Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

Clay Smith: View from the Van – Aug. 21, 2007

Note: This is the final installment of The Rubberneckers’ tour diary.
4 a.m.
We crash on the roof of Andy’s place, Falco, Andrew and Me. Some stuff had to be hashed out as a few disagreements bubbled to the surface. Luckily cooler heads prevailed and everyone is still friends.

Day 22: Saturday, Aug.11 1 p.m.
It was great watching My Life play the Wii Nintendo thing against Andy and Michelle’s son Vegas AND CONSISTENTLY LOSE TO HIM!!! We’re leaving for Fort Bragg soon trying not to think about the fact that this is our last show together. My Life can’t play the Logger show because their bass player has to work on Monday. Well, at least our last show is at the Caspar Inn, we have rooms upstairs, and the party will go on all night. It will be a fitting end to this tour. Downs be damned. It was fun after all.

Caspar, 9 p.m.
Brendan and I are sitting upstairs in our hotel room listening to My Life sound check. We’re playing with our friends the Kerosene Kondors, and tonight is starting to take shape. I’m sentimental and contemplative but determined to go out with a bang, as I’m sure everyone else is.
2 a.m.
Show raged, and everyone had fun. Emotional singalongs and a typical amount of tears.
7 a.m.
I’m up to see My Life off with grunts and hugs. I even gave Andrew back his sleeping bag and backpack. Close call considering we had just been hiding it from him. He thought it was lost.

Day 23: Sunday, Aug.12
12:30 p.m.

I write this as everyone packs. The road home is short. Mendo now, next up Humboldt. We’ll play at the Logger Bar tonight to the home town crowd, have a few drinks and sleep for a week.
This was a long trip, full of exactly the kinds of ups and downs that you’d have to expect. We all lived. YEAH! No one drove off the side of a cliff or smashed into oncoming traffic, despite brake and steering issues. Nothing burned to the ground despite neglected fuel leaks.

But that’s not some sort of rationalization. We don’t need to get out of this saying, “Well, at least no one died. I mean, look on the bright side.” It’s not like that.

We had a good time. We made good friends into even better friends. We traveled thousands of miles together, played to countless amounts of people, and got drunk with as many of them as we could. Sure, sometimes it was tough. I’m NEVER going back to Reno. I don’t ever want to play another four band show. The next person that tells me that we get 30 minutes to play gets a poke in the eye. You know, ups and downs. Lotta ins and outs here. But we made it, and we’re better for it.

The ride home will be a triumphant one, a happy one, but don’t be confused. There are many friends we’ll miss and not see for a while. There are towns and places and faces that we just have to look forward to seeing again someday. So we’re happy, elated even, for the experience we had and the fact that we’re finally getting home.

Do it again you ask? Just give me time to shower and pack. See y’all at the Logger. And damn, someone buy me a drink…

Clay Smith plays guitar and sings in The Rubberneckers. He writes this from the road. Feel free to drop him a line at

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