THE FUZZTONES "HORNY AS HELL" TOUR
April 4 - May 6, 2007
Since it was advertised as The Fuzztones Final European Tour, fans knew to expect something special, and The Fuzztones delivered just that by bringing back "Mad" Mike, the band's notorious wildman drummer from the "In Heat" line-up. Mike's flair for on-the-spot harmonies and off-the-wall stage banter were still intact, as was his ever-powerful skin-bashing. But wait! There's more! Also advertised were "Special Horny Guests," and no doubt the audience anticipated half nekkid zombie go-go wenches strutting their psychedelic stuff. They were instead confronted with a 3 piece horn section! The band's huge new sound was overwhelming, as they fused 60's Garage with 60's Soul on standards such as Ward 81 and She's Wicked, as well as new numbers like Garden of My Mind. To celebrate their newest release, Fuzztones Boom (a tribute to The Sonics), The Fuzztones worked up a medley of all the songs from the record, which features "Mad" Mike on the vocals on two of the tracks.
RUDI PROTRUDI - Lead Vocals, Phantom and Gretsch Guitars, Harp
"MAD" MIKE CZEKAJ - Drums, Vocals
LANA LOVELAND - Vox Organ, Vocals
LENNY SVILAR - Phantom Guitar
"SCREAMIN'" BO PILLE - Phantom Bass, Vocals
THE "HORNY AS HELL" HORNS:
STEFAN KAPITZKE - Alto Sax
ROLLO VOLTER - Baritone Sax
LARS BONFIRE - Trumpet
STEFFEN ZIMMER- Trumpet
The tour began in Scandinavia. Other than one festival in Oslo, Norway last year, the band hadn't played in Scandinavia since 1991. This time, the first show was in Copenhagen, Denmark. As soon as the band arrived at the club (in their big black Mercedes tourbus with black one-way windows!) Rudi was approached by LORENZO WOODROSE, who presented him with a handful of CDs by his band, BABY WOODROSE, who Rudi often sites as one of his favorite new bands. RUDI and MAD MIKE were interviewed by a local radio station at the venue. Read Interview! The next night The DEFECTORS' frontman, MORT HARDER, showed up backstage to party with the band. Check out their track on Illegitimate Spawn (and on the upcoming Vol. 2)!
By the third night (Stockholm, Sweden) things started getting wild. A 15 year old girl and her equally pubescent boyfriend, high on ecstasy, came backstage to party. Her offers to service LANA orally were appreciated, but not realized, while the STOMACH MOUTHS' bassist raved drunkenly about The Fuzztones. Before the show in Oslo, Norway, a window on the band's bus had been broken by vandals. Unbelievably, only a few of the driver's personnel hygiene items were stolen, and the DVD player, camcorders, laptops and other valuables were left intact. A girl was waiting for The 'Tones at the venue with business cards, offering her "services" to touring bands. After the show, several friends came by to congratulate the band, including FLAMEBOY, and Rudi's old pal ALAN PEATE, who used to babysit Rudi's cats when he lived in Venlo, Holland. One female fan came backstage, attempting to secure a free t-shirt. Rudi arranged a trade... A classic skull and crossed Phantoms logo shirt in return for her agreeing to sleep with Lenny. Later, mistaking Bo for Lenny, she was shunned, leaving Lenny rather despondent when he found out she was actually after HIM, but had already left by the time he found out. The trip to Germany was a mild form of Hell, especially for Ollie, the band's driver, as he was forced to hold in place the cardboard that was duct-taped to the smashed window, trying desperately to shield himself from the torrent of rain that lasted all the way to Berlin.
Up 'til now the band had 3 horns, but were joined in Berlin by KAPI, the second sax. The SRO crowd included Illegitimate Spawn's HANK RAY, and Punk queen TEXAS TERRI, as well as members of Berlin garagesters, WHAT FOR. Illegitimate Spawn graphic designer MARKUS STRUEMPEL and his wife KATARINA were also in attendance, as was H.P. DANIELS from Germany's largest newspaper, Tagesspiegel. Superfan ANDY COSTA came all the way from London, and caused quite a few heads to turn when he swayed shirtless at the lip of the stage, proudly displaying his THREE Fuzztones tattoos! LENNY and SCREAMIN' BO debuted their newly acquired Phantom guitars (courtesy of an endorsement with the company of the same name), and not to be outdone, Mike debuted his newly acquired Beatle boots (After the first show the heels fell off his and he did the rest of the shows with his boots held together with duct tape)! The club (White Trash Fast Foods) announced this as the band's "Last Show Ever," which may or may not have accounted for the three encores. Before leaving Berlin, a stopover at Rudi's underground Absinthe bunker was in order, where the band consorted with select invited elite.
Next gig was in Erfurt, Germany at a cool joint that looked alot like the Cavern Club; a railroad-style venue with stone walls and long bar. Cool opening act too (THE PARASCOPES), playing some obscure garage nugget on Phantoms as The Fuzztones walked in. Amazing rider with carved watermelons. It was here that Rudi bestowed Lars his new stagename, LARS BONFIRE. The tourbus broke down the next morning and the band had to push it 'til Ollie got it started, as Screamin' Bo adopted the role of overseer. Once back on the road, Rudi spent a good deal of the trip interviewing Mike for Rudi's upcoming autobiography. Typically, the tape player quit working mid-interview, unbeknownst to Rudi and Mike, and a good deal of very interesting recollections were lost forever. The crowds were great in Germany but even better in Eindhoven. The band hadn't officially played in Holland since 1991 (they did a small word-of-mouth underground show at a club in a squat in Den Hague in 2005, but that didn't really count). The club was the Effenaar, a venue that the band had played many times in the past, and the band seemed pleased to be back! The packed house included MONIQUE DEMARTEAU from THE WANTED (soon to appear on Illegitimate Spawn, Vol. 2), PABLO from SONIC LITTER (Spawn, Vol. 1), SONIC TEMPLE'S JOERI(on Vol. 1 as well) and his pal Gino (who has taken many great Fuzztones tour photos in the past).
Pics by Gino and Joeri
Rudi was especially glad to see a very special guest, BERTA PEATE, who came with her son John. Berta helped Rudi to escape from Venlo, Holland in 1995 (long story - you'll have to wait to read Rudi's book), and the reunion was an emotional one.
Live at the Petrol Club, Belgium. Pics by An.
After this marathon, the band needed a vacation - and that's just what was on the agenda: THREE DAYS OFF IN BEAUTIFUL, SUNNY BARCELONA! Between sex orgies, drug orgies, drug AND sex orgies, half naked beach outings and drinking binges, the band managed to fit in a bit of sightseeing, including the amazing Gaudi church and park. Highly recommended viewing while highly high. Last time the band played in Barcelona, old pal LYDIA LUNCH dropped by, and this year old pal and booking agent ROBERT MILLS showed up, as did yet another devoted fan displaying his Fuzztones tattoo. The actual gig (Be Cool club) was packed, and The Fuzztones tore the house down. The typically wild Spanish audience demanded four encores. Spanish and Italian fans could teach courses on how to be the perfect Rock 'n' Roll audience(s)! Despite long drives between shows, the 'Tones were looking forward to the following Spanish gigs. The next night at Sala Stereo in Alicante was just as wild, with a certain member of the horn section, who will go unnamed, making a drug deal while onstage and ending up passing out on the toilet. A few puke-stops on the way to Madrid, a little hair-of-the-dog, and he was his old self again, complaining about the COLLINS KIDS videos Rudi forced the band to watch on the long haul to Madrid. LARRY COLLINS might just be a little much when you're nursing a major hangover. As Madrid is the home of former Fuzztones drum basher, RAMIRO NIETO, the band kind of expected him to show up at the gig, but knowing Rams, he was probably busy "ramming" some little Madrid cutie. The show kicked ass, as usual, and one gal was so inspired that she leaped onstage, grabbed Rudi's mic and tambourine, and took over, finishing whatever Fuzztones classic the band was in the midst of, as Rudi looked on bemused. The evening's accommodations turned out to be a brothel . Yeeha! The last Spanish gig turned out to be a bit of a letdown, as the band tried to entertain an extremely stoned Irun audience that had begun smoking 4 hours earlier at soundcheck. A 25 minute version of Black Lightning Light, complete with Pink Floyd inspired improvs, seemed apropo. Pics courtesy of Marga and Natalia.
Pics by Stefano Masselli
Sextress opened all the shows for the Italian part of the tour, so Keiko worked double-duty. It was Lana's birthday and Sextress presented her with a fantastic homemade tiramisu made by JUSI, the mother of their singer, ANDREA. To show the band's appreciation, Rudi dedicated the evening's set to her. The Fuzztones, Sextress and former Sextress guitarist MAX (and his gal MILA) partied backstage, indulging in the Absinthe that Lana and Rudi brought from Berlin, and the homemade grappa provided by the festival. The last show was at the Velvet Club in Rimini. The Velvet is a huge and beautiful club next to a lake, which has been around forever. The Fuzztones have played it many times, beginning in the mid-80's, and for several years the club had a huge painting of the Fuzztones logo behind the bar. This show was one of the rockinest of the tour, and the audience was crazy. Several freaked-out Fuzzheads climbed over the crowd barrier railing, trying to get at the band. The security, helplessly out-numbered, just gave in. Inspired by the chaos, ROLLO took a flying leap from the riser, slid to the front of the stage on his knees, and belted out a honking baritone sax solo. The audience refused to let the band off the stage and demanded SIX encores! The Italian promoters, RUMBLEFISH, and especially SERGIO, did a fantastic job as always. Pics by Michele Morri.
THE FUZZTONES WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE FOR COMING
OUT AND MAKING THIS ONE OF THE GREATEST TOURS EVER!
THE BAND WILL CONTINUE TO RECORD AND PLAY OCCASIONAL
FESTIVALS AND ONE-NIGHTERS.STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS!!!