The Heathens Tour Diary, Pt. 3: Getting Hammered With Zebrahead
[Editor's Note: Ryan Ritchie is one of our talented music scribes at the Weekly. He's also in a local punk band called the Heathens who just toured Japan. This is the third and final part of his crazy tour diary.]
December 2, 2013
No show today, but we attended the going-away party at the Moon Cafe, a diner run by Mooneyes--a legendary SoCal custom racing brand. There was free barbecue, but nothing was vegan, so I drank Chu-Hi and ate potato chips.
I made friends with a guy named Corner from Sweden and two couples from Rome. Everyone was very cool and for the first time I found myself wanting to return next year not just as a musician but as a person with new friends.
By the time we assembled outside the cafe for a group shot, I was drunk. See also: The Heathens Tour Diary, Pt.1: OC Punks Encounter Japanese Bidets The Heathens Tour Diary, Pt. 2: We're Kinda Big in Japan We decided to walk back to our room, even though it was far, cold and we had no idea where we were. Walking meant more Chu-Hi, so we stopped at a store, where we met an Australian guy named Brett also associated with Mooneyes.
Al, Craig, Brett and I were walking past a tiny bar when we stopped and saw one patron inside -- Shige. He gave us a look that suggested he did not want to see us, but offered to buy us a drink. An hour later, Shige was gone but the free drinks kept coming. Needless to say, the remainder of this night was the epitome of a party.
I positioned myself at the end of the bar and talked to a group of Japanese women. One was 47 but looked 27. Her 30-year-old boyfriend was there too. In broken English, she told me he wasn't a good boyfriend because he didn't support her. Feeling bad for her, I bought her a drink. The next thing I knew, I was buying rounds for this half of the bar. Forget that I am poor and have no money -- these people thought I was an American rock star and for once in my God-forsaken life, I could buy drinks for strangers because that's what an American rock star would do, right?
Another woman reminded me of Beige from Foxy Autopsy. She was half Greek, one quarter Chinese and one quarter Korean. She spoke with a Japanese accent and was fluent in English. And she was wasted. On a Monday night!
The rest of the night is hazy at best. I remember waiting for a cab after 3 a.m., freezing my ass off and thinking a taxi would never come. Eventually, one did. I got in and before the driver hit the gas, I was out.
December 4, 2013
Picking up shows on the fly in Japan is just as easy as it is at home, which is another way of saying it's impossible. Since we aren't playing, we decided to see Zebrahead and maybe do some of that network stuff people are always talking about.
The first thing I was told about Zebrahead was that their tour manager Mark would be on stage singing back-ups. More importantly, however, he would also have a bar set up and would be making drinks all night for anyone who wanted one. For free.
Ah, but there was a problem with getting wasted tonight and that problem was free food. As a vegan, I have not eaten a proper meal in a week. Backstage, Zebrahead had apples, avocados, peanuts, almonds and peanut butter. My eyes gazed at the tables like a newly-released prisoner at the Playboy Mansion. It was the Thanksgiving feast I didn't have and there was no one stopping me from gaining five pounds in one night. That said, I am not a thief nor am I ungrateful -- this was Zebrahead's food and I was not going to eat all of it. But I was most certainly going to eat an apple and some nuts and see where that got me.
Where that got me was enough energy to stand on the side of the stage drinking tequila. A few drinks later and Al, Craig and I were invited on stage. Naturally, we said yes. We sang, we danced, we toasted and if I wasn't buzzed, I might have been a wee bit jealous of this band and all the fun they were having.
As we walked off stage, Al turned to me and said, "I want this."