Chapter Twelve:     Nashville, Tennessee

Chrome Squatch Concert Tour USA

Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee, Sunday, the 5th of July
A genuine eye-witless report from LISSANDRA JANE CUNNINGS herself--

Oui, ce'st moi encore, Lovely & Lovable Lazyass Liss, here to boast about our latest victory, we having somehow survived yesterday's concert in the music Mecca called Nashville Tennessee, even though we weren't playing authentic Country & Western. In fact, they refuse to call it “& Western” any more, it's just "Country" now. But the audience took it pretty well anyway, considering that it wasn't quite the kind of shit-kicking music they were used to.

Take note that this concert was being held on the day after the 4th of July, which was no doubt a rilly big deal in such a blatantly patriotic town as Nashville, but we had to make sure to avoid the 4th itself.

Most important to us being that it was only 2 days after a Full Moon. Magga and Masnia were just barely over their shyøma-flow, so we were unsure if they'd have to go hide somewhere else while we played this concert without them. But they smelled pretty much normal again, with the help of some lemon-fresh shampoo, so that we'd have no hyper-horny rednecks to deal with. Except the ones who always like all us girls anyway, even without shyøma, but we had Freakfoot to protect us, which was deterrent enough for your standard human-bean bar-room lust.

So we showed up in Nashville at the last minute, after camping out for five days in the Shawnee National Forest and, for the first time, having a cozy little slam-bam thank-you-ma'am kha-rat with 20 of the 22 people cruisin' along for the concert tour with us.

Oh, the other 2? The Musician's bus had to make a detour to Metropolis to pick up Lee and Bunny, who had avoided the orgy (much to Bunny's dismay, she complained). Metropolis is a very small town and they had spent most oif the last three days there bored out of their brains at the Holiday Inn, while the rest of us were merrily boning and banging at the orgy. I got the impression that they were slightly bitter. And bickering.

We who had attended the orgy, by the way, were thoroughly satisfied and glad. There'd been plenty of super-intense shyøma-powered horniness to go around, even though there was only Magga and Masnia to serve up the shyøma-smell. They did great, it was rilly wonderful. Our fellow human colleagues were astounded by how horny they got and were worn to a frazzle. We even shared a group vision and caught up on some telepathic news from Aket and Shamballah, which amazed all the humans in camp. I'm glad to report that the wookie world seems pretty peaceful now that Da-starda-hat is gone.

We all agreed that the kha-rat had been more fun than a 4th of July parade in a big American city. Especially for our two squatch sistas, who wouldn't have enjoyed all the explosions and loud noises, and we sympathized with them.

We still had Shirley and Anne with us even tho the orgy was done. The Nashville Airport had better connections than the little landing field outside Metropolis and neither of them had to go back to work in a hurry. Anne is a school teacher and it's summer vacation just now, but she did have to go pick up Honey from Grandma's house in Indianapolis. Shirley doesn't have a job, being married to a semi-rich rock star, but she too had pre-teen kids waiting for her to come home to Los Angeles. So with many hugs, kisses and squeezes from everyone they'd had all that fun sex with, they were set off at the airport to fly each in their own direction. And we continued on into Nashville town.

The Ryman Auditorium is called "the mother church of country music", which we didn't know anything about, it was just one more music venue our manager, Si Bintzen, had arranged for us months ago. Seems it used to be the home of the Grand Old Opera, which even I had heard of. It's the holiest of holies among Country stars, broadcasting music to the entire USA. Elvis, Johnny, Hank, and Dolly had all passed through at some point in their careers. And now us... if only we were a Country band, which we rilly ain't, y'all.

Once again, there was a press conference just before the Nashville concert, the kind we keep trying to avoid ever since our document has gone public. Once again evagelistic interviewers asked all the same old questions-- surprise --as last time: "How many times a day do you have rilly dirty sex and with whom, precisely?" Don't any of those serious journalists have a sex-life of their own? So we have fun sabotaging their interviews. I like to lie a lot, the more absurd the better. Freakfoot can't lie at all, poor baby, so I take over mid-sentence whenever I can. Although now even I'm getting tired of it.

We showed up for work at the Ryman Auditorium about 5:00 in the afternoon, giving us a couple of hours to set up for the concert, which was scheduled to start at 7:30. Supposedly to end by 10:00 pm, but it went so well that we kept on playing for another hour. I think having that 5-day vacation -- and all that intense sex --gave us a real energy boost.

We cool musicians strive to have a flexible routine when we do concerts, y'know, try to avoid playing the same old songs in the same old order every time, depending on the dynamic we get from each particular audience. Freakfoot didn't want to do the SOS number in Nashville, feeling it was too far removed from country music, but the Mexican songs he and Miguel had worked out fit right in. (I mean, Mexico's a country, right?)

Also, Scott had written a new song during the kha-rat, Horny As Hell, all about... Well, the title says it all, don't it? The band had practiced it during and after the kha-rat, with whiffs of the remaining shyøma to inspire their rock-star libidos and it got very raunchy. The audience must have been open to suggestion, they liked it too. Scott had been a little worried that it might have been too lewd for all these church-goin' Country folk, but no, they hopped right on the horny-train.

We played until 10:00 pm, but Nashville really is a Music Mecca and there was no way we were going to get away with just playing one lousy prearranged concert and slipping quietly out of town. We did our show, and it went well, but the afterparty was more than we had expected. We had fans in Nashville, not so much the bypassing tourist audience, but other professional musicians, and Nashville is crawling with them.

We were packing up our stage equipment and instruments when a couple guys came up to us to congratulate us for a concert well-done, and the Chrome Pie guys knew them. Charlie introduced them to us: Rick Benner and Waldo Wilson, studio musicians for one of the big recording studios in town. They had played on Chrome Pie's last album, Chrome 3.141... (the number= pi). But they had also played on albums with Dolly Parton, Katy Perry, Mark Knopfler, Celine Dion, Linda Ronstat and the list goes on. I even own some of the albums these guys had worked on.

Well, they were not just being friendly, they also wanted to make some music with us, asked if we were interested in going on the Grand Old Opera House along with them and do a couple of numbers to be broadcast on the radio program. This was an hour before midnight, when we should be thinking about going to bed. I sure was.

Not so much because I was sleepy, I sort of had a date in our bus with Freakfoot. You'd think I'd had enough sex so soon after that 3-day nonstop kha-rat workout-- and I was still a little tender --but also rilly eager for a little bit more of my favorite wookie. Nothing to do with shyøma, I just love the guy.

(Y'know there has been some talk among us about not being quite so deliberately pornographic in the chapters we write, but we write this stuff mainly as a collective diary for ourselves, not an audience. Or, okay sure, to be read as historical documentation some day-- long after we're all dead and gone, which should help to alleviate any personal embarrassment.)

Anyway, Freakfoot and I put off our date until later (I can be reasonable, if I rilly have to) most of us went over to the Grand Old Opera House, which was closed at that time of midnight, but those studio musicians had the keys because they work there. And there we were, standing on the famous Grand Old Opera stage, tons of instruments scattered all over the place, so we found ourselves playing music again.

Rick Benner was interested in Scott's new song, Horny As Hell, which we'd unleashed upon the public for the first time earlier that evening. Rick plays steel guitar, and Waldo plays a mean fiddle, which suddenly gave that song a rilly convincing Country Sound. Scott did his best to sing with a hillbilly accent, but Freakfoot's version sounded more authentic. Since I play a cello I can also play a halfassed violin, but couldn't keep up with the style Waldo was pulling off, so I found a good old fashioned one-stringed washtub bass, which fit much better. Everybody got involved, singing, playing, dancing, drinking some beers. It got to sounding good. Mel and I got to sounding drunk, not a lot, but enough to remind us what it was like.

We were in the middle of this top-professional recording studio, so Waldo asked: You guys wanna record this? Which led to: Why not? So we got it in three takes, which is pretty quick. Especially sounding as good as it did.

Freakfoot also had a new song, so we recorded that one too: On My Way To Limbo, which seemed to come out of nowhere. I'd sure never heard it before. Great bass line, maybe written just for me? Felt natural. We recorded that in one take without having even rehearsed it at all, just a quick run-through of the chords and Freakfoot doing the vocal.

Way back when Freakfoot and we started playing music together, we were very much an amateur band. I started out playing with that one-stringed toy bass-box Doug had built for playing around a bonfire when he was stoned. Mel was actually a pretty good pianist and has always had a nice voice, but nothing rilly special. Pokey was hitting his tom toms trying to sound like some generic Indian on the warpath, and Freakfoot had a magnificently powerful voice but couldn't find out what to sing.

But Freakfoot had that Vision and it included all of us. Then Dagrolyt, a real live wookie shaman, showed up and did some sha-haka magic to us and an album's load of original songs fell down upon us like manna from Heaven. And then a chain of weird coincidences nudged us into getting a gig as warm-up band for Chrome Pie; click click click, and we're famous! Ain’t that magic?

Personally, I finally feel like a real musician at last, after having first felt like a phony when I joined the band. I realized that I'd cared more about hanging out with these friends (now all lovers) than I did about the music. I mean, my instrument, the home-made bass-box, was a TOY that required no skill (although it did require having a good sense of rhythm and an accurate sense of tone).

But I had been a real musician once before: I'd been lead cello in grade school and high school orchestras, so I'd actually been pretty good once, but I got tired of band practice discipline and dropped it all. It didn't seem cool enough. I think I was embarrassed about hauling around that big old wooden box. Of course, that was before those Croatian guys in Two Cellos became popular and gave the instrument some modern street status. I can't believe I had to be such a snob, considering how much I actually loved playing the cello. It IS the sound. And the bow.

And now I've finally started playing cello onstage again after having ignored it and gone completely out of practice for almost 4 years. I've gotten pretty good with an el-bass too, although when we perform with Chrome Pie I'd rather let Charlie do the bass lines so that I can come in with those tasty bowed cello tones. Or sometimes violin, but that's still pretty basic. Depends on the song, natch.

Actually, we've all gotten pretty used to being one big band now rather than two-- an acoustic and an electric --having found our places in the sound. Our next album is going to be all of us together, after that, we'll see. It's already recorded, unless we decide upon some new songs, they keep popping up. We already have too many for our second album after "Squatch & Friends Live".

It was early Monday morning before we got back to our busses and our beds. Mel and I had tippled a wee bit more than we usually do, so we shared Freakfoot once again. Our next concert is in Memphis on Tuesday, just 200 miles away, so we had a whole free day ahead of us. We decided to hang out in Nashville for the day.

We did a breakfast for everyone-- well, müsli cereal with milk & bananas, coffee. We rarely do bacon and eggs, with all our vegetarians-- "rarely" as in never. But if Elaine ever hears that we served pancakes with cholesterol-laden sugary syrup (which all wookies rilly love), we'd probably never again dare to go home to the Hacienda.

Bunny came out of the CP bus, dressed in sexy tank top and shorts, but her blonde hair piled up in a tangled mess and not smiling. I asked about her "vacation" in Metropolis-- not trying to tease her, just an honest question.

Lee is such an asshole!
That bad, eh?
He 's totally unreasonable, just a tyrant!
What, just because he doesn't want to go to an orgy? Most people wouldn't either, y'know.
Well, I would. And he fucked up my only chance!

I considered reminding her that there's another Full Moon every month, then decided against it. She wasn't being receptive.

Nashville as a city is a bit more fun than most of the Middle-America towns we've come to. Big music scene, of course, we had no problem entertaining ourselves on a Monday, going off in different directions.

We "four wives" went with Freakfoot, a perfect little family. Bunny begged to come along with us, evidently avoiding Lee for the moment, so we let her. Although Freakfoot did go over to Lee in the CP bus to discuss their situation, not wanting to make it worse. Lee thought the problem would blow over, said go ahead take her for the day, it might do them both some good. Lee would go around with Scott and Charlie.

So we went to Robert's Western World, which Rick and Waldo had recommended to us as a real-live honky-tonk with open mike, live music all the time, even before noon. And fried baloney sandwiches, Magga and Masnia turned up their noses but I wasn't going to let that stop me, no ma’am. Smelled so good, taste too.

Freakfoot got invited up to sing a song, so he did Mean to Me just to tease me, but I joined him for the choruses and we got a roomfull of applause. The crowd was growing, so we lit out before getting stuck for more songs.

Bunny seemed to be having fun, she'd always been a bit aftaid of Adam, but now she was taking his arm, laughing when he said something clever (which he so often does) and including herself for all group hugs. Later she took me aside and asked me: just how big is Adam's dick anyway? Y'know, just casually amused interest. I said: just about right, rilly, but then I'm used to it.

The Marathon Village was an old car factory remade into a shopping mall, interesting but not a place we needed to hang out in. The Gulch, Germantown, East Nashville, had to try the biscuits from the Loveless Café, some Goo Goo Clusters-- just to overdo it --cross over the Cumberland River via the Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and ending up in Printer's Alley for the night life and bars, where Mel and Bunny and I actually allowed a few discreet drops of alcohol to cross our lips. We'd been ideal tourists up to then.

While on our way back to the busses Bunny asked me to come and talk with her about "things". In private. So we ended up sitting on the steps of a full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon (original still in Athens) and talking about her problems.

Rilly, she was most freaked out by how Lee told her she didn't have any place in the band if he decided to break up with her. And he threatened to do so if she was ever unfaithful to him. This was her life now, she had no other home, her parents had disowned her when she took off with Lee and his sinful band of rock & roll devil-worshippers.

I tried to sympathize with her, poor kid, love hurts, all that.

Then she asked me if Mel and I would mind if she also became one of Freakfoot's wives.

So what did you SAY to her? Melly asked when I announced that Bunny wanted to know if she and I would MIND if she also became one of Freakfoot's wives.

So I sez that I told her the truth: that we have just the delicate balance we want in our 4-maybe-5 way relationship. That there's a limit to how many lovers poor Freakfoot really wants to have to service every day.

You call that a truth? Mel half-laughs, saying he'd probably love having more "wives".

So I sez: Well, she did ask how WE'd feel. And WE wouldn't like it. That is, I assume you wouldn't either?

Oh, hell, no, Mel sez: Sunny maybe, but not Bunny. She's not moving in with us, that... airhead bimbo.

Rilly didn't think so, sez I.

No no, no way. Addy wouldn't want her either. I mean, she's a pretty girl with nice boobs and he probably wouldn't mind dicking her, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want to live with her in our bus.

And in our bed, I remind her.

Akk no! She's just too...

...Stupid, I finish for her.

I was trying to say something less unkind, Mel deflects, then shrugs and nods: but stupid works for me too. I mean, she hasn't thought anything out: what would she do about Lee? Just dump him? He might get pretty pissed off and this is a very tight little society. So she'll just-- what? --ignore him for the rest of the tour?

And she doesn't even play an instrument or sing, I say, making our case airight, her only real function for the band has been to keep Lee happy.

Well, she's an okay bus driver, Mel sez with a little shrug, still incapable of being unkind.

Chapter 13

the Adam out of Eden series