On The Road In The US

Published on March 31st, 2016 | by Nigel Cartner

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Mohawk Radio US Tour Pt 12 – Los Angeles – Guns n Roaches & Eviction Notices!

Late last night Mohawk Radio arrived, so the plan was to get down to Venice Beach, where they had their own Airbnb near the beach front, and spend the whole day and night with them on our final day in LA.

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Look at those muscles…Arnie’s aren’t bad either!

Another cheap Uber was taken,  and having given the driver the address of where the band were staying, it turns out it was about a thirty second walk from where the iconic Jim Morrison painting is located, just the other side of it in fact.
What we didn’t notice yesterday was on the other side of this building was a similar painting of Arnold Schwarzenegger back in his bodybuilding days. I then realise that the building itself is part of the Muscle Beach Gym, another iconic landmark where the gym is on the beach itself. I presume there’s one inside too and is not solely for posers…..but this is LA after all.

We meet up with the band at their place once they return from an important meeting with their LA based lawyer in the morning. The story telling of our travels away from each other since Arizona starts.

What happened to them in Houston seems crazy. They arrived at the house, having been told by the owner that it might not be up to scratch due to the fact she’d not been well of late and hadn’t had a chance to check on the current occupants. Perhaps the band were thinking it’d be messy like standard student accommodation, but not to the extent of what the reality was.

Without going into huge details all I’ll mention is bins tipped upside down with rubbish everywhere, cat piss, cockroaches, filthy dirty sheets, and the crème de la crème…. a stack of guns in the corner. What realm had they walked into? You couldn’t make it up.

The gig they had booked in Houston was taking place in the house itself, because the venue they were meant to play, Fitzgeralds, had closed down since the booking. It appeared that more and more people of similar morals as the current occupiers were turning up to the house, and there was a threat that things could turn stupid….especially with guns knocking about. You can work out for yourself as to whether the band played and stayed under these conditions.

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Muscle Beach on Venice Beach

No sooner had they told us the story of their accommodation woes in Houston, there was a knock on the door. A man entered and asked whether a Mr Thompson was home. We shrugged and looked blankly at him. The man then introduces himself as a bailiff, and is about to serve Mr Thompson with an eviction notice. We all looked at each other almost bursting with laughter from the turn of events. After explaining that they hadn’t heard of a Mr Thompson (who was being hunted for tax evasion or something similar) and that his contact name or details aren’t on the receipt they got from from the accomodation, the bailiff left, slapping the eviction notice on the door which takes effect in six weeks. Luckily that didn’t affect the band, who were only here for four nights, but it was just another random event that seemed to be following Mohawk Radio on part of their accommodation itinerary. It prompted Greggsy to say that this tour could be renamed, ‘Guns n Roaches and Eviction Notices.’ Brilliant!

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Mohawk Radio in Austin, Texas

Aside from the incident in Houston, they said Texas was a great place and they had a ball in Austin at the SXSW Festival. Strangely enough Maddy’s birthday was the day before mine so that added to the celebrations in Texas. Like I’ve said in an earlier blog, I was disappointed that me and Sue couldn’t stretch to be with them in Texas, but after their Houston story, I was a little happier it worked out the way it did for us. Sue being the Queen of cleaning would’ve passed out if she’d seen that, or alternatively made a killing (if the guns would’ve been hidden) by top to bottoming the place for what I would have suggested charging a very large fee for. Who needs a big win in Vegas when you’ve got someone who enjoys cleaning with you? Our potential golden egg!

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Sue with Mia……hiding from the pap!

Me, Sue and the band then went for a walk down Venice Beach promenade. Unfortunately, Maddy was playing catch up with admin related tasks for Mohawk Radio so she left us to it. I keep forgetting it’s not a holiday for them…..or me at times trying to keep up with these blogs. Actually, it’s only Groupie Sue who’s living the dream.

Venice Beach on a Monday is far better than the cattle farm a Sunday brought. It still wasn’t quite what I expected beforehand, but it was much quieter and it seemed to be freer from people on the suspicious side. It was a far more relaxing atmosphere and how we spent the day emulated the vibe Venice now held. We duck into a couple of bars and the mood is perfect, just chilling with friends in Venice Beach Bars with a few beers, sharing stories and having a laugh with no pressure at all to deviate from drinking beer all day.

This appears to be the shortest blog I write on this trip, suggesting very little happened today, but in reality this was one of the most enjoyable days we had, and was probably the first time on the whole trip that we were just able to sit and enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes just being with friends, having a few drinks, talking about nothing in particular in such surroundings is what makes something so great. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about what we saw or what activities we did. We were on the West Coast of America, sat in bars drinking beer on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. This isn’t exactly an everyday occurrence, and sometimes, just sitting and absorbing the significance of where you are in that moment is a thrill in itself. Does it get much better than that? ‘We were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.’

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Mohaw Radio soaking up the Venice vibe

After spending several hours drinking and grabbing something light to eat, me and Sue leave the band shortly after tea time, and we make plans to meet up on Sunset Boulevard a little later for our final night with them on this memorable tour. I’m looking forward to a big night given the circumstances. Unfortunately, it seemed that the travelling had finally caught up with everyone and from about 8pm most were asleep with little chance of being disturbed. The only two people raring to go out were me and Maddy; the writer and the manager, not the band. It’s a sign of the times that the craving for rock n roll has shifted from band to backroom staff. Haha!

I can’t say I blame the band though. It must have really taken its toll on them considering they’ve been flying, landing and performing across a few different time zones. They still had to be on top form for a gig in LA at The Mint in two days time, and there was to be the epic finale of playing in Mia’s home country, Bermuda, for what would surely be the perfect way for them to round off their tour. It’s a shame that we never got a chance to say bye to Mohawks in LA, but in some way I’m glad we didn’t. The way we left it in this casual manner suggests we’ll all be back together on tour someday. A kind of, ‘see you later’ or ‘till the next time’ attitude. Maybe that’s the rule I’m going to propose…..you never say bye on tour.

So our last night in LA was spent back at our Airbnb apartment without incident. I think it was the first night for nearly two weeks that we didn’t go out at night, but we did have one day left. What a huge day it promised to be. If Bermuda was the perfect ending for Mohawks journey, then Vegas was the perfect end for our trip….although Sue may disagree. But one final night in Las Vegas really got the adrenaline going! A place where there was a real temptation to hammer it and go out with a bang! One final chance to win big? One final chance to stay in America? One final chance to fly to Bermuda…..?

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About the Author

Nigel is a huge fan of music from the 60s and 70s with an emphasis on rock, psych, blues and indie. This spreads to music of the same genre into the modern era. Being a Manchester lad he also has an affiliation with local music past and present. He has also recently released his debut novel, 'Lost in Manchester, Found in Vegas' which is available on amazon or njcartner.com



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