Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bill Who?

True Stories From Tacoland

From The Low Budgets' 2004 Southern Tour Diary

By Joe:

Place: Tacoland
When: May 4th, 2004
Who's Playing: Rice & Beans + some other band
Who's Not Playing: The Low Budgets
Ram Factor: That's Taco Land

According to Joe:

There was a flyer posted to the door of Tacoland about the show tonight. Rice & Beans were playing along with another band. We were not listed. I got a very bad feeling in my stomach. Apparently there was some misunderstaning in the booking of the show. I had communicated via e-mail and phone messages (left messages on machine) with a person (named Bill) who did not actually book the Tacoland. I got the guy's e-mail address from a post on the Dead Milkmen site.

Chris got some money from the band fund and got himself a room in a nearby motel. He told us we could do whatever we wanted. Some folks in a band who were rehearsing next door to Tacoland told us that Ram, the owner, usually did not open up the place until 9. They suggested we drive downtown and walk around, which is what we did. We saw the Alamo. (Brian told us the story of Ozzy Osbourne pissing on the side of it in his wife's dress, but we did not see any plaques to commemorate this historic event.)   

It did not take long for us to be bored so we drove back to Tacoland and it was open. We played a couple games of pool. I asked around for someone named Bill but no one by that name was there. Even worse, no one knew anyone named Bill. Do you mean Phil? No, Bill. Eventually a band showed up to load up their gear. We told them our story and they asked Ram, the owner, if anyone booked the Low Budgets. No! At this point Ram got upset. Bands in the past have tried to weasel their way onto shows in this manner and he wasn't having it. He told us that he is the only person who books Tacoland and he only books on weekends. The weeknight shows, like this one, are booked by the bands themselves by signing a schedule in a notebook. The only way an out-of-town band to have a show on a weeknight is if a local band signs them up, and we were not signed up. So much for my contact named Bill!

I felt really stupid and went into the van to finish my work for the day. When I was done my work I went back into Tacoland. Steve bought be a beer. They were talking to Ram who was tending the bar. Everything was straightened out - we could play the show. They all decided that a Dead Milkmen fan had played a practical joke on me, but the other bands would let us share the bill. It was alright with Ram. The Milkmen played Tacoland back in 1986 (Ram remembered, and showed me a DM sticker that was on the fridge behind the bar). We wrote a song about it which Ram said a lot of other bands mention when they come to play.

Still, we did not play. Chris was not in the mood. I had a good time anyway hanging out with the locals and getting drunk on cheap Lone Star beer. Tacoland is still the coolest bar in the world!

After the Rice and Beans last set (or Jason's last solo set) we drove to the apartment of one of the locals and watched a Ween video - he fed us some good Korean food while his roomates "boozed us up and got us high" then I passed out on a couch.

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