Days Of Wine And Roses: On The Road With Mudhoney

Once upon a time critics were often quick to say Mudhoney were over. Mark Andrews hangs out backstage for a wine or three with a band who are now having the last laugh. All photographs courtesy of Joan Vandenbossche

The Roots and Roses festival in Lessines, Belgium is Mudhoney’s opening date on their first European tour since 2013. The festival is sufficiently niche to fit inside the running track of a disused school athletics ground. The rusting football goal posts are still there. Homely and low key, it should be a great way for the band to ease back into the saddle.

There are three tents: two for music, one for beer. Twelve bands alternate between the Roots stage (a loose designation for the music on offer) and the Roses stage (named after Lessines’ only tourist attraction – the beautiful 13th century Hôpital Notre Dame à la Rose. Mudhoney close out Roses, the tent with the harder rock action.

The bands are lodged backstage in the Primary school next door. The classrooms function as dressing rooms. Mudhoney have been allocated Madame Aude’s room. Her class are 2eme, the equivalent of Year Three in the UK. The prospect of the "Godfathers Of Grunge" encamped in a schoolroom which usually serves eight-year-old Belgians is not lacking in incongruity. If the band get bored they can go to the reading corner and browse The Crocodile King or The Three Brave Little Gorillas. Or learn how to pronounce "agneau", "hérisson" and "pingouin" by looking at laminated wall displays. Truth be told, on the evidence of the early evening band dinner, the phrase, “Vin rouge, s’il vous plait” could do with some work.

Or they could try on some of the Napoleonic military headgear (infantry shakos, to be precise), that Madame Aude’s class have been making out of card and glue. No doubt this is because the 200th anniversary of Waterloo is next month and Waterloo is about 45 minutes’ drive away.

When Mudhoney arrive they are greeted by a message from its previous festival occupants – Daddy Long Legs from Brooklyn. They have chalked “SCHOOLS FOR FOOLS” [sic] on the board.

Mudhoney spend hardly any time in her room though. They are in and out of Lessines in less than five hours. Dinner, interview, soundcheck, show, photos and gone. The set-up for this tour looks slick and relaxed. Mark Arm and Danny Baird the Tour Manager flew into Brussels two days earlier. The rest of the band (Steve Turner, Guy Maddison and Dan Peters) arrived yesterday. Add in Vince Davey selling merch and Kelly Berry doing the sound and Mudhoney are on tour as a unit of seven plus driver.

Things are far from cut to the bone or squeezed for the last cent. The clue is a sleek Nightliner with Portuguese plates parked outside the school, not to mention the guilt-free days off in the schedule and the nights in a down town Brussels hotel before the tour even starts.

Don’t think these austere, post-internet times have led to a great levelling between the workers in song on this bill, even on May 1 – International Workers Day. They may well get the same Mauritian curry, same dressing room and soundcheck privileges and they use the same school toilets signed garçons and filles but there’s a chasm between The Glücks who opened up at 11.00 and Mudhoney who go on at 20.25. Mudhoney weathered the storm of the ‘00s and now reside in a corner of Steve Albini’s sun-dappled uplands where bands and audiences (and even labels) have successfully renegotiated their relationship with each other as well as the modes of production and distribution.

Mudhoney now have a combined age of precisely 200 and frankly the years have not taken a serious outward toll on them. In their different ways, they look comfortable: Turner, shaggy and professorial, like he’s just driven to the festival after teaching a class on Gender and Transmogrification to graduate students; Maddison, craggy but sportif, probably at his leanest since joining the band, a product of having a pre-school daughter, I’d hazard; Arm, wiry as ever and still on a run of good hairdos; Peters has gained waist and lost hair, but is still one of the few 47-year old men able to pull off wearing a short-brimmed fedora.

“In my whole entire life, these last ten years have been the best,” Arm admits. Middle-age suits him and Mudhoney. The evidence is all over Vanishing Point, their last album, a wry record about adjusting to the revulsion, melancholy, regret and lowered expectations of one’s middle years. And doing it sounding like Mudhoney.

Bands, by and large, get well looked after in Belgium and those playing at Roots and Roses are no exception. Belgians still abide by the notion of state-subsidised culture and culture most definitely includes rock & roll. Roots and Roses is run out of Lessines’ René Magritte Cultural Centre and staffed by volunteers and enthusiasts. And their kids. So like the other bands, Mudhoney’s dinner is home-made and served to them by two young daughters of festival helpers. The whole festival feels hand-crafted and cosy.

This makes anyone who looks like a rock star stand right out. To whit: David Eugene Edwards of headliners Wovenhand – Willem Dafoe’s lost audition tape for Velvet Goldmine – and the aforementioned Daddy Long Legs: equal parts Bad Timing Art Garfunkel meets Lee Brilleaux; Melody Nelson-era Gainsbourg’s kid brother and squint-and-it’s-John Bonham. These snappy dressers, for the record, behaved with modesty and decorum. There were no douchebags on parade in Lessines.

An interview-phobe of long-standing, Peters absents himself, when that time comes. The three members of Mudhoney who stay could easily pass as the critical care nurse, a warehouse manger at Sub Pop and a folkie stay at home dad on vacation. Indeed, with seven around the dinner table there’s no clue who is crew and who is band. They are all casually dressed middle-aged guys shooting the shit and drinking booze.

Danny Baird tells the wildest story, one involving strong hash and vomit on the sidewalk. Neither may have been his, it should be noted. There’s talk about getting the slightly bleary Turner aisle seats on the flight back and a debate about who did the original version of ‘Copacabana’. Arm barely touches his curry. Berry surmises it’s because, with show time less than two hours away, “You don’t want to shit yourself when you reach for a note.” Arm corrects him thus: “I don’t so much reach for a note. I think more: ‘Hm, is this within my half octave range?’" Self-deprecating, but still a pro, he declines the crème brûlée on the grounds that too much dairy will make him phlegmy. No such worries when you play bass: Guy packs away at least two.

2013 (and early 2014) were full of landmarks for Mudhoney: Vanishing Point, their best album in 20 years; 70+ dates across 4 continents, the publication of Keith Cameron’s Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury From Seattle; being on Jimmy Fallon, only their second time ever on late night US TV; and playing on top of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle as part of Sub Pop’s 25th birthday celebrations. (“I was close to the edge. I live my life like that”, quips Turner.)

But by their own admission they overdid it.

Mudhoney then took it comparatively easy for most of 2014 and the first third of 2015, but they are going to be at almost full capacity for the rest of this year. “This European tour is a big one for us,” says Turner. “We got offered a couple of cool things in the week after we thought we were going home, so we extended.” Athens and Istanbul proved irresistible: “We thought, ‘Fuck, we gotta do that!’” Then there’s ATP on an ex-NATO base in Iceland and East and West Coast US tours.

Roots and Roses will be only their fifth gig this year. One was supporting The Sonics at Seattle’s legendary Moore Theatre, another was specifically put on to get LA punks The Flesh Eaters to come to town to as part of the commemorations of the reissue of their 1981 album A Minute To Pray.

The other two 2015 gigs have been booze-related, one in Seattle, one in Portland, Oregon. The Mudhoney Tourbook (curated by a Berkley alumnus, a “completist and numbers genius”, according to Turner) describes them as follows: “Noted oenophiles Mudhoney play at a wine event that former manager Bob Whittaker is involved with. Given that it’s a wine event, the crowd is fully liquored up and dancing, and they of course end their set with ‘Chardonnay’.” The other: “Mudhoney played a private gig as part of the Craft Brewers Conference. With Washington having legalized marijuana, they’re just one private gig away from the trifecta.”

I suspect that Maddison is the beer buff in the band. When he realises that Roots and Roses is serving beer from the nearby Dupont brewery, he notes that the Saison “would set you back 12 bucks in Seattle”.

Therefore Mudhoney have spent the vast majority of the last 18 months not being Mudhoney. Which also pretty much describes the last 18 years. Maddison has previously described the group as “an elaborate hobby”. If anyone sees Mudhoney differently, as something more like a calling, it would be Peters. “When I was a kid, for as long as a can remember, playing music is all I wanted to do,” are some of his few official words in Lessines. “He built his own drum kit out of ice cream containers and stuff”, says Maddison to illustrate. Peters emerges from Keith Cameron’s book as the most gifted and heroic figure (“What book were you reading?” he says when this is put to him) and it is a real regret he isn’t part of the interview.

Since 2013, it is Guy’s working life that has changed the most. “I was the Assistant Manager of my department at the Harbourview Medical Center for 18 months, which was not a job I particularly enjoyed. So I decided I would just go back to working as a nurse, on a per diem basis.”

“So I’ve sort of gone part time. But that’s more related to my wife’s career. She works for the Gates Foundation in international library development and that could potentially move us to The Hague next year.”

Would that leave Mudhoney needing a new bass player? Or broken up?

“It would make a few things more difficult,” says Arm. “Guy is keeping his house in Seattle and plans on travelling back and forth. We have a couple of completed songs and a bunch of killer riffs. We hope to record before the Maddisons move.”

“When Guy said he was taking that job in office management, I knew he wasn’t going to like it,” adds Turner. “He’s a man of action.”

“Not of bureaucracy,” adds Arm. “Technically, I’m a manager too. For many years I was the only person in the warehouse, so ‘Warehouse Manager’ is really just a title.”

“Hey, I’m the manager of my own eBay business!” Turner chips in. “And also the crappy day labourer.”

“And the janitor”, adds Arm.

“When my son was born," Turner explains, “I decided I wanted to stay home for the first year at least of his young life. I started looking at my record collection going, ‘Hm, I could sell some of these’ and I just kept doing it. I still list and sell things on eBay.”

“I’ve hunted for records all my life and it gives me an excuse to keep doing that.”

Maddison’s change of job and some of Peters’ and Turner’s children becoming teenagers have made it easier for Mudhoney to tour. “The older kids can watch the younger kids now. That makes it less stressful,” confirms Turner.

Mudhoney is definitely not the dominant force in any of these three men’s lives. Turner describes the week before coming on his tour as “chaos” but the reasons are distinctly non-rock & roll. Two days before he left, his wife took a new job, “So there’s a few hours here and there that are going to be difficult to manage with my ten year old. So before coming on tour, I was telling him how to use a key in a door of a house for the first time. I got him a phone for the first time yesterday.”

Maddison’s biggest priority has been “trying to take my daughter to Day Care”.

Arm has had things the roughest of the three: “I started this tour off on a really shitty foot. I had two dogs. One was 16 years old and we put her to sleep the Wednesday before we left. And yesterday I got an email from my wife saying, ‘Please call me.’ Our other dog just died. Totally unexpectedly. He was younger and we figured we’d have him for at least a few more years. To tell you the truth, I’m a little shell-shocked right now.”

Mudhoney, it’s safe to say, have not been rehearsing intensively for this tour. As well as the daily grind, Turner lives in Portland – nearly 300 km from Arm’s basement in Seattle where they practise. Mudhoney have played together long enough not to worry. “For every tour we have a list of songs we know back to front and some we know well enough to tune up quickly,” says Arm. “However, we hope to get around to a bunch of songs we haven’t been playing for a while.”

“But not tonight,” clarifies Turner. “We haven’t had a chance to work out the kinks in stuff we haven’t played for 15 years.”

Mudhoney attract a fairly age-diverse crowd and Lessines will be no exception. “Unless we’re playing an over-21 venue, there’s usually kids in their teens, which is kind of surprising,” explains Arm. “The parents of some of them are fans of ours from the old days,” adds Turner. “What really got me is two years ago when the first grandmothers started coming backstage.”

“We mentioned that to Wayne Kramer,” recalls Arm. “And he just said, ‘Get used to it.’”

“Ah yes,” says Turner. “That era has begun.”

“Our audience is definitely bigger than it was 10 or 15 years ago but not as much as in ’92,” says Arm.

“That was a freak occurrence,” says Turner. “We knew those people weren’t going to stick around anyway. But I am constantly surprised we get the crowds that we do and how passionate some people are still. However, I get it that people have dipped in and out. Who would be there the whole way?”

Arm agrees. “I have bands that I love and it’s like, ‘Oh man. They have a new record out? I didn’t know that!’ About the only person I’ve kept up with the whole step of the way is Nick Cave. But The Fall? I stopped keeping up with them a long, long time ago. It’s just impossible.”

“You don’t keep up with Discharge anymore?” Turner asks Arm.” I think they’re on singer number five.”

“Um, yeah. I haven’t kept up with Discharge,” replies Arm.

I naively reveal that I’ve got everything Grant Hart has done since Hüsker Dü. This cuts no ice with an inveterate crate-digger like Steve Turner. “That’s not much to keep up with.”

This triggers a trip down punk rock memory lane. “Mark, when did Hüsker Dü first play Seattle? They opened for The Dead Kennedys.”

“The Fartz and Maggot Brains played on the same bill,” replies Arm. “Gang Of Four played the weekend before and were amazing. 999 played on the Friday before The Dead Kennedys played on the Sunday.”

“I saw 999 and The Dead Kennedys but I missed Gang Of Four stupidly,” laments Turner. “I thought Hüsker Dü were a funnier looking version of DOA. Bob Mould was fat and wearing a headband! They looked like three people who shouldn’t be on a stage together. I saw them a bunch of times after that. They were always great. They got better.”

[Photos from that night in July 1981 at The Showbox in Seattle show Bob Mould to be looking comparatively svelte, but indeed sporting a dreadful headband.]

In Michael Azzerad’s classic on the American Underground, Our Band Could Be Your Life, the Mudhoney chapter ends in 1999, bass player Matt Lukin gone, audiences dwindling rapidly and Steve Turner commenting that Mudhoney will be remembered as “a footnote.”

In contrast, Keith Cameron’s band biography published in 2013 ends with Mudhoney waiting in line with Lemmy at an airport and him telling them, “Stick around long enough and they’ll call you a legend."

These are indeed rosier times for Mudhoney than 16 years ago, so do they feel like a footnote or legends?

“I’m happy being a footnote, if it’s an extended footnote,” answers Turner. “We keep sticking around, so the footnote gets longer.”

“I have a hard spot for Motörhead,” he adds.

“Fuck yeah”, agrees Arm.

“The classic four records with Fast Eddie are great. There’s good stuff after that. Orgasmatron is a fine record,” says Maddison.

“1945 was a cool record,” says Turner.

“1918?” queries Arm.

1916,” corrects Maddison. “The one with ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S.’ on.”

Turner’s unabashed nerdery will out though. “There’s a Larry Wallis 7" of him doing ‘On Parole’ right after he quit Motörhead. It’s awesome, a great pub rock version of the song.”

“What’s the one with Brian Robertson?” asks Arm.

“That’s ‘Another Perfect Day’,” answers Turner.

“That’s a fucking great record,” states Arm. “I think people in the UK reacted badly to it because Fast Eddie was gone and Robertson wore funny shorts on stage.”

“He wore funny shorts?” asks Turner.

“He wore super-tight shorts, apparently.”

“Awesome!” exclaims Turner. “But have you seen that picture of Lemmy in those little tiny bun-huggers? It’s in the Lemmy documentary. He’s wearing a leather jacket and a pair of cut-off Levi’s that are like bikini bottoms.”

“He probably still wears them,” suggests Maddison.

When asked to pick role models for aging and still playing rock & roll, they don’t pick Lemmy. Due to “the bun-huggers” possibly. Turner suggests Wayne Kramer, Arm picks Lenny Kravitz…

Turner also offers up Fred and Toody Cole from Dead Moon and Pierced Arrows. “Dead Moon were a huge influence on me. Super lo-fi. Fred records everything in their house and they press it up on their own record label. They ran a record shop/guitar shop in Portland for forever. They sold Courtney Love her first guitar.”

“But you don’t have to be an example of how to do it well,” says Maddison. “You can do it terribly and be just as entertaining. Some people I know who are the same age as us, if not older, and who are in pretty bad shape, they still do their thing. I would put forward John Brannon (Negative Approach, Easy Action and The Laughing Hyenas) and Stu Spasm (from Maddison’s old band Lubricated Goat) as examples of that. They carry on regardless and just do it.”

“John Brannon is rad,” says Arm. “He’s one of my favourite people out there. Really… unique.”

And, like Daddy Long Legs, also a clear case of punctuation being irrelevant to fine rock & roll. His Twitter profile reads: “by day i make salads, by night im a fuckin rockstar”

On this European tour Mudhoney are playing six dates in the UK, the country with which they have had the most volatile relationship over the years. Lionised as working class heroes when Grunge broke, savaged as college boy fakers when allegiances were transferred to Nirvana, hated after the Cobain suicide and then cold shouldered for the best part of a decade.

“The English press are good at put downs,” says Guy. “We ‘are ravaged by age and appalling waistcoats’.”

“And that was in a good review,” says Steve.

They are referring to Dave Simpson’s 2002 review in the Guardian of Mudhoney at The Boat Club in Nottingham. He also noted that the four piece had “an air of genuine seediness. If this band moved in next door, the earthworms would move house.”

“They should see us now, 12 years later,” says Maddison. Indeed, they should. There’s nothing remotely disreputable or fly-blown about this year’s model.

If Mudhoney failed the test for proletarian authenticity, they also became characterised as flippant, piss-taking dilettanti. Turner, for his part, initially pleads ‘no contest’. But qualifies this: “Listen to Flipper. I think they are taking the piss and are also very serious. I think we’re in the tradition of Flipper.”

“It’s also a defence mechanism,” says Arm.” But our songwriting we take seriously. But it’s not like a fucking life and death situation. If you believe that – in any band – you’re fucking out of your mind. It is only rock & roll.”

“Who said that?” asks Turner.

Throughout Mudhoney’s back catalogue, the quotations and allusions come thick and fast: Bad Brains, Wire, The Sonics, Beefheart, Sex Pistols, Hawkwind, The Saints, Roxy, Neil Young, Blue Cheer and Iggy and The Stooges time and time again. Dare we talk of intertextuality and the band being self-reflexive?

Let’s not. “We steal,” says Arm. “Anybody in any art form who says they don’t steal is bullshitting you.”

“But look how original The Cramps are,” says Turner. “They lifted whole songs lock, stock and barrel. I just showed my 15-year-old son The Cramps Live at the Napa State Mental Hospital…”

“Oh God!” says Guy before continuing, “Rock & roll has always been a whole bunch of copying. Just taking other people’s songs and doing your own versions was a legitimate practice.”

It’s safe to say that no-one asked Mudhoney, Mark Arm especially, to participate in Montage Of Heck.

“One thing that’s a missing piece of the puzzle in that film, from what I hear, is that he was a funny kid. He wasn’t always depressed. He was pretty quiet most of the time but he and Krist together were just fucking meatballs! I mean, Krist was always a meatball.”

“Large Italian or medium-sized Swedish?” asks Guy.

“Krist was a large Italian for sure,” says Arm. “I don’t know exactly what happened to Kurt but the obvious things are that he got fucked up on heroin and was married to Courtney Love. Fucking survive that!”

“And he had that weird, ‘I still want people to think I’m Punk Rock’ thing,” adds Turner.

“He really, really wanted to be in a big, big band,” says Arm.

“They wanted to take it to the next level,” agrees Turner “but they let it slip out of their hands. They gave all their power to the managers and those people. They should have circled the wagons. They could have learned a lot from Pearl Jam in that respect”

All the acts do a public soundcheck in their tent right before they play – like an open training session in a Big Top. There are about a dozen people watching Mudhoney test out their gear. Even though this is only the first night, this must already be pretty tedious: for relief Arm and Danny Baird pull a version of the Norman Collier faulty mic schtick.

Mudhoney finish their soundcheck with a minute of ‘Who You Driving Now?’ and leave the stage.

As well as being Tour Manager, Danny Baird also functions as guitar tech and sommelier. His last job before the band go on is to make sure wine glasses are topped up – red for Mark, white for Steve. Bottled pils for Guy.

It’s nearly show time; the crowd are trooping over from the other tent where The Excitements have just finished. A cry of “Il est là!” (“There he is!”) goes up. It’s a drunk guy in a Killdozer T-shirt who’s spotted Mudhoney loitering in the back stage area having a snifter before they go on. Security grab him as he’s scaling the crash barrier. Fandemonium at last. He blags his way in or is vouched for by The Glücks and rushes straight past Mudhoney…

This might not be the greatest or the wildest gig Mudhoney play on this tour but it will probably be the only one attended by a baby in a pram wearing fluorescent green ear defenders. Welcome to Roots and Roses: fun for all the family. Some people have earplugs, some have hearing aids. Some are primed and ready to mosh, some have brought fold-up chairs.

As promised, they don’t pull any rabbits out of the hat in Lessines set wise. The following night in Rouen, ‘Beneath The Valley Of The Underdog’ gets played for the first time in nine years and later in the tour ‘Inside Job’ and ‘Blinding Sun’, both last heard in 2012, get slotted in.

Tonight, in what is most definitely resembles a second-hand circus tent, there’ll be no dare-devilry on the high wire. Mudhoney play it safe, but they play good.

There is an opening brace of ‘Into The Drink’ and ‘I Like It Small’. A pre-teen, also in ear defenders, is ushered out by his mother right after Arm announces he’s got “big enough balls to admit I like it small”.

Then there’s a shout for ‘Burn It Clean’, right as Mudhoney go into ‘You Got It’. A modest moshpit breaks out during ‘Where Is The Future’.

‘F.D.K.’ features the first fuck-up of the night. Arm fesses up in Madame Aude’s classroom later. “There’s a two note bit and I went to the wrong fret.” No-one cares. Least of all Mudhoney. Then a prize example of the band’s rampant Stooge-ophilia: ‘1995’. And the first crowd surfer. He looks about 15. Maybe he looks young for his age but there’s no way he actually remembers 1995.

Mudhoney build up a head of steam through ‘Judgment Rage Retribution And Thyme’, ‘Flat Out Fucked’ and ‘Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More’ before playing the nearest thing they have to a sure thing: ‘Touch Me I’m Sick’. A dad bouncing his daughter up on his shoulders wades into the melee. Who brings an eight year old – one in pink shoes at that – to a Mudhoney concert anyway? Belgians – very family-orientated.

Then Arm ditches his guitar and lets fly into ‘What To Do With The Neutral’, a great song about middle-age – its dilemmas, rather than its crises – and probably the only song to reference both Billy Preston and ‘Problems’ by The Sex Pistols. And that began life as an attempt to mimic Lee Hazelwood in psych mode.

Steve Turner resembles a younger Patrick McGoogan in Scanners, a cool look when you can play like Ron Asheton. “Ron’s one of the main cornerstones of pretty much every music that I like. He’s one of the architects of it all," Turner had admitted earlier. Maddison had put it like this: “The testament to Ron Asheton is that every guitar player I’ve been in bands with has aspired to sound like Ron Asheton.” Including Mudhoney obviously.

They wrap up their set with their longstanding cover of Fang’s ‘The Money Will Roll Right In’ and then ‘Chardonnay’. Or rather they would, if they could actually start the song. Dan buggers up one time, Mark another and then quips, “We have honed our act for many years and we are proud to present it to you tonight.”

‘The Only Son Of The Widow From Nain’ – the best thing they play tonight – is a rightful closer.

Then two solid gold crowd pleasers for the encore: ‘Here Comes Sickness’ and ‘In’N’Out Of Grace’. The visceral pummelling of the drum and bass break in the latter is counterpointed by Arm’s lengthy and genteel refilling of his wine glass.

Mudhoney reconvene back at Madame Aude’s class for their photos. Maddison is now grazing on a festival burger. A 50-year-old man cannot be burning off this many calories just by playing bass for Mudhoney for an hour or two a night, surely? The answer is stowed next to the merch on the Nightliner: he’s brought his racing bike on tour with him. He’s pretty genned up on the history of pro-cycling, as the Belgian who asked him about Eddy Merckx found out.

Peters is a good sport and takes his seat with the others behind desks designed for eight year olds, backed by Daddy Long Legs’ ‘SCHOOLS FOR FOOLS’, but it’s clearly far from thrilling him. Turner puts his distracted manner down to existential “ennui”. The other three get into it more, Maddison donning one of the card-and-glue shakos. Talk turns to dodgy eyesight. Turner needs to get bifocals because he has to look under his spectacles to be able to see his fretboard. Mark’s wearing contacts. Guy’s holding out from getting specs but says it’s “a good job the 7% on this beer bottle is in big letters”.

Arm and Turner are still on wine. How is it?

“Drunkable,” replies Arm.

May 1 is nearly over and Mudhoney’s Nightliner (“with Blu Ray Cinema, bluetooth, LED lights, microwave, a variety of fridges, a well equipped kitchen, shower and bathroom facilities and extra spacious beds with mattresses of the highest quality”) is waiting to take them to a hotel provided by the festival as part of their contract. Then, 35 more days on the road await them. Maybe Lessines has been the lull before the storm and there will yet be psychic meltdowns, slobbering degeneracy, wanton vandalism, the occasional arrest, lurid sexual misconduct, intra-band fisticuffs, verbal and physical abuse of road crew, a host of pharmaceutical misjudgements and life-threatening discharge of firearms.

But I’d only give you very long odds on that.

Instead, I imagine there will be cycling, Skype calls home to wives and children, emails about cats, dogs, child care and unpaid bills, purchases of rare vinyl and much chat about rock & roll.

And definitely some thick heads after getting loaded on wine and beer.

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