it because it was spookier than the spookiest thing Hollywood could ever dream up because this was real and Jack lived not three blocks from it and you could still feel the coldness loneliness mad craziness violence of his atrocities.

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12/03/1989

12/03/1989

Walk in Hyde Park today. Cold Day Grey cold and lonely. I have a London cold and am completely stuffed up. What am I supposed to expect would happen? More beer than food. But this is slowing down as I am spending far too much cash.

Hyde Park with bare, black bark, bough bent trees, wilting from centuries of cold destruction, would make a very nice cemetery. I looked for the Peter Pan statue that was erected overnight as a surprise for the kids at a playground, now closed down due to vandalism and too many years of use, but could not find him. Saw Victoria and an amazing elven inn carved out of a great old dead tree 15’ high with little elves and animals painted and carved into it. You just do not see things like that in America, but I find day by day that USA is the place to be whoever whatever you are or want to be.

Tonight’s dinner at Fatso’s Pasta Joint. £2.95 all you can eat. Three bowls, two Cokes and one beer. I fell in love with this very cute blonde girl who I even caught looking at me in interest more than a few times and I do not feel bad about this because I had a dream last night in which I came home 2 weeks early to surprise everyone and found that Megen was seeing another.

Maura had a beer at Fatso’s with a flag of blue with 12 gold stars in a circle and I could not figure it out as it was brewed in France and was written in French. It had a 1992 on it twice.

Back at the flat, I learned thru the telly that 1992 and the flag are symbols of the EEC. 1992 being the target date for full flung single mono-political open market Europe. Propaganda beer, but an OK idea. They are moving too fast towards that goal and many people are not for it, as it is kindda a totalitarianistic goal with total rule down to what to feed the cows. Too much control.

“The Outsiders” on BBC1. Emilio Estevez plays Two-Bit Matthews (2 Bit Matts?). Beer guzzling loud rowdy.

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12/01/1989

Slow slow stillness leads me not to write. Comfort. Beer and all just non-stop. Last night Maura, Samantha and Maura’s flatmate Sarah, and I went out and only reached 3 pints maybe when Sam went to the toilet and threw her guts up. Maura followed when we reached the flat. Great beer, tho. Stella something or other, from Amsterdam, as all great things point to.

Boom shanka boom is the song for street walking and tonight even. “Daylight people ought to go home!”

In this crazy Frog and Firkin pub, a gay guy steals my beret, musses my hair, and Sarah feels like shit, so home we go. No tolerance to be found, but I am out with girls night after night and man for some guy talk! “Who is the hottest?” “Samantha” and all all all.

We (Maura, Sarah, and I) went to St. Paul’s today. Amazing. The main dome is about a mile high and has a painting of a higher level with angels and God playing in it. Great.
St. Paul's

I saw Fugazi the other night. Crushed in the crush. But eventually to the stage and my two (get that, two) souls to save from the crush of the pit. Two girls. I put all I had into not letting them feel the pressure of the crushing pit, but that was a kick fuckin’ ass show. And, now Friday, on Monday to see Mudhoney.

All drunk now. I saw Rich M. across the Ashes tonight. Hair all all, smoking what could have been a clove or jibber or Camel, and The Cure, New Order, Smiths, Siouxisie and Talking Heads played all night. I now know that I am no alchy as my last pound went to the jukebox and not the bartender’s boss, but I did steal this dude’s beer that he just let sit there, and even after confrontation I passed it off and left half of it dead laying there dead on the bar and left the place just because the second bell had rung, and I was too and still am drunk and there was no more music and he practically causing a scene.

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11/27/1989

London is a boring and expensive place as Maura and all of her friends have a paper due on Keats and all of them are going nuts. We went one night to pub crawl Soho. Many many yuppie pubs, most with signs like “No soiled clothes or shoes”, so that leaves me out. Drinking pints as fast as they, Maura and Samantha, can drink half glasses. Into this one crazy place, they go first, and I get frisked by some goon, and he getting pissed off and me also. Winds up he taking my Swiss Army knife and, man, did I kill my pint. And theirs, also, as Motorhead blasting and punks everywhere. Out into the street and to another, the last, and we actually got seats. And they with their half glasses soon getting hit on by two “rugby players”. So, I like the gentleman bum I am get up and get half glass of Guinness, as my head is swimming by now. Come back to table and kill it in one hit. And rugby boys getting even closer, so I go to the gents and come back ready to go, so we go and howling thru the streets, just totally going off.

Next night, I slept most of the day and did the dishes.

Sunday night they still doing papers. I bummed £10 from Maura to go get drunk for everyone in the flat building. I meet a Moroccan, who tells me for no apparent reason about how his wife fooled around/fucked his buddy, an American Viet Nam vet, and all all all all, and his Saudi friend, who hates Saudis. Fun night, as I started the musical entertainment off with depressing Cure.

Today sleeping past noon and actually saw the sun come up as I couldn’t fall asleep. Listening to Michael’s tape and posting 12 postcards and 4 letters. In Ashe’s, drinking a pint and eating some kind of crazy Arabic food. Catching up on my journal. My hair is starting to dread. Ever notice that baby cries do not have an accent? They all sound exactly the same.

Samantha and I visited the Tate Gallery a few days back and I saw the honest to god original of “Metamorphosis of Narcissus” by Dali. So smoothly the shapes and colors blended together, and it was much better than any print of it that I have ever seen.
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We also talked of the lame style of black lines on a white background with blue or red squares, and how Warhol knew that this was shit art and his soup cans are just a big joke to make fun of that abstract style {edit: see Mondrian}, and about how art was being led down hill because of architecture, and we made fun of modern sculptures by saying that the temperature/humidity meter was far more interesting, and saw several great works of art and just about all of Tuner’s shit because she has to do a paper on it. Heading back, the Tube station has copies of famous paintings on the walls and one was “Metamorphosis of Narcissus” and we laughed.

Tonight saw me going to an underground show, a secret show, for a band called Loop. Man, they sucked. Picture a long haired Robin Hood looking guy singing and playing lead guitar while Frank Zappa plays bass beside him. The drummer bit, as did the rhythm guitar. And the average age of this “secret” show was about 18. I stayed for 3 1/2 songs and had to leave. In the Tube, a bum called me over and we started singing “We all live in a yellow submarine” and I am getting very good at causing people to check their wallets by walking just too close.

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11/23/1989

Scotsman lost, probably still in the Hacienda on the second tier looking for “pussy”. I now hungover in sloppy OK place waiting for breakfast and the bus station across the street where bum was sitting next to me shaking too much from whatever bums shake from to even light a cigarette.

11:30 and the adventure continues. Very ugly punk girl wearing complete “I want to get fucked” outfit but butt-fucking ugly and a tooth out in front and even handcuffs hanging from skinny black belt.

I could dig being a bum with only worry being to stay alive, but too much violence and alcohol and man I do not want those shakes.

Nottingham girl did not show up and I waited for her until 1:00. Lesson: trust no one. On train to London Maura and this must be the bumpiest train ever built and 3:30 sunset first sunset I’ve seen since America. The sky is amazingly trippy. Three distinct layers of white clouds on blue with big like quarter sized orange ball of flame now under the bottom layer of clouds. Plane trails crossing and growing wider. England is beautiful. It isn’t flat, but it isn’t hilly. It’s kindda lumpy. Sky around sun now going pink and Jane’s Addiction blasting my brains out on way to London. Whoever came up with this sky is a genius. Even tho the sun is only about an inch from the horizon the rest of the sky is still daytime blue. Large cloud bank, dark and threatens not rain but to actually fall out of the sky and crush everything, looking very much like snowcapped mountains. Land growing hilly, trees bare and grazing sheep all blocking my sunset.

I signed a petition today for the ambulance staff. I guess there is some problem with the Govt.

Sun’s back and deep orange on bottom going to yellow on top. Bottom starting to no longer be round, but breaking up into little pieces like that logo I saw somewhere. Bahamas?

Into London and the Tube Underground whatever subway conquered because if you can kill a NY subway system, you can take anything else. Interviewed upon exiting and soon to Maura’s flat, but she wasn’t home. No one was. Into The Ashe’s Pub after phone call to make sure and I’m going to work my way down the bar on this large amount of change coins in my pocket. Three mates call me over and invite me to sit down with them. The further I go, the more friendly the people get, and one tells me of a hotel to be ripped down that I can stay in for free. Sounds really cool. Right, second left and the name I can’t remember and I think that they are going to tear it down. Mary Gross sits drinking to my right with her bunch of “yuppie” friends, the collegiate type of fucks and another bunch to the left. Chinese man at the casino machine ever since I got here and probably will be for a while. And maybe I’ll get a job out of staying at this derelict hotel. Maybe. And “It must be your lucky day.” And actually it has been pretty good. What would have happened if the Nottingham girl and her long red hair and ultra red lips had shown up? That would just have been kicks. Truth is found in derelict hotels.

America is Western Civilization. Everything else looks and smells and sounds just like it.

Back in Ashes talking to 36 year old long-haired weirdo before writing letters and all to the folks back home, blown out in two pints. Two letters, 45 mins and going and I cannot believe I am in London! Where?!? 36 year old tells me of smoke and his habit and drinking and gone and soon enough I am paying so off we go to see London pub scene. Next pub down, he with long hair and stubble, me with pack on back and all, just walk thru as this is like some kind of living hell for road scum and street smackster. And they playing chess and sipping sherry! Out into the street free pint partially done, but up it comes in his hand, as Jah really does love and off we go, he talking more and more of smack and hookers. Into another pub to talk of LSD acid, and me still buying, as he has all of 50p and talking of hooker friends so out we go and he saying that if I don’t find Maura, I will smoke some with him. Nerves on end in me as fear grows and I must try one more call to Maura to save my life, and he looking for hooker friends with smack, and the phone rings rings rings and is finally answered. Me pleading and begging to be saved to some girl in the building, which has all of one phone, but an agreement “ring on 2”. I am saved and say good-bye and even now he is still on pavement street or arrested once more.

{historical note for context: November 23, 1989 was Thanksgiving Day in the US}

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11/22/1989

Up at 8:30 for a “continental breakfast” (eggs sunnyside up, toast, coffee, cornflakes, OJ and bacon) and out to find world famous Mathew Street, home of the Cavern Club and a lot of crazy Beatles rip-off stores. Mathew Street is like a back alley. On the site of the Cavern is a mall. Where the Cavern eventually moved to is its replacement, The R@volution Club, and it looks to be a real dive. I went into the official Beatles store and bought cards for the two Mikes, my brother and my other brother, back home. Mike’s is a postcard of The Beatle Store, as I already got him another card. Michael’s is a real card with something The Beatles did, called Trippy the Bear. I wonder who ripped off who?

On the train to Manchester, here we go, boyo! Finally, I’ll see some England in daylight countryside. In the same day, I will see the beginnings of The Beatles and the end of Joy Division, Ian’s grave. Tarbox New Order/Joy Division tape playing and tape player acting up. Fuck off, Ian! This is my adventure.

Blue and white sky, Sun shining hot through train window, trees still green-leaved, smoke stacks vomiting forth white and seven reactor nuke plant (what a strange thing to see here). Houses everywhere. England is overpopulated.

Ticket to get OUT of the station, unpack, dismount, rummage. It is raining lightly or snowing and I start walking to the town hall tourist info place to ask not where can I sleep, but where is the Hacienda (New Order’s dance club) and to my surprise they know exactly where it is. Five blocks and I am there, but it is closed, even the pub. “FAC51 The Hacienda” reads a tiny plaque stone block in the wall and the big blacked out windows. I take a rubbing of the plaque with this very pen but I’m going to find a pencil or some charcoal and do it properly and twice for Tarbox and myself.

Very nice city, friendly and helpful, old and new meet and the result is quite nice. “Manchester: A Nuclear Free City” and a dove on signs around all over the city. Very nice and much nicer than any place I’ve been yet. I’ve decided to stay up all night, as there are not many B&Bs in the area and the hotels are all posh. I guess I won’t get drunk tonight either!

All checked in safe and sound at YMCA after drawing a rough rough sketch of Hacienda for Boxtar. All around Hacienda signs of Joy Division are found. Large flyer poster reads “Heart and Soul, small green flyer has a big bold Joy and Digital Underground in quotes and still big. But how the fuck do you get inside?

Nice bar lady giving help with money explanations and change and info and laughing with the boys: a Rasta with English accent and four white friends. Seventeen fags for £1.50 with Benson & Hedges as the strongest. Passing train shakes whole building and I am glad I did not get a room here, City Road Inn. Picture of map of Ireland with metallic blue ocean surrounding and I wonder why there are still bombings and killings and six month old babies being murdered, for what does a baby know of politics? And if you could explain politics to a baby, it would probably laugh. Or maybe even cry.

Out in the streets is a TV/stereo store advertising satellite dishes. Eight more channels! A whole eight. What? And the Government owns the air waves. TVs have only six buttons, so I guess they have to buy a new telly with the dish. And more deaths. Eleven English Marines are dead in another IRA bombing, just came over the BBC1 News at 6. Why? No need for death. I am really losing respect for the Irish and my own ancestors. There are actually songs about some of my long dead murdering relations.

Drunks and I am glad to have found this pub, as there are not even a third of the number of pubs here in the secondary capital as in any small city in Ireland Eire Death.

(Letter to Tarbox)
Manchester is a really friendly city. Big and happening and beautiful and the best place I’ve been yet. Come, definitely. I can’t figure out why Joy Division was so angry and depressed if they really lived here, but that was years ago. There are wonderful pieces of art in the parks and they love to laugh and poke fun at, but no harm is meant. Come see. Be. You’ll love it. Take a daytrip to Liverpool, but that is all it will take.

Oh, this crazy nut Scotsman, into music and knows loves Joy Division waiting for Hacienda to open across the street, talking of the new way of music, electronics. He carries a basic studio with him at all times, in a case that looks like it could fit a guitar, and talking about women and boy oh boy he is a blast. 35 and knows all, including life “don’t mean a thing” because, as Jack just told me last night, God is everything and I am nothing.

Back at his Holiday Inn £90 room a night room. If they only knew what they let in! Reading some December issue of a music magazine and he is listening thru headphones to disks, and note the “k” and not “c”, of sampling and shit he has done. And the TV is on and a bar stocked with beer and harder stuff and pool played, two games, let’s go to that club. Carrying about twenty pounds of paper and all all all all and now in shower after playing me some bassy stuff he put together this afternoon, god knows where, with Nazi and Jew movie on and talking as he showers, and he will look even more nuts without his stubbly beard. And soon to the long-awaited club and he paid for a cab to carry us two blocks with his gear as this is the first pub he fell into as if fate for this night had nothing to do with bringing us together; two music lovers. He has traveled the world and is into drugs and has acid but claims he is an atheist, but how can he be? And I have told him that he is going beyond, but his one drawback is all he wants to do is fuck, despite his wife and kids and shaves now, as I write, in the £90 room. We will dream the same dreams even tho his bed is the same as mine but bigger and nicer and the room smells better than mine in the YMCA across the street.

Empty hollow dark Truth lies or waits by The Hacienda on a Tuesday night. Five video screens. Beautiful sex girls pop to overdone bass and even I at 21 feel old. Death swings twice, armor and bong of aliens in the wind of electric fan and Death is —- {edited: was bumped and strongly warned by big bouncer that writing was not allowed}

Thirty-five year old Scotsman wondering what we paid for, got in and he the payer! All I want is a 33 Old Latrobe. And the young girls smell oh so sweet. New Order under tunes of all music. Beat Bip de Bop. There she is. Standing next to me. Her long red hair and traveled all they British and note British {edit: unreadable} within 5 mins to go to Nottingham with her in the morning and me already piss drunk. Gone is the 35 year old and hello 22 and all night we hang together just talking and her trying to get me even more drunk with evil death wine and shot/slammers. Off we go, she now friends with the bouncer, STONE, who stopped me from writing and gone with me and another lad to THE underground Rasta lounge of the North and we go, dime bag bought in under 5 mins from 50 year old Ratsa English and spliff a mile long. I can still feel. And so god damn drunk. What time is breakfast and 12:30 really 11:30 to bus station to meet Nottingham girl. Too drunk and high even to kiss. Burning sensation of fresh pot, good and off we go. Praise all to Jah.

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11/21/1989

This, my friends, is where the real adventure starts. One minute I’m on a bus looking around and the next I’m walking around downtown Liverpool at 6AM, dropped off on the side of the road. No map and nothing is open. Irish money in my pocket. Boy oh boy am I lost!

Everything is really BIG and serious, like the biggest, oldest inner-city university you can think of, only bigger and, for all I know, it stretches forever.

Now I have to wait for a cop and ask him what’s going on. It’s so cool. And chilly, too.

OK, Toto, I’m not in Kansas anymore. While looking at a beautiful Jaguar, an even better Lotus drives by.

Walking the streets and whatever Captain’s Walk walking mall type deal looking for tourist info center, whose signs just stop passersby look at me once in shock, twice in fear that I am maybe a mugger, and third in shock again.

The sky grows bluer and lighter and I have already seen a couple of things I want to do. But as it gets lighter, the temperature gets colder.

Imagine falling into the back of a twenty dollar bill with the people walking the streets in front of the White House. Imagine that happening and the colors stayed the same fake green and “white”. That is Liverpool with statues on top of pillar 300 feet up. It seems that their only two claims to fame are Pirates and The Beatles.

Oh my god, only thirty minutes ‘til nine! Then the tourist place and the money exchangers will be open. For now, tho, I’ll sit in this mall on this bench enjoying the warmth for as long as the security guard will allow me. In this waking period, I have done a lot and there will be more as I plan on being in Manchester tonight. I am so tired and hungry and there is a little dive coffee place with cheap breakfasts not 50 yards away, but I’m sure they don’t take Irish pounds or US dollars.

English pounds suck even worse than Irish ones. $100 = £62.25. Ten of this went straightaway to a “hotel”’s B&B plan. This should prove to be real nice.

I’ve been dying for pancakes or waffles so I went into Mickey Dee’s for some hot cakes and sausage – but they don’t have them! What kindda place…

In Ireland, you have to pay for a book of matches at a bar. In England, you have to pay for a packet of ketchup! What kindda place…

A seven hour “nap” and my first hot, powerful shower since leaving the US! Amazing how a hot shower can make you feel so great and alive. Some how I keep falling into La-de-da places, this a pizza place but unlike any pizza place I have ever been in before. Dimly lit, really nice décor, etc. (Rich, Grolsch is the only good beer.) Woman next to me ordered a half-rack of ribs and could not believe the size, and neither could I, with corn cob and salad and enough food for three people on one plate. The radio or whathaveyou plays a bit too loud and every song is by an American band! Let’s hear some English or even European or maybe Australian bands!

The best part of traveling alone is alcohol. How do I know when I am drunk if I can’t bounce it off of someone? How do I know that I’m not just wrapped up in thought because no one talks to a lonely traveler who looks as I do, with crazy just combed with a towel hair and a big, black army coat and a devil beard. That’s why on the second night of The Cure at Great Woods I did so much of even harder if you will drugs pot and shrooms just without end for the whole lonely amazing show. Because I was alone and did not realize how gone I was until I got with friends again.

Finally! A song by The Police! But after they were big.

Space capsule church high on a hill looms in front of me walking night university streets of Liverpool Dump Beatle-home. Pound coin as good to me as penny spent given to young artistic-looking beggar who knew Boston and the Truth of heartache. Yound black-haired girl leather jacketed tells me all of “Nutin’” when asked what to do in this Northern Hole.

Oh, sleepless night, leave me to myself. Lead me to my friends in dreams and Truths.

I can’t believe that I am in England, alone, posing as Post Warrior and suffering from all kinds of withdrawals. Liverpool is such a lovely town when you’re the only one in it at 6 in the morning.

I believe that if you search hard enough, Truth can be found in England. They are very critical and tell exactly bluntly what they think of a subject. An ad for a recently opened art gallery asks just Joe Fuck Shopper to come by and criticize! It is a confusing place, tho. Four, count them, four different types of stamps! I don’t even want to know about pay phones yet.

Older women walking in and shopping on streets model themselves after the Queen or Thatcher. Older men are very serious and stern faced with backs so straight that they almost lean backwards. After their generation, no one gives a shit and is just living life or going thru the motions of it.

The Irish and the English are, obviously of course, two different gene pools, but that comes as a shock when you see how different they are. Irish older men have very definite signs of alcohol abuse in their worn out faces , which sag and hang and look like they’ve been thru years of worry. English older men have plump faces with very few wrinkles. In general, English women are ugly. But occasionally you see a beauty. And there is nothing in between. Of course, tho, the beauties are probably Irish. Facial structure is opposite. That is where the Irish have concave noses, the English have convex. Very strange.

This picture is roughly the veins and walls of my Liverpool room. It is actually much smaller than this, with yellow walls and flesh-colored pipes, which really do look like veins staring at me from the other wall. This is the view from laying in bed. The whole room is about 10’ by 6’ and actually has the classic view of brick wall outside the little window next to (but not shown in the picture as I ran out of paper but really did want people to see it) the sink. I guess I have to work on my 3D!

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11/20/1989

The night’s dream: The whole Board, plus people from my past, all traveling around metropolitain Groton/New London in a huge van/cube van/camper van thing, drinking, doing drugs, having sex, and fighting cops.

My god! On the train to Dublin after flooding night morning rain sitting reading thinking lonling the Sun Almighty Sun busts out and the clouds grow white and blue sky and to my right is an Irish pot o’gold rainbow. I have seen the sun! I know that the world still lives on but the further north I roll the darker and greyer and uglier it gets. But that few scant moments of light sky blue sun rainbow lift me up up up and beyond these storm clouds from Hell!

(Letter to Megen, 1:40PM)
M-
God fucking damn I’m lonely and bored on this train to Dublin. I’m bored of reading and logging my thoughts and writing and the batteries in my piece of shit Walkman just died, like my soul. She’s lost controooolll. Before I slip into obliv-Ian, I would kill to give you one more long, deep kiss. I miss you and see you everywhere.
I just left my relatives in this tiny backwards pissant backroad not even on the map town. One of my “cousins” owns a pub and they got me hammered. I look like shit and feel it, too, so no one will even ever talk to me unless it is travel questions, like the latest “Is this the Dublin train?” because I guess I look like a traveler.
I wrote this poem, if you will, in a pub in Galway, alone. {Reader, see Quays poem on 11/17/1989, if you want. I am not writing it here again.} Murphy’s is another kind of stout.
Everything is so green here and I finally caught glimpse of blue sky and sun, as it is always grey.
When my relatives started getting drunk, they talked much faster and it did not sound like English and I could not understand them, so they stopped talking.
I dream of home and can see everyone. I am about three days ahead of where I should be because I have to see my friend Maura in London real soon or I’ll go fuckin’ to pieces.
Rich gave me some crazy stone and his crystal neck-hanger-holder-whammyshamalammy to hold it in and it keeps me relatively sane. I am 5 hours ahead of you guys so I have to wait to figure out where people are and then I grab the stone thru my shirts and layers and just hold on a picture them and I can actually see them, like I saw Relics in the basement last night.
Come get me.
In Galway, I hooked up with some potheads and they got me baked on hash. I thought it was resin at the time. They roll jibbers that are like three papers long and pretty thick because the shit is so shitty it takes that much to get you high.
I eat once a day, dinner, and that usually is not much.
By the time this reaches you, I should be in Manchester, England.
See you soon.
PS…Dublin sucks. I’m already waiting for a bus to a ferry to Liverpool, putting me six days ahead of schedule.

Dublin could not be any lamer if it tried. Changed cheque into cash and straightaway to the ferry people. Two pints in The Harp and small talk with some normal-type young guy. I actually saw a mirror. Oh man, I’m looking pretty sick.

Into the ferry bus train station and a pumped up postcard to Dolph. In walks a 19 year old girl with a white kindda bridal wedding type hat on. Not a veil, but, a strangely formal hat. Compliment the hat and we are instant friends, sharing smokes and complaints about the Republic. Crystal blue perfectly rounds eyes and short hair, overalls and Doc Martins. She lives in Belfast and compares the two cities. No comparison. Smokers cough of Hell passed off as pneumonia, she reads poetry and listens to Cocteau Twins and Pink Floyd. Smoke head? I don’t dare ask. Brown leather jacket, beat to shit and old is all she has to keep her warm and she reads poetry and buys my last stamps from e to mail postcards to her friends back home, where she is bound.

What seems like days and weeks and years is only two and a half hours and I am on the top layer of 2x layer bus, front left seat and the adventure continues. Man and son sit very rear. Son is having a lesson on money. “90 and a half.” But soon Pops grows bored and asks if the kid wants to go to sleep but like all kids, no.

This is so sick! 40’ in the air on roads of city design! Every bump is exaggerated. I hope the boat isn’t like this.

All the crazy professional traveling youngsters are here. They search kicks and I search Truth. The difference.

From what I have seen, these boats are no Cross Island Sound Cape Henlopen toys. These things mean business. Aircraft carrier size!

Trendy fuckers. “Daddy, send more cash. We make friends everywhere”, said with dizzy smile and eyes slightly out of focus and head swaying back and forth.

Luxury Liner comfort barge. Not Love, but Stranger Boat. This thing is incredible and for only £20! Large safety zone buffer areas surround each person or clique. Walkmen breakout and books amongst the singles and I am the only one writing. Pub rug, comfortable seats and couches around the walls and tables and a pleasant lighting, and warm! Hanging like loop-de-loop curtains mark the outside wall and pleasant voiced lady calling “Tommy Such and So, telephone call. Please report to the information desk.” Shiny like mirror metal stainless on ceiling for décor.

Holy shit! Jack just walked by! I am getting closer by the day to finding it, smoking butt like JK on way to just opened ship bar.

Irish women come in three flavors: Beautiful, cute, and stone ugly.

Meeting older people is easier than meeting the Youth because age brings Truth.

Watching the Irish-French 4-year old cute little spoiled girl go nuts on sugar and the already tired parents drinking pints grow even more tired but by god they keep giving her more sugar and wonder why they can’t control her.

The Youth safety margins filled in with older folks as time passed and we are under way.

Mother daughter and her son speak of dead relatives and eldest goes off when she hears I’m from CT. Long drawn out story of other daughter in Fairfield County w/ husband landscaping for Paul Newman and the Irish mother of the young sugar daughter visited Uncasville. All from spreading joy in the form of 20 free smokes to the daughter of the elder mother and even as far as matches to a cigar smoking horny father groping the mother while the son tries to remain blind to it. Oh, what that must be doing to his young head. Elder mother just gave me a sandwich and, joy! Truth and all comes full circle.

The boat begins to reel and I can’t wait to see the drunk’s reaction!

Bitter. What is this bitter feeling I have for people involved in living their own lives? Where did it come from and why? Loneliness? Spend spend spend on beer and things they can’t afford and video games even worse and more violent than those in America and drawn to the telly and food if it is available but why? £2.50 on a cheeseburger for a stuffed 10 year old, who, by the way, took two bites and threw it out! He told me he’s been smoking since he was 5 but changed his story and said that he had a cigarette which he showed me and said it was for a 17 year old friend who was stowed away upstairs. Bad, bad kids.

3:40AM and JK and party just got fresh pints of lager. I, eating a sandwich, realize that I do not need sleep. Christ, if Kerouac was Irish I would swear that this guy in front of me was him! Slumped over on couch and you would swear Ginsberg was sitting next to him, but isn’t.

In Wales, en route to Liverpool! 4AM. Bus driver is very skinny youngerish guy drinking tea. How did I with drug helmet get thru customs without a glance and innocent old man gets stopped? Kerouac and Ginsbergette are on this bus. All other backpacker trendies are going to London. Fuckers. Lame-os.

The Moon! I can see stars!! My god, am I happy.

Holyhead is the same as Ireland.

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