One day Andre, the wedding dress-wearing guitar player asked if I wanted to come up and jam during one of their off-day shows. I said, "You must be joking. As soon as you heard my white man funk, I'm sure the band would come to a screeching halt." Again, another consummate showman and band that wouldn't be complete without the hair extensions, Body Glove wear, Phantom of the Opera masks, wigs, fake noses. Tremendous.

One super-fun thing that happened was playing onstage with the Breeders in Los Angeles. It was great. I played on my favorite song by them, "Divine Hammer," with me and Kelley doing twin leads just like the Allman Brothers Band! Another neat thing at the start of the tour was when Jim, Kim and Kelley from the Breeders, photographer Brooke Williams, Janet Billig (Breeders' manager) and I went to see the Everly Brothers at a Las Vegas hotel. We were definitely the youngest people there (I'm 17-and-a half) and we kinda expected to see this lamed-out, glitzy, geriatric song-and-dance routine, but let me tell you, this goes into James Iha's top ten concerts ever list! The voices, the songs, the sadness...they p!ayed great, sounded great and p!ayed with dignity. They also told really funny stories and jokes that were totally heartwarming. (Not,since seeing the movie St. Elmo's Fire had I felt that good.) We all walked out with smiles on our faces and then proceeded to gamble and drink our night down the toilet.

One night, about halfway through the tour, at the halfway burnout point, D'arcy, Jim from the Breeders and I went to dinner: We talked about who did what the night before, the audience threw a bottle at me last night, blah, blah, blah. After a while we noticed that since we had been touring for so long, we had nothing really interesting or important to say other than "that which is rock." Just like In the movie "The Player", I said, "Were all educated people here; we don't have to talk about music," and within two minutes time Jim started saying his stomach shrinks when he's on tour and how he can't eat, while D'arcy and I started nodding in agreement. Ah, such pained, tortured artistes.

Another night in NYC (people in the "biz" always say "NYC"), the members of Luscious Jackson taught me how to do the hustle, a gregarious, gyrating dance step. I soon found out what a world of difference there is between guitar playing and dancing. It was slow going at first (I began by running in circles, interpreting the name of the dance literally), but I quickly assimilated my body to the natural rhythm of the music, like some brazen, young Marky Mark-type character. Clearing the dance floor out in minutes, my newfound "step" stunned and cajoled the crowd of onlookers into a mob like freny (their curious epressions and laughter conveyed their mutual high spirits and camaraderie). Sadly enough, the members of Luscious Jackson shunned my presence for the rest of the tour, jealous perhaps of the "fire" I had caught that night.

On to the Second Stage. There were a lot of great bands this year, some of which were suggested by the headliners (we chose Shudder to Think and the Frogs; the Beasties chose the aforementioned high-steppers Luscious Jackson and the Pharcyde). The bands I liked the most were Shudder to Think, Luscious Jackson, Guided by Voices and the Flaming Lips, which brings me to Steven, who is their drummer. A total basher, with Keith Moon-like presence. page