Tour Story: Faun Fables Transit Rider 2006

Jenya and I went on a big national tour with our pals Dawn and Nils who performed up to that point as a duo under the name Faun Fables. They asked us to be their "backing band" for this tour, which was in support of their new album "Transit Rider." We also got to occasionally open shows with our own duo act, Fuzzy Cousins. Here was the itinerary:

04/22/06 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent (CD release and variety show!) (w/ Fuzzy Cousins)
04/23/06 - Hollywood, CA - Troubadour (w/ Stolen Babies, Hour of the Shipwreck)
04/24/06 - Tucson, AZ - Plush (w/ Molehill Orkestrah)
04/27/06 - Atlanta, GA - Eye Drum (w/ Fuzzy Cousins)
04/28/06 - Knoxville, TN - Pilot Light (w/ Fuzzy Cousins)
04/29/06 - Columbia, SC - Columbia Music Festival Association (w/ bigSphinx)
05/01/06 - Oberlin, OH - Oberlin College (w/ Fuzzy Cousins)
05/02/06 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom (w/ Brian Straw, Fuzzy Cousins)
05/04/06 - Brooklyn, NY - Southpaw (w/ Transmitting, Bonfire Madigan)
05/05/06 - Brooklyn, NY - Galapagos (w/ Billy Nayer Show, Jollyship the Whiz Bang)
05/06/06 - New York, NY - Tonic (w/ Barbez, Fuzzy Cousins)
05/07/06 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground (w/ Pinback, Pleaseeasaur)
05/09/06 - Montreal, QC - El Salon (w/ Scrote, White Noise Ensemble)
05/10/06 - Toronto, ON - Tranzac (w/ Singing Saw Shadow Show, Pyramid Culture)
05/11/06 - Hamilton, ON - Casbah (w/ Laura Barrett, Fuzzy Cousins)
05/12/06 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen (w/ Cheer Accident)
05/13/06 - Chicago, IL - South Union Arts (w/ Bird Names, Fuzzy Cousins)
05/14/06 - Louisville, KY - Nelligan Hall (w/ Litany's Last Stand)
05/16/06 - Minneapolis, MN - The Church (w/ Fuzzy Cousins and more)
05/19/06 - Denver, CO - Oriental Theater (w/ Uphollow)
05/20/06 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kayo Gallery (w/ Purr Bats)
05/26/06 - Oakland, CA - Oakland Metro (w/ Fuzzy Cousins and a variety show)
05/27/06 - Oakland, CA - Oakland Metro (w/ Fuzzy Cousins and a variety show)
05/30/06 - Eureka, CA - Synapsis
05/31/06 - Portland, OR - K Street Theater (w/ the Danielson Family)
06/01/06 - Spokane, WA - the Shop
06/03/06 - Olympia, WA - Capital Theatre
06/05/06 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door (w/ Degenerate Art Ensemble)

The epic tale of this impossible effort is long and dense and full of action/adventure. If I start coughing out all the details it'll take forever, so let me just stick to the story of the cop.

"The Cop"

I was in the driver's seat when we got pulled over at random on the highway crossing Michigan. No reason was given, but the officer curtly asked me to step outside and he led me behind the RV where the others couldn't see us. There he began a long barrage of questions, trying to get me to somehow admit we had pot on board the vehicle (which we most certainly did not).

"Do you smoke dope?"
"No, sir."
"I see this vehicle is registered to one (squints at registration) Neels Frikedull. Does he smoke dope?"
"Where you guys from?"
"Oakland, California?"
"Oakland?! You know Snoop Doggy Dog?"
"Um.. No."
"Are you sure there's no dope on this vehicle?"

It went on like this for a while, with occasional long, silent pauses as he entered periods of deep thought, eyes scanning around, trying to find the perfect question to trap me and my druggie friends. He tried a curveball:

"Why weren't you wearing a seatbelt?"
"I was - this model of Winnebago, from 1975, doesn't have shoulder straps."
He grimaced as if to say, "Dammit - I thought I had him there!"

Of course I was nervous when this all began, but at this point in the exchange I found myself quite relaxed as it was proving to be harmless and easy - like a lazy sunday game of badminton. Nevertheless it dragged on.

"So are you some kind of band?"
"Sort of - more like a traveling theatre show."
"Are you any good?"
"Yeah - but you know we still keep our day jobs."
"What's your day job?"
"I'm a computer programmer at University of California at Berkeley."
His eyes lit up: "Berkeley?! They smoke a lot of dope in Berkeley, don't they?!!"
I sighed. "No - it's actually a more conservative town than you think."

Around now he let his guard down, realizing he was getting nowhere.

"So.. being from the Bay Area.. I have one more question for you."
"A's or Giants?"

Apparently he gave up and just wanted to be friendly. I'm a big baseball fan, so this was a welcome change of pace in our conversation. We got lost in a nerdy chat about Bay Area baseball, the embarrassment that is Barry Bonds, the frustratingly slow progress of the A's, etc. This discussion ended with me providing some encouraging words about his Detroit Lions, and he let me go on my way.

Meanwhile the others were on the RV wondering what the fuck was going on. For all they knew I was in cuffs and sulking in the back of a squad car. They were quite relieved upon my return, and moreso when I said it was all good and got back onto the highway.

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