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'Your band changed my life'


Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 8/20/2002

By DAVE SMALLEY

“Your T-shirt designs are lame.”

“Your band changed my life.”

“Wow, you guys are older than you look in your videos.”

“Down By Law is my favorite band ever.”

“Your U.S. soccer team is going to get killed by Brazil.”

These and more are some of the comments we’ve gotten in our first three shows in Europe. For those of you who don’t know, which is more than likely almost everyone, your it! editor is in a rock band that is currently on tour in Europe.

For the next four weeks, “Word to the Wise” will be coming to you direct from the festivals, hotel rooms and tiny clubs of Germany, Italy, Switerland and Great Britain-a tour diary of rock that only the beloved it! would dare to provide.

As I write these words, I am upstairs in the dressing room of the third concert of the tour. We are in a town called Treviso, in Italy. The club, called the Jumpin’ Club, is located on the banks of a huge lake, bordered on all sides by tiny villages nestled in rolling green hills. It is the most picturesque of places, and an almost absurd location for a punk rock show.

Which might explain why there are only 100 people here. Or maybe it’s the torrential downpour that lasted most of today. Whatever it is, it’s a slooooow night in rocktown.

Last night, we headlined a festival in Germany with about 2,000 people. Last night we were kings. Tonight, we are clowns.

That’s the story of rock ’n’ roll.

Tomorrow we have one of our few days off, and we will go to Venice to gawk at the canals. Then we play a squat in Rome.

Squats are basically buildings that have been occupied by people who don’t pay rent-because they can’t afford it. Squat shows are usually marked by an abundance of people who favor mohawks and listen to lots of Bob Marley. We’ve had great squat shows with many people, and terrible ones as well. We’ll see what happens, and I’ll bring you some more reflections next week.

And don’t worry-I’m spreading the word about it! and MyLine. The kids here have no concept of a newspaper having a teen section. It’s cool to see their reactions-maybe we’ll start a trend.

Cheers, D.S.