|The Totally Not Rapey European Pillaging Continues||
Today I write from scenic Berlin. We arrived back here yesterday after a long, traffic-y drive from Munich, another town in Germany I have totally been to now. I am starting to feel the effects of rocking super hard and leading the rock-n-roll lifestyle nonstop for the past ten days or so. I am having trouble focusing on objects, forming coherent sentences, and other stuff what is like that. I still look incredible though, especially the hair.
Since leaving scenic Switzerland a few days ago, we have handed out a few more rock-n-roll beatdowns as the Walter Schreifels Band Euro-invasion continues. From St. Gallen, Switzerland, we continued on to Vienna, Austria the popular town most famous for the flavor of General Foods International Coffe that bears its name. It was a long drive through Switzerland and Bavaria getting there, during which we were stopped and searched by the Bavarian police twice. It was a bit of a hassle but mostly just added to the excitement as far as I was concerned. I am travelling with a veritable pharmacy of Oriental medicines in powder form that apparently look a lot like heroin, so the police made me come out to the back of the bus while they rifled through my luggage and sniffed my goods. I was delighted by how much they seemed to hate me. They had cool uniforms too. I wanted to get pictures but the Bavarian police were not “having it.” I guess I will just have to hold onto the memories or maybe try to get arrested next time I am out this way.
After not getting arrested or raped or anything by the Bavarian police, we continued on to Vienna, stopping along the way at a Bavarian rest stop that for some reason had an entire shelf of knickknackery dedicated to genital-based humor, which is really some of the best kind when it gets right down to it. I was particularly entertained by what appears to be testicle lotion in the photo above. I’m not sure what it said on the bottle, by I stared at it for a good 20 minutes, just laughing and laughing until I was finally kicked out of the store. Given the opportunity, I’d probably still be there right now still totally thinking it was really funny and thanking the people of Germany for keeping up the good work.
The club we played at in Vienna was called the Szene. I was really excited that the seriously good Norwegian Black Metal band Mayhem was going to be playing there a few days later as I dig that sort of thing. I thought about leaving a note for them in the dressing room that said something to the effect of “Hey Mayhem, I totally get the whole Satan thing. Keep up the good work” but ultimately decided against it for fear of being stabbed at a later date. Instead, I treated myself to a one-man all-you-can-eat wienerschnitzel party backstage. Most of our catering on this tour has been vegetarian since that’s how most of the guys roll, so when we finally had a big pile of breaded meat backstage I tore into it like it was some kind of f@#king contest or something. No one could believe it. The people of Vienna still talk about it to this day.
Our Vienna show was rocking as you can probably imagine. After we finished playing all the hits, we headed back to the hotel and a handful of us took to the streets in search of the party lifestyle. I was hoping we’d wind up in some old place where the people of Vienna were all dressed in adorable forest green outfits and dancing on wooden table tops but instead we wound up in a crappy little bar where some guy with a greasy ponytail was making sure we got our recommended daily allowance of techno music. We didn’t last long though, and ended up stumbling back to our hotel to sleep like small children hooked on Robitussin.
From Vienna, we contined on to Munich, another long drive. After soundcheck, Walter and I went for a seriously long run during which I almost had like five seizures since I had already gone for a run that morning Vienna before we skipped town. Somehow I survived though and managed to see all sorts of cool stuff around Munich, including the awesome church above that I probably should know the name of but- as of this writing- don’t. Stop yelling at me. The Munich show itself was maybe the best one yet in terms of the rock heat we were bringing. We have been playing a version of “Mustang Ford” by T. Rex that seems to get about five minutes longer each night. It is a super blast to play and everyone wants to make out with us as soon as we’re done.
We got back to Berlin yesterday and started partying super hard as is our wont. We got sushi for dinner and then made our way to a few bars and discos, including one where there was a makeshift beach along a canal complete with a bonfire that Arthur (pictured above, hanging out of the van on the autobahn yesterday) and I sat in front until we were pretty sure our hair was going to catch fire. I’m not sure what happened after that but everyone tells me I had a really nice time and was really fun to be around.
Tonight we rock Berlin. It is going to be incredible.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. Yesterday, I saw this car at a gas station in Germany. You never think you are going to see a car with a giant Bryan Adams sticker on the back of it and then one day you do and then life is never the same again.
|Greetings from Switzerland||
Greetings from St. Gallen, which is totally a place in Switzerland and yet another place on the Walter Schreifels Band’s hit list as we continue to lay waste to Europe without even really trying. We got here yesterday after deciding to give Germany a break for a few days. As we made our way across the Swiss border, I was immediately struck by the overall Swissness of it all, with goats and cows and adorable gingerbread-looking houses everywhere. It’s idyllic like a motherf@#ker. I’ve been here less than 24 hours but early reports are suggesting that it might be my favorite place I’ve ever been. I can’t vouch for the weather yet, but it’s easily as good as that of my hometown of Cleveland, so I’ll take it. Plus, small children dance around you and throw chocolates at your head pretty much everywhere you go here. It’s pretty great.
Our show last night was at a place called Gabenhalle and was super fun in nature. We played all the hits. The rock aside, the backstage spread was so far the best of the tour, complete with all sorts of vegetables that looked like they were just pulled from a garden by some adorably dressed little maiden with a cool hat. There was also a bar of Swiss chocolate so big it looked like it could cause injury. My plan was to take it and put it in my bag as I am the candy guy on this tour, but the other bastards dug into it before I could get to it, foiling my plan and darkening my world view in the process. I got through it though and had a really nice time eating all the other stuff and also drinking adorable cans of some Swiss beer called Quollfrisch that had some cool mountain guy with a goat licking him on the can.
Before the show, Walter and I went for a run into the Swiss mountains or at least the most Swiss mountainy area of the town. Along the way, we happened upon all sorts of adorable Swiss houses and general Swissness. No one litters here and it seems like a cute little goat might appear from behind every corner at any moment. Since I love both goats and chocolate, this town is pretty much set up for a guy like me.
I had such a super blast running around the town before our show last night that I woke up early this morning and did it all over again. This time I ran even further up to the tippy top of the entire town. No one could believe it. I’m pretty sure everyone in the whole town was cheering for me but it was hard to tell because I was listening to sweet jams on my headphones while also giving everyone the finger.
On the way back to our hotel, I happened upon the red barrel above. It sits atop a platform in the middle of the town and pees down on everybody all the time and there ain’t a damn thing anybody gonna say about it. I am pretty much going to need to get one of these.
Backing things up a bit, the night before last we rocked the f@#k out of Cologne, the famous German city named after the popular men’s fragrance. For some reason, I was really looking forward to coming to Cologne even though I knew nothing about it and my expectations were met as the town is pretty beautiful and seemingly full of good times all the time and doors that creak in a satisfying, old-timey way.
Earlier in the day before the Cologne show, we walked around the town a little bit and happened upon a giant church called the Sudturm des Kolner Domes or something. All the other guys in the band had been here before, so they didn’t want to go in but I was like “When in Cologne”, so I told them I would totally meet them later and went inside. The church was super beautiful, as you might expect. They let you walk to the very top of the steeples or whatever the towers of the church are called and I totally did that. There are about a million steps to the very top but I ran up them like I was being chased by a hellhound or maybe even Nazis, pushing old ladies and small children out of my way the entire time. They were kind of pissed but even so they couldn’t help but cheer for me because I was so awesome at running up those damn stairs.
Once I got to the very top, I walked outside on the balcony thingy and took in the majestic views of the sweet ass town of Cologne. For a brief moment, I even considered what a lucky guy I am. Then I ran back down the stairs, pushing more old ladies and small children out of my way and also slowly reembracing the existential crisis I had left waiting for me on the ground floor.
Our show in Cologne was at a cool club called the Blue Shell. It was packed and we played the best we’ve ever played together before. A few times during the show, I tried to see if I could be not awesome at rocking for a second if I really tried but it didn’t work- I was so f@#king awesome at rocking I almost had a seizure. Everyone wanted to make out with me.
Before soundcheck in Cologne, I walked around the town a little bit looking for action and also trying to buy batteries. Along the way, I stopped into a bar and drank an adorable little glass of Gaffel Kolsch, which is made in Cologne as far as I’m concerned since it seems like that’s all anyone drinks there. That is me totally having a nice time while drinking my beverage above. I wish you could have been there. You have to hear my new accent.
|The German Invasion Continues||
Greetings from Wiesbaden. Wiesbaden is a town in Germany that I never knew existed but then the guys in the band told me were going to play in Wiesbaden and then my life was never the same again. Last night we played somewhere called the Schlachthof that was super fun despite being difficult to pronounce. The club let us order individual pizzas with the toppings of our choice, so as soon as we finished rocking we all totally got to sit around eating the delicious pizzas made to our exact specifications. I had mine with garlic, pepperoni, and some other bullshit. I really seemed to like it.
After we finished eating the pizzas and generally having a really nice time, we headed back to the hotel, which was really classy. Since I snore and also sleep with my balls out, the guys let me have my own room. Before I went to sleep though, I met Arthur in the lobby and we decided to hit the streets of Wiesbaden in search of good times all the time. We came up empty. The area of Wiesbaden we were staying in was dead quiet, the only sounds we heard being our footsteps and our sophisticated conversation. We turned it around and headed back to the classy hotel.
Back things up a bit not unlike in the hit movie “Memento,” the night before last we played in Bielefeld, another German town that sounded made up to me until we got there. I didn’t get to see much of Bielefeld but I will still say it seems quite delightful. The club we played at was underground, a bunker of sorts, so much in fact that it was called the Bunker Ulmenwall. It was a cool venue, with the band playing in the round and the audience standing on all sides. This gave me, Walter, and the rest of the guys in the band the chance to check out each other’s hot rock licks and tastefully assembled outfits. Everyone had a really nice time kicking everyone in the taint with our hot rock music.
After the show, we headed to some weird artist building with a giant apartment for us to stay in, complete with tons of food, beds, appliances, and other things rock bands in America would never be trusted with. Because I snore and also sleep with my balls out, the guys decided to give me my own room again, which was great for me. Also, there was enough toilet paper for everybody, something which is not to be underestimated.
Yesterday morning or so, we packed up from Bielefeld and made our way to Wiesbaden, the popular German town mentioned earlier. Along the way, we stopped off in Dortmund to maybe drop off some equipment and ultimately decide not to. We did all get to use the bathroom though, which is where I saw the sign above. I couldn’t make sense of it either. I decided to pee standing up in accordance with the prophecy and totally not let the sign mess with my head. After that, we went to a grocery store where I bought a delicious waffle of some sort. Then we kept on driving and driving while making swears and listening to loud rock music. This is the rock-n-roll lifestyle.
|R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio||
I was very to sad to hear about Ronnie James Dio passing away. The text messages and e-mails started coming in around 6am here in Germany yesterday, first as rumors of his death and then the official word later in the day. Dio ruled- an awesome singer, metal visionary, and a super nice guy. I had the honor of having him on the Dave Hill Explosion at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles a few years ago and it was an incredible experience. I was really nervous to meet him and have him on my show and he immediately set me at ease. He was smart, funny, gracious, and super awesome in his Ronnie James Dio-ness.
After the show, he signed my guitar. It reads “Dave Hill rocks magic- Ronnie James Dio.” I get a chill waking up and seeing that every morning when I’m home. And I can’t help but think that the guitar now has a lot more hot riffs swimming around inside of it as a result. It’s hard to pick a favorite song Dio sang on, but this one- “Heaven and Hell” by Black Sabbath- is definitely up there. Rock out to it now in Dio’s honor:
|Hamburg City Nights||
Today, I woke up somewhere in the outskirts of scenic Hamburg, which so far wins my award for best place in Germany. I’ve only been to three cities for a day each so far, so that’s probably not enough to go on, but as of this writing I am sticking with it. It’s fun to jump to conclusions sometimes.
Last night, we rocked the Grüner Jager, which means the Green Hunter I think. It is a rock club that supposedly used to be a clubhouse of sorts for Hitler Youth a long time ago. Last night though, it was a clubhouse for people who wanted their faces rocked off and that’s what happened. Atlantic Pacific, the great band we are on tour with, came on and rocked people and then we- the Walter Schreifels Band- came on and handed out a beating of our own. We played all the hits and then afterward- as seems to be the case everywhere we go here in Germany- the club was transformed into a two-floor disco, one floor playing rock with no smoking and another floor playing dance music where everyone was apparently required to smoke.
After we finished hanging out at the Hitler Youth clubhouse turned rock club turned disco, we wandered around Hamburg in the rain looking for more good times. Apparently, a lot of people had this idea though as pretty much everywhere was packed with Germans in search of good times all the time, preferably with techno playing in the background. Around 3am, we decided to pack it in and head back to the home of Frederick, an excellent dude who puts out Walter’s records over here and has a sweet house he didn’t mind having six dudes stink up for a night.
Once we got back to the house, we hung out and ate cheese-based sandwiches, drank more stuff, and watched an episode of “Snuff Box,” the excellent Rich Fulcher/Matt Berry show that I had somehow never seen before. John from Atlantic Pacific has got all the episodes on his computer and now I totally want to watch all of them before I do anything else in life. I recommend it.
In other news, the picture above is of some canned sausages I spotted in grocery store. They were hard to miss as there were about 500 cans stacked on top of each other, in accordance with the prophecy. Traveling with a bunch of vegetarians, I haven’t been eating all that much sausage over here, which is for the best I suppose, though I have been admiring sausage in its various forms from afar. If you need a can of sausages, they’ve got that over here, priced to move too. They’ve pretty much got things sorted out.
Now I am going to jump in the shower and rinse off the funk of last night’s rock show so that I might do it all over again tonight in a place called Bielefeld, which based on advance reports sound like the Newark of Germany or something. I will keep you posted on this and other topics in the very near future.
|Greetings from Scenic Germany||
Hello…or should I say “Hallo!” because I am totally in Germany right now. I know- I can’t believe it either. Anyway, I am here on a rock tour playing the axe for the Walter Schreifels Band. We are playing eight shows in Germany, one in Austria, and one in Switzerland, all places I have never been before. I am pretty sure all the people who live in those places are really excited that I am coming. I can feel it. No one has thrown anything at my head yet.
So far, my time in Germany (two days) has not been the parade of women dressed like the girl on the St. Pauli girl beer bottle or dudes in lederhosen playing the accordion and generally having a really nice time while being surrounded by various large quantities of sausage-based foods. I have still been having a really delightful time though, drinking and eating stuff and not understanding much of what anyone is saying to me. I look like I could possibly be German though, so most people here tend to start talking to me in German until they see the tears of confusion start streaming down my face and they are forced to read to me from a dusty old story book about something that happened to some “kinder” a seriously long time ago in the woods or something. Also, people keep trying to take a crap on me. What is up with that?
Our first show was last night in Bremen, a popular German town I am told. It was really fun. I got to play the hot gold top Les Paul that the Gibson company in Berlin was nice enough to loan me for the tour. That is me totally standing there with the guitar in question above. I am supposed to give it back at the end of the tour and I am already struggling with that idea. Wrestling buffs might also like to know that the guy working at Gibson who hooked me up with the hot axe used to be a professional wrestler in the U.S., going by the name of Herman the German (true story). I was pretty excited about this. I asked hit me over the head with a folding chair or something but he didn’t seem into it. He has moved on and I need to move on too.
Today we are off to Hamburg, the popular German town named after the popular meat-based sandwich that we still talk about to this day. I am told Hamburg is pretty much good times all the time. I am hoping to get some “wasser mit gas” when I get there, which it turns out means “water with gas” only in German. It sounds like it is water that farts a lot or something, but it is actually just sparkling water. I find all of this endlessly entertaining because I am grown man who pays for things with his own money (usually). I will keep you updated on all of the above very soon. Brace yourselves.
|Valley Lodge: Live on WFMU||
As rumored on the Internet, last night my hot rock band Valley Lodge made an appearance on Evan “Funk” Davies’ excellent radio program on the excellent WFMU radio station. We came on the show, rocked out, blew minds, and pretty much stole hearts in general for about an hour straight. Now you can hear the carnage for yourself by listening to that particular episode of the show in its entirety right here. We come on at about the one hour point and it is really incredible. I hope you enjoy it so much. And thanks to Evan, Diana Kamikaze, and WFMU in general for having us on and also giving us snacks.
|Valley Lodge Rocks Union Hall in Brooklyn this Saturday!(!)||
Hi. Do you like getting your face melted, your hair singed, and your pants soiled as a result of listening to incredible rock music? Yes? Okay, great, then you should totally come see my seriously great rock band Valley Lodge this Saturday, May 8 as we rock with authority at Union Hall in scenic Park Slope along with two other fine rock bands, Beat Radio and West Dakota. The mayhem begins at 7:30pm. Also, Union Hall serves mini-hamburgers that are really, really good. You can get a sense of the kind of rock heat we are bringing without even trying by watching the incredible music video about. Warning: There are guys butts in this video. But there is a hot chick in her underwear in the end, so don’t worry that you are going to turn instantly gay or something.
|The Target Knife Attacker Seems Like A Total Bitch||
Yesterday, I heard some unsettling news about some nutjob (specifically a female nutjob by the name of Layla Rosetta Trawick, who is from Antioch, California, one of the oldest towns in California, having been founded in 1850. The year following the discovery of gold, there was a plague that overtook the city and wiped out most of the population) wandering into the Target department star in West Hollywood, California and stabbing four people before eventually being apprehended by an off-duty police deputy who just happened to be shopping for stylish yet completely reasonably priced housewares and clothes items at the popular retail chain at the exact same time Layla was trying to kill everyone else in the store for reasons only she can really fully explain.
This news greatly disturbed me on several different levels. As a consumer myself, I have wandered into Target many times before, sometimes after having gotten wasted at a nearby Applebee’s, my favorite neighborhood hang, and searched around for all sorts of items I either wanted or needed and could afford to pay for without worrying about it at all because I am a celebrity and throwing down a few bucks on a trash can designed by Todd Oldham or what have you is pretty much business as usual for someone like me. However, it should be noted that there have been many times I have wondered into the popular Target department store and found nothing I wanted whatsoever no matter how long or hard I looked. The big difference between me and Layla Rosetta Trawick in this situation, though, is that even in those times when I did not find a single goddamn thing I wanted at fricking Target, I didn’t go stabbing anyone or calling people names or anything- I simply walked out of the store and found something else to do with my time other than flip the f@#k out and stab a bunch of people who happened to also be searching for hip and funky housewares and clothing items often brought to you at a price you can afford by some of today’s hottest designers.
Layla Rosetta Trawick- who, for the record, seems like a total bitch or something- however, decided to take a different approach under the exact same circumstances and ended up stabbing three women and one man simply because Target failed to “wow” her or whatever the F she expected to happen to her in the forward-thinking department store yesterday. This seems really negative to me. I’m just glad Deputy Clay Grant Jr. was off-duty and picking up a couple of stylish and reasonably priced household items from Target when customers started screaming because their shopping ability was about to be greatly compromised. Deputy Clay Grant Jr. jumped to the rescue and the next she knew, Layla Rosetta Trawick was no longer able to keep stabbing everyone at Target just because she couldn’t find her size or whatever the f@#k was her problem. What a bitch. I can’t believe her sometimes.
Now that this insanity is behind us, I would like to officially propose that Layla Rosetta Trawick not be allowed into Target again for a seriously long time- six months, a year, whatever it takes to send her a message that stabbing people at Target will simply not be tolerated. If Layla Rosetta Trawick is allowed back in the store immediately, this will only serve to let her and others know that stabbing people at Target is okay. Sorry- it’s not, Layla. And if you have to learn the hard way, then so be it. Stabbing people at Target is not “cool” or “hip.” You should be ashamed of yourself. I really hope you are because I am so angry at you right now. A lot of other people are too. What you did was wrong.
All of the above having been said, however, you can still totally tell that Layla Rosetta Trawick probably cleans up real nice and could look kind of hot if she really tried. Sorry though, Layla- I don’t date stabbbers. A lot of people don’t. I hope you don’t get dates for a really long time.
|Walter Schreifels Band TOMORROW at Studio at Webster Hall w/Me, Dave Hill, on Axe||
Hi. It’s me, Dave. From before. Anyway, if you are in New York City tomorrow night, you should totally come out to see the Walter Schreifels Band, featuring Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Quicksand, Rivals Schools, Walking Concert), Arthur Smilios (Gorilla Biscuits, CIV), Andy Action (2 Skinnee Js, Apes and Androids) as we play at Webster Hall to celebrate the release of Walter’s new album “An Open Letter to the Scene,” which is seriously great and available now on iTunes and other places. The show tomorrow night also features Atlantic Pacific and Jump into the Gospel. It’s gonna be a scorcher as we are playing all the hits. You can get the full scoop here.