by Richard Davidson with Aaron Taylor

Show Schedule


Day 1 & 2: Sun and Mon, May 1 & 2 (Seattle): Flying to the Angels
Day 3: Tues, May 3 (Portland): Double F Breastesses
Day 4: Wed, May 4 (Northern California): Fuck Arby's
Day 5: Thurs, May 5 (Hollywood): Palm Trees and Dead People
Day 6: Fri, May 6 (Dixon/Sacramento): FREEEEEEEEEEE BIIIIIIIIIRD!!!!!!!!!!
Day 7: Sat, May 7 (San Francisco): "Wastin' Away Again in Vacaville!"
Day 8: Sun, May 8 (the entire West Coast): Why didn't we fly?!?!


Sunday and Monday, May 1 & 2 (Seattle)
Flying to the Angels

So our good friend Johnny Hickman from Cracker flew into Seattle tonight for a quick rehearsal before our week-long tour down the West Coast. First show tomorrow night at the Sunset in Seattle. Practice got underway around 8p and went well, so there's not much to talk about here, save the fact that Aaron and Richard went to the Palace Kitchen for some late-night grub afterwards, and Richard belted out--and we mean belted out--Slaughter's "Fly to the Angels" with Susan, one of the wait staff at the Palace. C'mon everybody: "You got to flyyyyyyy..... fly to the angeeeeels..... Heaven waits for you..... and flowers bloom in your name!!!" Yeeeeaaah.

Fine. I guess you had to be there. Moving on...

Monday night was the first show of the tour. For those that don't know, we're playing twice each night: Radio Nationals plays a complete set and then we also back Johnny for his set. We played at the always wonderful Sunset in Ballard. Did you know it's no longer a tavern? Yup, that's right.... the Sunset now has a FULL BAR (along with the requisite Hungry Man Meat & Potatoes and chips to keep The Man off their back). Holly, Joe, Mike, John, and the rest of the gang at the Sunset were super-generous with the aforementioned alcohol. By the end of the night, Richard was nowhere to be found, but we hear that his evening involved flotation devices, drawn guns, and red & blue nail polish. (Nice way to get out of hauling gear, fucker!) This tour is underway!

Nice haircut Dos. Loser.

Quotation of the day: "Jared definitely puts the BEER in BEARD!" -- Barbara M.

Puttin' the Beer in Beard      Johnny Hickman of Cracker
Puttin' the BEER in BEARD.
Johnny Hickman loves us.
Johnny and Aaron      The band
"I bought my first real 6-string, bought it
at the five-and-dime."
Are Richard's nails RED?!?!?


Tuesday, May 3 (Portland)
Double F Breastesses

Today we managed to get Johnny Hickman to his in-store performance in Portland 45-minutes late and with no guitar amp. RADIO NATIONALS POWER ACTIVATE!! FORM OF: DUMB-ASSES!!!! *

Okay all you perverts, listen up. Hot tip #352: If you're driving past the UHaul on 15th (you know, the one by the golf range) and you see an enormous pair of double F breastesses (they were so big they deserve extra letters) flashed from the apartment across the street, thank the UHual manager, Carl. Sorry, no pictures of this episode... yet.

We rocked the house at Dante's along with opening band Moonshine Hangover. Johnny treated the crowd to "Costco Socks," which he dedicated to Mike D from SOB. Near the end of our set with Johnny, he ALMOST turned us into a jam band....

Since we only got two drink tickets from Dante's, we were sober enough to decide to drive to Eugene after the show. (Wait a sec, isn't this the kind of decision made drunk?!?!) Checking into a motel at 5am.... FREE (we pay when we check out for fuck's sake). Checking out of the motel at 11am.... $50. Aaron and Richard having to share a bed..... PRICELESS.

* Aaron would like it noted for the record that to be completely accurate with our hipster cultural reference, we should also add "SHAPE OF" after "FORM OF." Okay, now that this total bullshit is out of the way....

Pile of smokes      Rick, Aaron, and Richard      Jared in the van.
Ah, to be back on the road again...
I live in a van, down by the river...
Aaron and J-Lo      J-Lo and her special friend.
"I'm gonna get in J-Lo's pants


Aaron and Arby's
Really?? Aaron's thinking
"Go to hell!"
Wednesday, May 4 (Northern California)
Fuck Arby's

Nothing much happened today unless you count the fact that Aaron learned that you need a coupon to get the 2 Arby's bacon-cheddar burgers for $3. A !)(*%@#@&$) coupon?!?!?! I ask you, what would Scott McCaughtey do??? What would he do????

As we drove into "beautiful, sunny" California, we learned where all the rain we've been lacking in the Northwest went. (Okay, you wouldn't know it from the photos, but it really was raining the entire time we drove on I-5!)


Thursday, May 5 (Hollywood)
Palm Tress and Dead People

Richard and Jimi Hendrix's star.
Summoning the spirit of Hendrix.
(I swear it was raining on I-5!)
Somebody call Guinness cause today we set a new record. We had to walk four blocks--count 'em--four blocks until we found a Starbucks in Hollywood. So much for ubiquity. (And for the record, we all personally despise Starbucks and everything they represent, but when you're a nerdy tech band like the Rad Nats, you gotta get your wireless somewhere and there was nowhere else.) But what a four blocks it was! This is Hollywood Blvd. folks, and I'm talkin' about the stars. Gene Kelly, Frank Capra, Jimi Hendrix, and of course the Smothers Brothers. And we got to step on all of them. (Cut-throat business Hollywood is.)

Tonight was Johnny's CD release party, beautifully organized by Johnny's wife, Soraya. She went all out for this one... there was food, a great slide show, and even the requisite palm trees on stage. Tons of family, friends, and fans came to the King King to celebrate. The Sin City folks were there, bringing a good dose of the Inland Valley to Hollywood. The Hick Men kicked off the show, followed by Skeeter Truck, and then Radio Nationals and Johnny kicked off the set doing a screeching cover of "People Who Have Died" by Jim Carroll with Bryson on lead. Later, Immy added the sweet sounds of the pedal steel and mando to Johnny's songs. It was a blast. After the show, we all gathered by the back of the pick-up truck for some late-night grubbin'.

Johnny Hickman      Aaron's harem
Ladies and gentlemen...
Mr. Johnny Hickman!
Ladies and gentlemen...
Aaron's Harem!
Aaron's belly      The band pigging out
The return of Aaron's pit-stickin'
Chowin' down after the show.


Friday, May 6 (Dixon/Sacramento)

Me love meat.
Holy crap! Animation! Go Jared! Go Jared!
Nobody loves a good ol' county fair more than Johnny Hickman and the Radio Nationals. (Okay, that last sentence is just a bit hyperbolic, but whatever, we mean it. Not you, not nobody else, nobody! And don't even get me started about that double negative.) We got to spend the afternoon at the Dixon County Fair, now in it's 130th year. Ah, the glory of the funnel cake, roasted corn, curly cheese fries, and meat, meat, meat!

Richard and Aaron making friends in Sacramento.
Richard and Aaron making friends in
Sacramento. Touchdown!!
We played a mammoth 2-hour set in the afternoon, an outdoor show for families and their kids. (And we were very good; we only said "shit" and "fuck" four times!) Carrying out a master plan schemed at a party last weekend, Aaron and Richard wore Sonics shirts around the fair to rub salt in the festering wounds of Sacramento Kings fans (Dixon is only 15 minutes west of Sacramento). Of course, the ironic part of all this is the fact that Aaron and Richard didn't even know it was basketball season, let alone know that the Sonics beat Sacramento. Heck, we just had to ask our drummer Rick what the name of the Sacramento team is (the Kings!). We're rock 'n' rollers and don't give a crap about sports, but we did almost get the crap beat out of us four or five times wearing those shirts!

Later that night, for the first time ever in our lives, we all got to scream "Free Bird" at a band up on stage and it was relevant, for we saw Lynyrd Skynyrd at the fair! But what the fuck with the new song about Republicans and the "red, white, and blue"?!?!?! Fuck guys, just play the hits.

The best shot we got of Skynyrd.
Lynyrd Skynyrd rocks your Republican ass
...and yes, this is the best shot of the bunch!
Skynyrd brought us on stage for "Sweet Home Alabama" and then we jammed with the boys and Willie Nelson back at the tour busses. Then we recorded a #1 hit with the Beatles. Then we grew wings and robbed Fort Knox. Then we... well... we did get to see Skynyrd.

Being the responsible touring band that we are, we decided to get a jump start on the drive to San Francisco, but we got lost for a few hours in residential neighborhoods and cul-de-sacs. Eventually we found a motel 15 minutes from the fair where the following dialogue took place at 4am:

Richard, the bass player: I'd like a double room please.
Christopher, the night clerk: What location do you prefer?
Richard: (long pause) Um, what are my options?
Christopher: You tell me. You're the customer.
Richard: (long pause, perplexed) Here?
Christopher: No, you can't stay in the lobby.
Richard: Listen, just give me a room before I stab you in the fucking neck. (Actually, I was only
thinking this. I didn't really say it. The rest of this conversation is true however.)


Is that a tear stained eye?
Oh Invisivan®! Is that a tear-stained eye?
Saturday, May 7 (San Francisco)
"Wastin' Away Again in Vacaville!"

We got up early today: 11am. Why in God's name did we do this? So we could fix the horrible grinding noise coming from the van every time we stepped on the brakes. WE AIN'T GOING DOWN LIKE SKYNYRD!!!! The folks at Big O tires in Vacaville set us up goooood. If you thought they were all about tires, think again. Oil change? Check. New brake rotors? Check. Wiring our muffler back to the van? Check. I think we're ready for the road now!!! (Fine, the tour ends tomorrow, but hey, we're ready for the next one now!) The van is functioning like a well-oiled machine again, gliding down the road like a hot french fry through I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

Before leaving Vacaville, we stopped at the Verizon store so Jared could pick up a new battery for his phone. Why am I mentioning this? Cause you see, life on the road involves a lot of time in the van. There's so much driving between shows and most of the time stops are only for peeing, eating, and gassing up. (Wow, that sounds just a bit funny.) So when we stopped at the Verizon store, Rick, Richard, and Aaron didn't know what to do with themselves. We didn't have to pee. We weren't hungry. We had gas (well, the van did. And Rick.) We were like little lost puppies. Luckily, as would be the case with little lost puppies, the middle-aged suburban housewives and their 13-year-old daughters kept us entertained until Jared returned.

Richard is not gay.
Rich-donna! Vogue!
Email Rich-donna for more photos!
Then we got back in the van, consulted MapQuest for the closest Starbucks to jump online, and proceeded to drive in a complete circle for a half-hour to end up about 40 feet from where we started out. FORM OF! (Although I'd really like to blame the monotony of the suburban strip mall for this mishap.)

Next, we went to catch up with Johnny, Soraya, and their friend Nancy at the Family Fun Center. Oh yeah. Richard spent $3 to see what he'd look like with a woman's haircut, then mistakenly dropped the photos inside the crack of a video game, Street Fighter. Twenty minutes later, with the video game completely disassembled by a maintenance worker, he got his pictures back.

We all made our way into San Francisco and the coolest thing in the whole world happened (hyperbolic?) when we got a parking spot right in front of the club. Before the show, Rick, Aaron, and Richard grabbed some grub at a great hole-in-the-wall taqueria where Aaron and Richard proceeded to have a jalapeno eating contest. "Ready? One.... two.... three.... eat!" By the end of the contest, Richard's shirt was soaked through with sweat.

Radio Nationals and Johnny Hickman in matching shirts.
Kick-ass Western shirts.
At the show, Victor Crumenacher from Camper Van Beethoven played a great acoustic set, followed by the sweet sounds of Madera Road. But before I talk about our set, I need to let you all know about Johnny's shirts. Yes, his shirts. You see, each night Johnny wears one of those kick-ass embroidered Western shirts.... black with red, black with white, white with black... you get the idea. So for our last show on the tour, we all decided to surprise him with our own kick-ass embroidered Western shirts. How'd we do this? Back in Vacaville, we stopped in at the Western store and picked out four matching kick-ass Western shirts. But jeeze, mention San Francisco and sing "YMCA" and they're all over your shit in Vacaville.

Fear and loathing in Vacaville at 5:30 in
the morning.
Returning our story to the show, we played two of the best sets of our lives (hyperbolic?). At the end of Johnny's set, "Midnight Rider" transformed into "Sweet Home Alabama." Yup, the spirit of Skynyrd followed us from the previous day. It was a bittersweet victory knowing that Johnny would be heading south the next morning as we headed north back to Seattle. We hugged and cried. Then we got to the motel five minutes before Johnny, Soraya, and Nancy and took the last room in the place (FORM OF: BASTARDS! Seriously though, we did offer to sleep in our sleeping bags on the floor if we all wanted to share the room. They actually got to stay at a really nice hotel for cheap since it was so late, so all was good.) Jared and Rick tried to catch some sleep while Aaron and Richard got loaded and wandered around the motel until 5:30am.

Word of the day: you guessed it... hyperbolic


Sunday, May 8 (San Francisco to Seattle)
Why didn't we fly?!?!

Nothing happened today unless you count the fact that we drove 46,000 miles back to Seattle.

At one point Jared was overheard saying "I can't afford to keep going through G-strings like this."

More photos

Rick on the drums.      Rick and Jared playing video games.
Oh my god. An actual picture of Rick
playing the drums!
Go speed racer go!
Richard and Aaron      Rick trying to leave the bathroom
We were asked to leave the store soon
after this photo was taken.
Picture the scene: Vacaville. 5:30am.
Aaron and Richard loaded. Rick trying to sleep.
He gets up. Goes to bathroom. Richard and Aaron
pile up all the luggage to block the door.
Does it make sense now?

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