What a waste...we're tired, cranky, going on fumes from no sleep...and what's with booking such a great hotel that you can't even sleep
in?! And what is with the weather? It pissed rain on us the whole time and now that we're spending 15 hours on the road on the way
back to Sydney, the stupid sun comes out! Are we crabby? You bet!! The trip back is long and uneventful, but the good thing is that
although everyone is guilty, only Brian gets blamed for farts in the van. Only this time we're all in bad moods, so the blame is more
When we get to Sydney we check into this motel that looks like a set from a 1950's horror movie. The place is crawling with roaches, so
we have to close and zip up our bags and everything tight. We don't want to end up taking some of them back to Japan with us! That's
okay though. At this point all we care about is getting some rest, so we're happy to get a shower and sleep with the roaches. We'll sleep
like logs tonight!
We decide to spend our last evening in Australia out on the town. Well, we've already returned the van, so we end up hunting for a
restaurant in a ghost town-like area near the motel. We hear that there is a Chinese joint not too far away, so we hoof it over there to
celebrate the end of our tour.
This place looks alright...we order honey chicken, fried rice, some dumplings, and some beer. It's enough food for one or two people,
but costs $126! Sheeeesh! Brain hasn't had a drink all tour, so decides that he can drink on his last night in Oz. He has only ONE beer
but is drunk within two minutes...yep, it's been a long time for him so the body is weak! He gets loud...and now we're getting dirty looks
from the other tables. We finish our meal and shuffle out the door quickly to save us from further embarrassment. We go back to our
movie set with the roaches and crash out. Night-night little guys!
Brain picks up Gordy at 9 am to go to the airport. Half way there we come within millimeters of meeting our Maker as some idiot in a
flying BMW cut us off on the freeway. Our whole lives flash before our eyes and WHOAH! ...we think that the tour is gonna be over before
we even get on the plane!
Well, a couple of heart attacks, a few middle fingers, and a few hours later we're safely on the flight on Korean Air. The ride is fairly
good...uh, once we get used to the smell of kimchi. Sheeesh! The flight is uneventful except for when one of us accidentally flips a
bugger into another passenger's hair...oh well, what she doesn't know won't hurt her.
Jun and Yugi are missing Japanese food within 10 minutes of leaving Japan and wonder how they'll ever survive the next 12 days. Yugi
drinks more than his share of wine however, making him the biggest loudmouth on the plane. After more than a few dagger eyes stray
his way Gordy turns around and kindly tells him to "SHUT UP! "It works like a charm because it is usually Yugi who is telling US to shut
|This is a diary of our trip...it is 10 pages worth when it is all put together, so you might wanna
read it a few days at a time. It's up to you!
A few sleeping pills and 100 glasses of wine later we're in Sydney where our buddy Spiro picks us up. Spiro is The Man who had the
idea to have us out in Oz in the first place! None of this would have happened without him. He takes us to his lovely home in the
suburbs where we set up our base camp. The poor guy and his wife have to put up with US for a while! They're gonna regret it!!!
The rain starts and doesn't want to stop! We still manage to have BBQ in Spiro's back yard and enjoy a swim in his salt-water pool. Jun,
Yugi and Gordy all eat lamb for the first time...Gordy likes it and has seconds...Jun endures it, but loses half of it in his napkin...and Yugi
turns an odd shade of green and spends the rest of the day either on the sofa or in the bathroom! The steak that Spiro grills that at
night, however, makes life worth living! Mmmm...welcome to first-class Aussie hospitality!!
We're up at the break of dawn after a sleepless night...thanks to Yugi's snoring. We pity whoever has to actually live with this guy! Well,
that's us for the rest of this trip! Dang it! As we leave Sydney the rain lifts and follows us 600 km up the coast to Coffs Harbour.
It totally pours on the night of our first gig. That keeps a lot of people away...however two good things happen. First, the people staying in
the hotel next door hear the music. Half of them bitterly complain to he management...but the other half comes over and joins the party!
The second thing that happens is that people who are at the gig start calling their friends on their cell phones. Within half an hour the
place fills up with party animals! We rock until almost 3 am, just before a police car pulls up to check things out. Whew! The
management immediately asks us to return for the next New Year's Countdown party, so we assume that means that they like us!
A ton of our CDs have been ripped off. Some girl grabbed a stack or two of them, and in her generous spirit, handed them out to
everybody. We're bummed, but little do we know that the next day people will show up to the show saying, "I've been listening to Monkey
Magic all day!" Oh well...it's good promotion we guess...or perhaps the stolen CDs are getting good use as frisbies or table coasters.
There is one heck of an after-show party on the second floor of the Coast Hotel tonight. At these kind of functions you don't get drunk on
alcohol. Nope, you get tipsy just by looking at the babes in party mode! But we were really good boys...no girls, no drunkenness,
no...well, Yugi disappears for a bit and ends up losing his voice somehow...but we don't know if anything happened. No proof of
anything anywhere! No proof...NO PROOF!!
Later we sleep for about 3 hours in our hotel... in a hotel where the designer must have gotten a brain transplant from a chicken or
something. The shower and toilet are joined on one floor, which means that every time we take a shower we flood the bathroom floor.
That sludgy water in turn sloshes out into the rest of the room. The Irishman in the band doesn't seem to mind, but the other guys were
bright enough to have brought flip-flops to wear in the rooms. Welcome to Sludge City! Still, we are very thankful to the guys who put us
up in this place for the next three days.
Still pouring rain...but we're doing alright. The guys who run the venue are treating us like kings. Look, these guys are jillionaires and
are serving us hand and foot. Talk about humbling!! We will NEVER forget guys like George, Steven and Spiro who have taken such
great care of us....and the food is AWESOME. Even Jun and Yugi have forgotten about their Japanese dry noodles (which is really only
industrial starch) stashed away in their rooms....and they're drinking enough beer to fill Lake Biwa.
That night the venue goes off! The security has to come protect us from the crowd. Brain gets head-butted and, well, for lack of a better
word, dry-humped by girls. They are mostly in their 40's and overweight, but Brian is too happy to notice. He'll smell like fish for the next
few days, but then again, he's on tour and wants to savor every bit of it!
It is the young girls that mob Jun. A party of girls who are celebrating their 20th and 21st birthdays are in his corner and about to eat him
alive! He's just so small, fuzzy and cute like Elmo, so the girls can't resist this guy! At this point a nice-looking, but bad-ass, female
security guard, about 23 years old, with a black belt in every form of martial arts steps in to protect him. Maaan, none of us wanna mess
with her! She has this cold look in her eyes...kind of hoping that you'll piss her off but at the same time those eyes tell you not to. (cringe)
Gordy is in great form tonight and has guys circling behind the band to watch him. Why do all he dudes watch him? What's up with that?
The highlight for him however is not the show. Nope. It's when an Aussie guy twice his size (and all muscle) approaches him after the
show with a strange request. This big hairy monster wants Gordy to use the big chunks of ice in his drink to get the attention of another
guy across the bar who is talking to a busty lady with a way-too-low-cut blouse. Out of fear of this monster, Gordy obliges and beams
some stranger in the back of the head with his ice. Nails him!! ...but gets no reaction. The second throw lands the ice right down the
back of the poor fool's shirt! ...still no reaction. The guy is probably too enthralled with his female companion's low-cut blouse in front of
him...Anyway, the third time is the charm as Gordy lobs the last chunk of ice right between the two peaks in the victim's companion's
blouse. THAT gets a reaction! All the high-fives and cheers from the surrounding crowd saves Gordy from getting his butt kicked, but he
does feel a bit guilty...but the big bloke MADE him do it! Oh well, the poor guy and girl who got iced end up acknowledging Gordy's
expert aim and actually congratulate him for being such a good shot.
By now Yugi has enough of his voice back to sound like Darth Vader. Both he and Jun are doing a great job trying to communicate in
English, Gordy has stopped interpreting and watching out for them. They're totally cool on their own! ...but people do kind of slink away
from that Vader voice of Yugi's. Tonight Jun filled in on Yugi's back-up vocal parts and did an excellent job. We should start giving him a
All in all the night was a success...and so is the after-show party! We're counting all the beers that Spiro's had...but have lost count after
40. One should try counting the calories! ...or how much Spiro's first coronary is gonna cost!
A day of rest! Well, except for when the hotel maid mistakenly slams open the door early in the morning to clean Brian and Gordy's
room. Gordy shoots out of bed in his underwear in a defense pose, heart pounding. It is impossible to get to get back to sleep after that.
Oh well, now we're up and at least the maid has a good story to tell her mates.
Yugi wakes up after a terrible dream. He dreams that he pulls a giant bra out of his suitcase and has no idea how it got there. He and
Jun realize that is belongs to the daughter of our friend in Sydney, so he spends the rest of the dream trying to hide it so that her dad
doesn't kill him! Welcome to Day Five!
Yep, it is still raining, but we actually get to go outside and see a glimpse of Australia. We're in this touristy town of Coffs Harbour and
we finally get to see it. You see, we tried to go out yesterday, but all the shops were closed by noon! What kind of town closes down on
Saturday afternoon when it is packed with tourists? Go figure...but hey, it's still a swell place to be!
Spiro and his buddies, George and Steven, take us to this small town out in the country. We call these guys "The Mob" because they are
all of Greek decent and look like dudes from The Godfather. Let it be known though, these men are the BEST! You wouldn't wanna ever
piss them off, but maaaan, did they ever give us a good time! We owe them for life! Anyway, this town we go to looks like something you
see out of an old western movie. We even see a few horses and buggies with Christmas lights on the them. Gordy tells the
always-gullible Brain, Jun and Yugi that there are still old fashioned prostitutes above the old saloon down the street and they get
Anyway, we are treated to the best country food in the world. SERIOUSLY! The steaks are so good that you don't need a knife to cut
them. They are as soft as chicken! This is also where Jun and Yugi get viciously addicted to Australian Super Dry Beer. Thanks to The
Mob for the great grub!
Day 6 and 7
Six-hundred kilometers back to Sydney! It was sunny in Sydney while we were in Coffs, but now the rain has followed us back. Now we
get to see the town...the Opera House, the shops, the vibe...you know. It's a great town if you can get past the prices. Man, if you think
that Japan is expensive, try Sydney!! Yugi and Jun get gypped out of buying sushi packs at the Opera House, only to find the EXACT
same packs down the block for half the price! In Japan the same thing costs only a fourth of what these two bozos paid here. Dang
tourists! And HEY, the Opera House turns out to be BROWN, not white like on all the post cards! What's up with that?
This is the town where Brian shows his true talent, charm and magnetism that attracts all the Loonies. A 42-year-old woman tries to
pick him up on the street and follows us everywhere. She's chattering up a storm and Brian can't get one word in. After changing the
subject for the 100th time within a few minutes, she claims that she knows how to solve all Ireland's problems. That's when Brian finally
inserts that SHE needs to fix her OWN problems first...by not talking so much! That gets rid of her for a while and we are able to go eat
lunch. Over lunch Brian pleads with Gordy to get rid of her if she is to come around again, to which Gordy simply replies with a yawn,
Well, as fate has it, this woman DOES catch up with us and immediately Gordy pulls her aside and says, "Look, I hope you understand
this, but... as you can tell by the dated clothes and the look in the eye (pause), this guy (Brian) just got out of jail a couple of days ago. He
hasn't seen any women in years and...and I REALLY need to keep an eye on him...so if you'll kindly excuse us..." POOF! She's gone in
These two days in Sydney are nice though. We're barbecuing by Spiro's pool, watching all our favorite American shows on Fox TV, and
dreading the loooong trip that starts tomorrow.
The only thing that is NOT nice these days is the way Yugi snores at night while he dreams his kinky dreams. Jun can sleep through
Yugi sawing logs... and Brian has his own room, but Gordy ends up sleeping on the mini sofa upstairs to get away from the noise...not
much better and hard on the back, but at least he's away from the snoring.
Man, when we make it big, the first few thousand bucks will go toward Yugi getting a nose operation. Following that, we'll buy Jun some
more hair, Gordy a personality, and Brian some clothes and a higher sperm-count. Okay...we're getting off the subject. Sydney was
Now the hard part of the trip begins. We've spent the morning with Spiro getting the van fixed up and now we're off for another 2,000 km
trip. The bad thing about traveling such long distances is that your butt hurts after a while. The good thing is that no matter who farts
Brain will always get blamed!
We arrive in Newcastle in the rain. Man, talk about a fugly town! This beat-up town is almost deserted during the holidays and most of
the stores are closed. One of the only places open is the Cambridge Hotel where we're playing. Besides the rats, we're among the 60
people that are left in this town while the others are out on summer holidays. We've been booked on what is normally the best night of
the week...but since no one vacations in Newcastle....and all the university students are gone...we end up playing to about 55
teenagers, one cool guitar player named Jeremy, one soundman left over from the 70's and about a million rats!
Thanks to a lack of sleep, Gordy hasn't slept much and is fudging up songs right and left. Oh well, no one seems to notice because
once we start playing the venue kind of clears out! We're like, "Uh-oh...they hate us." We bite our pride and soldier on...with only one kid
at the front of the stage with his fist in the air saying, "DUDES! PLAY SOME METALLICA!!!"
We finally finish our set and sulk off. Upon entering the bar area however, teenage kids start flocking around saying, "That was totally
gnarly, dude!" "Say WHAT?! "We cleared the floor!" we say. "NO! They reply. "Everybody just wanted to smoke and we can't smoke in the
glasshouse area where you're playing! You guys are awesome!" Maaan, you could have fooled us! Not only have we had a "suck
performance", but we cleared the floor of a venue for the first time in our careers!
This is a dismal nights on all accounts. We played like crap (well, Gordy wasn't so hot!), the small crowd fled when we played, and to
top it all off, some of the drum equipment gets ripped off. Perfect. We've rented all that stuff from Billy Hydes in Sydney.
Our accommodation at the Cambridge looks er...questionable. It probably hasn't been cleaned since it was built over a hundred years
ago. Brian is a man's man and an ex-cop, so he thinks nothing of it...but Jun and Yugi break out in hives and itching as soon as they
enter. Gordy realizes that there are only two double beds for four guys and backs away. In unison Jun, Yugi and Gordy say, "forget it!"
and return to the van at 12:30 am and start driving.
We drive all night to Brisbane, arriving at 4 pm the next day. We're now in Queensland and glad to have a change....and man, is it ever a
nice place to be. If you ever want to live in a nice place, just go Queensland! Gordy booked the band a nice 5 1/2-star hotel there,
knowing months in advance that this would be the night where we all need to get a good rest and get AWAY from each other. The city is
nicer than most and the guys are totally delighted with their rooms. Only Gordy's room has bugs, a broken toilet and air conditioner.
Brian thinks it's poetic justice!
We play at the Step Inn tonight. It looks like the only promotion we got was our name slapped on a poster out front with about 20 other
bands listed on it. Crap...looks like we're in for a dull, rainy night!
Our support bands are really cool though. A band called A Very Unique Experience from Byron Bay plays at 8 pm...to about 9 people, but
play a brilliant set! We just wished that the people there could stop playing billiards for a sec to come see these guys play! The songs
are excellent. The second band, The Shrewms, are the wackiest band we've ever seen...gutterball rock with personality! They were so
weird that they were just plain fantastic! These guys might look strange...like something out of the ground, but they have hearts of pure
gold. Their leader says, "Since you came from so far we'll leave you our share of the ticket money tonight." Wow....where on earth do you
meet guys like this?!!
Now, Brisbane is a fine city...but the Step Inn is uh...pretty dodgy! The bathrooms are wretched and roaches are crawling over our feet
while we play. Still, Brian has tipped the sound guy and we've got a great sound happening! From nowhere people come out of the
shadows. We didn't think that anyone was in this place! Soon everyone, including security and staff, are rocking out and digging our set!
If only we had recorded it!! Brian spends most of his time off the stage in the audience and the energy is awesome. After a flawless
performance we pack up and go back to our nice hotel...and Gordy gets to sleep with his bugs.
The following morning everyone (except Gordy) is rested and in good spirits. Gordy settles the hotel bill and waits for the rest of the
band in the lobby. Yugi enters the lobby and promptly hands Gordy $15 without a word. "Uh...Yugi..." Gordy says. "There it says here on
the bill that you watched TWO adult videos." Without missing a beat, Yugi bitterly slams another $15 into Gordy's hand.
We soon arrive in Surfers Paradise and check into the coolest hotel we've seen. We have beachfront views and are in Heaven. Gordy
can't figure out how to use the room door and keeps locking himself out. (Now you know why he still has trouble with child-proof bottle
The first thing we do is check out the Hard Rock Cafe where we are booked to play tonight. The posters are up, the people in the gift
shop recognize us, and there seems to be a really great buzz about us playing tonight! All the staff there are wearing heavy makeup and
tattoos. A lot of funky hair colors too! It looks like a freak show, but it totally fits the environment! We're high from being in paradise,
having a nice hotel, and the prospect of having our last show in a place that is just pumping with life and energy!
We have two support bands with us tonight. They are really cool guys and we've shown our good side by acting as their roadies. They're
supposed to play for 30 and 35 minutes each, but they both end up going for about 70 minutes each. Adding on the setup and teardown
time, we don't get on stage until 1:00 am! That means that most of the people there are maxed-out and have already gone home. Just
great! What a way to end a million miles of travel and our tour!
Having his stuff ripped of in Newcastle, Gordy is using on Jun's guitar case as a drum stool...(see the pictures) and MAAAAAN, does the
stage ever STINK of whiskey from the previous bands!! Oh well, we're on and ready to ROCK!
We play to a sparse, but appreciative group of diehards who have stayed with us until the end. Brain's dirty jokes go over well and he
gets the remaining party animals up and dancing...and then totally stuffs up "Dani California", a cover song we decided to add to the set
to give it more spice. Oh well, no one seems to care. The show is over and thus our tour of Oz.
We get back to the hotel at 3:30 am but have to leave at 5:00 to get back to Sydney in time to return our rented gear. Time is ticking! So
here we are...in paradise...with killer hotel rooms...no girls...no time...and have only 80 minutes before we have to meet in the lobby.
That's enough time for a shower and one last look at the beach before our we get our hardened butts ready for the 1,000 km trip back to
As Gordy settles the bill at checkout time, BOTH Yugi and Brian each slap $15 into Gordy's hands...
We get up at 6:00 am and wait for our friend Larry to arrive and take us to the airport. At around 7:00 we get going and arrive at the airport
without a glitch. We give our goodbyes, handshakes, and tears and head to the check-in counter.
We're taking back fewer things than what we came with, but the airline says that we're 16 kg. overweight. That costs us $640!!! Maaan,
we might as well have thrown out some of our suitcase contents...or bought another ticket for someone to travel with us! What a stinkin'
rip-off! What if we gained weight while we were in Oz? Do they charge over-weight people more for eating too many jelly donuts? Maaan,
we feel robbed!
We also get bent over at the currency exchange counter. They keep ten cents for every dollar PLUS add a 2% commission!! Gordy, who
can't even open hotel doors, gets smart for once and keeps the band money in his pouch. He's gonna exchange the money with people
in Japan who are returning to Australia and get the real rate! Good on ya, Mate!
On the plane Brian sits next to a middle-aged lady and then starts wailing out in a loud voice, "It reeks of garlic in here!" After repeating
this about 20 times, the lady promptly changes seats with another person and the smell miraculously disappears.
Yugi decides that he's gonna drink his $640-worth of wine. After a couple of hours Old Loudmouth is back, getting us more dirty looks
from other passengers. Jun tolerates it, but according to routine, Gordy tells him to "shut his big yap" and the rest of the flight goes okay.
We're in the airport...totally sick of each other...tired...have calloused butts from 3,600 km of driving and four long flights. We had gear
ripped off...got bent over by the airlines...had highs and lows...met some of the greatest people in the world...but we've done it. Our first
Australian tour without any major accidents. Was it worth it? Will we do it again? That's the question on all of our minds, but right now no
one wants to answer. Jun turns on his video camera and asks us, "SO, how was the tour?" The only answers he gets are, "We learned
that Yugi snores like an old hag and Brian's farts stink."
Yugi and Gordy get out of customs in a flash and wait outside the exit. Jun goes out a different exit and looses the rest of us. Brian is
held up inside for ages and ages as the customs officers do everything short of snapping on their rubber gloves to check him.
Confused as to where each other are, we end up going our separate ways without even a "good-bye." Then Jun shows up at the exit
that the rest of us used, wondering where everyone disappeared to! Hmm...typical TTJ communication. See ya all at rehearsal on
|Copyright 2007. ttj. All rights reserved.
"We kick our own asses!"
For all generations of Rock