The Tour Diary page replaces the News page for a while

by Richard Davidson

Upcoming show schedule

October U.S. Tour Diary
Page 1: Wed, Sept 29 through Sat, Oct 9
Page 2: Sun, Oct 10 through Wed, Oct 20
Page 3: Thurs, Oct 21 through Wed, Oct 27


Page 1
Day 1: Wed, Sept 29: Red Bull Might Give You Wings, but It Doesn’t Hammer for Shit
Day 2: Thurs, Sept 30: Aaron and the Four-dollar Belt
Day 3: Fri, Oct 1: Driving and More Driving
Day 4: Sat, Oct 2: Natural Wonders
Day 5: Sun, Oct 3: 3048 miles and the end of I-90
Day 6: Mon, Oct 4: "We got your fuckin' club right here!"
Day 7: Tues, Oct 5: All the Young Dudes
Day 8: Wed, Oct 6: The One and Only Jimmy Carter
Day 9: Thurs, Oct 7: "My vote is psshaw!"
Day 10: Fri, Oct 8: Falling Apart
Day 11: Sat, Oct 9: Back on Track
Detour: Drunk and partying in NYC

Wednesday, Sept 29
Red Bull Might Give You Wings, but It Doesn’t Hammer for Shit

Rick and Richard load the van
Rick and Richard loading the van. Note all the Red Bull in the upper left! Red Bull donated 10 cases for the tour. Thank you Red Bull!
Well folks, Radio Nationals is on the road. Well, not quite. Jared, Aaron, and Richard are driving across the country to meet Rick, who will already be on the East Coast. The three of us left Seattle on Wednesday at 8am to get in a full day of daylight driving. Did I mention we’re not morning people? 8am? But we did it. The van is packed without any room to spare, we hit the road, and we got to sit in morning traffic in Seattle. Fun.

At our first gas stop, we learned that a full can of Red Bull does not double as a hammer. Let’s just say that I’m glad we brought baby wipes. Although now the van smells like baby’s ass. And Red Bull. But I won’t go as far as blaming the tired lead singer for anything.

At our second gas stop in Haugan, Montana, we learned that Grandma Frida died at 1:20pm. How do we know this? Well, Richard went in to buy some water, and while at the counter, a woman walked in and told the cashier the sad news about grandma. Everyone started to cry. Richard held on to his bottled water. Expressed his condolences. Started to back away when the cashier actually started to ring him up. “One dollar and thirty-seven cents please” came out between the tears and sobbing. Richard didn’t quite know what to do. I mean, such an impersonal transaction at the counter seemed a bit awkward less than a minute after finding out someone died and everyone is still crying. But he paid, again said he was sorry to hear the news, and slowly backed up and left.

Jared with Red Bull and Baby Wipes
Red Bull and baby wipes. Don't ask.
We realized this morning that we’re playing 22 shows in 26 days. Absolutely awesome. Now we’re playing Van Halen “Unchained” while Aaron is sleeping. Sweet butt-rock dreams Aaron!

Thursday, Sept 30
Aaron and the Four-dollar Belt

We got gas. Aaron restocked the cooler of Red Bull. But he left the back doors to the van open. We drove away. Guitars spilled out the back of the van. Adventure #1 for the day complete.

We pulled off I-90 to see the Little Big Horn Memorial in Montana. Jared has an incredible tattoo of Sitting Bull on his arm, and anytime he's close to the battlefield, it's only appropriate that he stop.

Aaron at the Badlands
Aaron at the Badlands.
Continuing our tourist adventures, we just had to stop at the Badlands in South Dakota. But knowing we're on a tight schedule to get to Boston, we took the po' man's tour of the place. Before we got to the entrance gate where they charge a fee, we pulled the van off the side of the road and got out. Aaron was not disappointed (see photo).

The first presidential debate was tonight. We decided that we wanted to watch it on TV instead of just listening to it on the radio. Add to that the fact that Jared and Richard couldn't think of a better place for Aaron than Wall Drug. He bought a belt for $4 and we settled into a bar across the street and asked them to change the TV channel to watch the debate. Let's just say that we were the only Kerry supporters in the house. The bartender could give a shit about politics (although she referred to our next president as "Stupid Kerry"--tip went down) and most people thought we were nuts for pulling over and being all excited to watch the presidential debates. Kerry rocked the house, we ate, got back on the road, and Richard proceeded to run over a steel-belted radial truck tire in the middle of the highway (it was pitch dark, couldn't see it). After close inspection and finding nothing wrong, we continued across South Dakota and into the biggest thunderstorm any of us have ever been in... but we kept going.

Richard with groupie
Richard with South Dakota groupie.
Friday, Oct 1
Driving and More Driving

We drove through the thunderstorm in South Dakota and far into Minnesota until 5:30am. Pulled off at a rest stop when we were tired and slept in the van for two hours sitting up. Note to self, never sleep within 50 ft of Jared; the man snores louder than he sings.

So we've got a wireless internet connection in the van. This means we're never out of touch with our booking agent. As we approached Chicago, she sent us an email asking us to mail some promotional materials to a radio station in Chicago in advance of an on-air interview we have at the station in two weeks when we're back in the windy city for a show. Mail them stuff? Sha! We're heading in now! So we dropped off the stuff and guess what? We dialed in the station as we were driving away and the DJ was mentioning "how nice we were" on the air. Then he played a song from the CD. Our booking agent, Julianne, would be proud. Nice.

Saturday, Oct 2
Natural Wonders

Driving down I-90 outside Fultonville, NY. We had every intention of staying in Syracuse, 105 miles back down the road, but it's Parent Appreciation Weekend AND there's a game at Syracuse University and as a result, there isn't a hotel room to be found within, well, 105 miles. At this point, we're debating whether to drive all the way to Boston tonight, but alas, that's just asking for trouble. We're going to drive for another hour and then just find the next motel off the highway.

Today we went to Niagara Falls. What more can be said about how majestic the waterfalls are? Not much, so let's concentrate on the completely fake, nasty Playboy Bunny that was touring the falls. What a contrast: the falls=natural, the bunny=unnatural.

Niagara Falls      Playboy Bunny
Aaron at Niagara Falls      Red Bull in Van

Sunday, Oct 3
3048 miles and the end of I-90

Remember that tire Richard ran over in South Dakota? (see Thursday, Oct 1st for a refresher if needed) Well, turns out it knocked our muffler loose. We finally figured out what the clanking noise was and lo and behold, Aaron and a bit of metal wire put that muffler right back in place. Thanks Aaron!

The end of I-90
The end of I-90. Seattle to Boston. 3048 miles. No sleep til... um... BOSTON!
Ooh, ooh, ooh. Get this... We drove ALL OF I-90. All of it. 3048 miles. Got on at exit 1 in Seattle and got off at exit 1 in Boston. Well, okay it's not really called exit 1 in Boston, but allow me the hyperbole for Christ's sake.

Today is kinda our first day of "working." Kinda? Wait a sec... we busted ass today. Made flyers and posters and distributed them all over Boston promoting our Oct 10th show at T.T. the Bears. And guess what? Jesse Sykes, also from Seattle, was playing tonight at T.T.'s. We swung by to watch the show and hang with some fellow Seattle-ites 3000 miles away from home. Jesse and the band put on a wonderful show as always. They drive to Kentucky, we drive to NYC today. Ah, life on the road.

Sunday night we stayed at the most amazing place. One of Aaron's friends, Linda, owns this huge house outside Cambridge that is under COMPLETE renovation. It was a duplex and Linda is converting it back to a single family house. Wow. She's right in the middle of renovations--we're talking no private bathrooms type-thing. Anyway, last night, her friend Chris put on some John Trubee comedy sketches from the 1970s, and let's just say that we now know where the Jerky Boys and Crank Yankers stole their routines from...

Richard with Jesse Sykes
Richard and Jesse Sykes. But not in Seattle, rather in Boston.
Oh, and thanks to Linda for giving Jared the opportunity to sleep in a bed for the first time since we left! Wait, his OWN bed in his OWN room... that last sentence sounded baaad.

Oh, part II, we haven't mentioned Mount St. Helen's yet... we leave town and the fucker is gonna blow. Aaron's family lives in Kalama, WA right in the evacuation red zone. Aaron doesn't have a cellphone and we won't let him use ours to check in... wait, just kidding... his family is safe and mostly concerned with how a St. Helen's eruption will affect hunting season...

Aaron just found his voice signing (screaming?) Metallica's "Battery" from "Master of Puppets." We're on our way to pick up RIck in Connecticut. Red Bull.


Monday, Oct 4
"We got your fuckin' club right here!"

Radio Nationals
Reunited and it feels so good.
"We're getting the band back together!" That's right folks, Radio Nationals is a complete unit again. We picked up Rick in Connecticut on our way from Boston to NYC. Ugh, we have a ton of shit. The van went from large to super-sized. We're not as concerned as lava flowing from Mount St. Helens as we are the crap flowing from the back of the van. Just don't try to stretch out.

Tons of crap in the van.
Lava from the van engulfs Aaron.
Today Aaron saw New York City for the first time. His reaction? "Holy shit." The buildings just kept going and going.

"We got your fuckin' club right here!" You see, Phil from Jesse Sykes's band highly recommended that we get a club for the van while it's parked in NYC, so that was our first stop in Brooklyn. Jared went in to an auto parts store and asked if they sold the club and the New Yorker behind the counter greeted us with the "fuckin' club" shout-out in full Brooklyn accent and hand motions. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Aaron ordering his first slice of genuine NYC pizza.
Aaron contemplating his first slice of genuine NYC pizza.

Aaron and Manhattan
Aaron contemplating Manhattan
Let's not forget that our first show of the tour was today. We played at Southpaw in Brooklyn with Robbie Fulks. What a great way to start the tour. The crowd and club loved us... shouted out for encores, invited us back for more shows. The club even put a Radio Nationals sticker up on their wall of fame--an honor not normally bestowed upon a band playing there for the first time.

After the show we drove over to Brooklyn Heights for the stunning night views of Manhattan.

Oh, the band raises a special toast to Moe at Southpaw. He knows what we're talking about... thanks man.

Tuesday, Oct 5
All the Young Dudes

Nothing happened today... unless you count the fact that we played a show with Ian Hunter from Mott the Fucking Hoople at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ. Once Bitten, Twice Shy. Cleveland Rocks. All the Young Dudes. Nuf said.





More photos

Rick and Aaron at Southpaw      All the Young Dudes.      Aaron and Jared with Ian Hunter
Rick and Aaron get ready for the
Southpaw show.
All the young dudes. Rockin' out with
Ian Hunter from Mott the Hoople.
No really. All the young dudes. Jared and
Aaron with the one and only Ian Hunter
from Mott the Hoople.

Wed, Oct 6
The One and Only Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter
Kelly with the 39th President of the United States. Wait a minute...
Today we met Jimmy Carter. And played with a band called Dead Moon. Wo, wo, wo... let's take one at a time folks. First, Jimmy Carter. The thirty-ninth president of the United States was much younger than I thought he'd be... wait a minute... yeah... uh huh... oh... Hi folks... I've just been informed that the Jimmy Carter we met is not in fact the former president, but rather Jared's sister's boyfriend. But he's still totally awesome and extremely generous. Kelly and the Chief (as Jimmy prefers to be called) hooked us up with amazing Baltimore hospitality and sent us off with TWO BOXLOADS OF FOOD. Did we already mention how awesome they are?? It goes without saying that we thank them for everything.

Dead Moon Rocks
Dead Moon rocks.
So we played with Dead Moon in Baltimore. Dead Fucking Moon. For those that don't know, that's like playing with the Fastbacks or the Ramones. Dead Moon has been rockin' it all over the world for the better part of 2 decades. And boy do they still bring it. Not only did they ROCK, but add to that the fact that they're some of the nicest folks you'll ever meet. We're honored to have played with them. And as a side note, when they're not touring, Dead Moon calls Portland home. Ironically, it took a show 3000 miles from the NW to unite a Seattle band (us) and a Portland band (them).

Radio Nationals and Dead Moon
Radio Nationals and Dead Moon

Thursday, Oct 7
"My vote is psshaw!"

Today we rocked at the one and only C.B.G.B.'s in the East Village. Shared the stage with the Ramones, Talking Heads, Blonde, Guns n' Roses, the Police, and COUNTLESS others. But not all on the same day. Lemme tell ya... that place is awesome. I swear the club is held up by the thousands of stickers plastered all over the walls, floor, ceiling, and anywhere else adhesive will stick. And speaking of stickers, we did our part and put up about 50 Radio Nationals stickers anywhere and everywhere.

Radio Nationals at C.B.G.B.'s
Oh my god. We're playing C.B.G.B.'s
Oh, word of advice: don't wear anything in Manhattan that says "Jesus Loves..." whatever. You see, Jared has this shirt that says "Jesus Loves Scott Biram" (an amazing performer from Austin) and man, every religious freak in the Big Apple stopped him about that shirt... made Jared really happy. Not. I guess that means Richard can't wear his (on the front) "There are two people screwing on the back of this shirt" (on the back) "Just kidding, Jesus saves!" shirt. Maybe in Baltimore...

After the C.B.G.B.'s show, we all went to the Blue Tavern in the East Village and documented our "fire" photo series. Don't worry, all performers are over 18 and no one was injured in the making of these pictures.


The Fire Series

On Fire in NYC      On Fire in NYC      On Fire in NYC
It's getting hot in here.
Me cabeza es muy caliente!

On Fire in NYC      On Fire in NYC      On Fire in NYC
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.
The Omen, part 4
Okay, no fire here, but couldn't
resist this one!

Quotes of the day:
Kevingerrard: "As they say in France... Let's get the hell out of France."
Aaron: "My vote is psshaw!"
Jay: "Redonculous!"
Rick: "Oh shit, fuck!"
Richard: "Has anyone seen the complementary incense stick that came with my floral jacket?"
Jared: "Bull me."

Song of the day: "Hebrew National Salami"
Don't ask. At least not yet.

Friday, Oct 8
Falling Apart

Jared and Aaron and the broken amp.
Is Aaron really helping out here?
Jared's entire world fell apart today. Let's see... his amp blew up. He broke strings on all his guitars during the show at the Fire in Philly. His capo kept falling off his guitar during songs. And to top it all off, Rick's floor tom fell over and took out 2 beers and a shot of whiskey. Must have been something funky in the air (or the water?) cause it also seemed like every woman in the club was breaking up with her boyfriend that night... Welcome to Philly! The City of Brotherly Love!

Mike and Colleen are generous hosts.
Mike and Colleen (far right and left) made us French fries.
But before you think I'm being totally facetious and unfair to Philly, along come Mike and Colleen. Transplants from Seattle and Radio Nationals fans, they were amazing and opened up their house to us. Their extreme generosity even extended to making homemade french fries for us at 3:30am while we watched a tape of that night's Presidential debates. (Bush=arrogant ass; Kerry=our next President, thank you very much.) Okay, okay, Mike and Colleen are so warm and awesome that we told ourselves we wouldn't include this next story, but alas, we can't resist.... Mike was so tired at the early morning hour we got to their house after the show (alright, he was a bit drunk too) that while he was making the french fries he found out Richard was a vegetarian and immediately made up a veggie platter thinking that he couldn't eat the French fries! Hee hee hee, silly (but extremely wonderful and generous) Mike.

This diary entry cannot conclude without mentioning the fact that Aaron applied deodorant on the stage in front of the crowd before the show. Yummy.

Saturday, Oct 9
Back on track

John fixes the amp.
John Martin is our savior.
A huge shout out to Kevin from the Future Tips for hooking us up with John Martin, one of the premier amp techs on the east coast who happens to be based in Philly. John saved the day and repaired Jared's amp. When our booking agent found out about the amp destruction and repair she welcomed us into the world of a real touring band. (Insert sigh of satisfaction here...)

Richard and the new bass.
The White Stripes. Cheap Trick.
Radio Nationals.
Oh, today Richard got a DiPinto Guitars bass endorsement by accident. You see, while that amp was getting fixed we discovered that Chris DiPinto of DiPinto guitars worked less than a mile from the amp repair store. Chris makes custom guitars and basses AND HE'S LEFT-HANDED as Richard is, so we HAD to stop by... and we HAD to leave with a new bass. Jack White of the White Stripes, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Richard Davidson of the Radio Nationals. All with artist endorsements from DiPinto!

Jared's parents came up from West Virginia for our show Saturday night at the Full Moon Tavern in Baltimore. Both of them are volunteering with the Kerry campaign registering voters and making sure every Democrat votes in the state. Hearing about their efforts was truly inspiring--volunteers in West Virginia have registered over 70,000 new voters since the last election. Wow, wouldn't it be great if West Virginia went "blue" on November 2nd? Thanks to Jared's parent's hard work, we're closer to making that a reality.

Aaron eats a Philly cheesesteak.
Aaron devours his first Philly cheese steak.
Aaron ate his first genuine Philly cheese steak today. Again deodorant was applied on stage. So fresh and so clean.


Drunk and partying in NYC

We arrived in the Big Apple on Tuesday and immediately got sucked into the glorious chaos before updating the tour diary. More complete updates of our adventures in Boston, Maine, and NYC coming soon... probably.

Richard in NYC      Aaron in NYC
Richard gets his groove on
in the Big Apple.
Aaron gets his groove on
in the Big Apple.

If anyone finds Jared and Rick, please return them to the Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys & Girls.

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