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Part Four: The Things We Carry With Us–Tour Edition

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Varying the theme a little here, I’m always interested (and entertained) by the vast differences between the stuff you pack for a trip and the stuff you end up bringing home. Unpacking from an overseas tour this morning this is what I pulled out of my bags…

From inside small green canvas bag reading “GNADE”

–Other bands’ merch (three Daniel Johnston tour shirts, three CDs. Five Youthmovies shirts, three CDs.) Acquired on tour.

–Two cans of TamTad stuffed Turkish vine leaves (yaprak sarma). Bought at a shop below the flat I was staying at in Crouch End, London. Caused a major security blowup when I took these through customs in Amsterdam. “Why you bringin’ leaves tru cust’ms, mate?” “They’re not leaves… it’s food. Canned.” “Why you bringin’ leaves tru, mate?” Etc.

–Plastic jar of vegemite. Acquired on tour.

–Various clothes (white hoodie, wool scarf, black “Portland Road” baseball cap, three pairs of jeans, brown parka with new bloodstains, underclothes).

–Wallet ($280, 30 UK pounds, Chinese money, one euro, bank card, Oyster Card, Travelex receipt for money change, temporary driver’s license, Crouch End London post office receipt for money change, two Forever Stamps).

–US Passport.

–Oyster Card slipcase (with extra bank card, Dillion’s Plus Shopper’s Card, AAA card, SS card).

–Various boarding passes.

–Notebook with the word “Music” on it.

–Books (Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, front cover caked with dried blood). Book recommendation: the Didion one. All acquired on tour except the Joyce.

–Small digital camera. Mostly unused. Twelve tour photos.

–Bag of 1″ buttons leftover from merch box.

–Two tap lights (used as merch table lights). Tour recommendation: You know how some clubs don’t supply 1) lights for your merch table. 2) Outlets to plug your lights into? Tap lights are great because they’re battery powered and you can write your prices on their faces. These were¬† a lifesaver.

–Copy of Beach House’s Teen Dream. Acquired on tour.

–Copy of The Sun (Tuesday, March 30) with naked pictures of Peaches Geldoff and a lot of terrible murder stories. Acquired on tour.

–Various toiletries.

–Two blue Sharpies.¬† Acquired on tour.

–”Get out of Hell Free” card. Acquired on tour.

–Tiny plastic alarm clock (alarm broken.)

–Receipt in Dutch from Amsterdam airport gift shop (for tea, chocolate, water bottle).

–Box of tea. Box of chocolate. See above.

–Two orange guitar picks, one gray. The English call them “plectrums.” I like how it sounds but I could never actually say it.

–Various tour remedies (B-12, multi-vitamins, Xanex, Benadryl).

–Brochure from the Celeste Boursier Mougenot Curve Art installation at the Barbican in London. This one was incredible. A room full of mic’d and amp’d instruments and African zebra finches flying around free. The music the birds made when they pecked on the guitars and lifted up off the strings or nested on the pickups was like the best mellow noise record you’ve ever heard. Check it out right here.

–Notebook with cutaway inside for short pencil. Acquired on tour.

–Headset taken from airline.


–Two rechargeable AA batteries for camera.

–One large red marble bought at a farm in Oxfordshire.

–Small rubber goldfish with big terrified eyes.

Inside black guitar flight case

–Four-string acoustic guitar with gold paint pen scrawled all over it.

–Gray wool gloves with skull print.

–Dean Markley ProMag Plus pickup for plugging into a DI.

–Yellow guitar strap soaked in beer.

–Customs form.


–Two sets of strings.

–Kyser capo.

–Various pages of lyrics.

–One more Daniel Johnston CD.

See the first, second, and third installments of the series here, here, and here.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: adam@asthmatickitty.com