Given Wormrot's US tour diaries for this site (part 1, part 2, part 3), some of you, knowing that Mike Hill of Tombs is one of the finest bloggers today, wished that he would write about being Wormrot's van driver on the tour.

Your wish has been granted. See here.

Several threads run though Hill's tour diary: the oddity of being on the road but not playing, the desire to return to the road with his own band, respect for Wormrot in the face of difficult circumstances. Wormrot's diaries consistently emphasized the positive. Hill's diary fills in the gaps:

There’s nothing like brutal drives to drain the funds of the tour. There are a lot of issues: bad intel, poor routing, in some cases we’re not getting the compensation that was agreed on, no signed contracts, it goes on and on. Despite all of this the band keeps ripping it every night.

Hill calls his charges "the Wormrot kids". They're wide-eyed youngsters touring the US for the first time. He's a world-weary veteran who's seen it all, yet keeps seeing worse. Somehow he turns both a cockroach and A Flock of Seagulls into sympathetic characters.

One consequence of travel is perspective on one's own home. Home for Hill is New York City. Two of his thoughts on the subject:

I want to go home so I can rehearse and get back on the road again. Home is bills, paranoia and depression. It can get hard out here but the movement makes me feel like I’m actually living instead of doing my number in a box.

[A]lmost everyone I know that lives in New York, including myself is a complete neurotic mess, filled with anxiety about their jobs, paying rent, worrying about people stealing from them and just carrying the weight of living there. There’s got be be a better way to live and I’m wondering why I continue to live there.

I get what Hills is talking about. New York City was the worst year of my life. Thankfully, I got out. I'm listening to Tombs' Winter Hours right now, and it's almost too much. It's very New York - harsh, lonely, sometimes majestic.

Tombs - "Merrimack"

Reading Hill is a trip, because it's like reading the ghost of Henry Rollins (see the title of his blog). I don't believe in gods, but I might believe in ghosts. Perhaps the same spirit passes through the ages, inhabiting different bodies. Chuck Schuldiner left us in late 2001. Not long afterwards, Elizabeth Schall of Dreaming Dead picked up the guitar. Maybe something similar happened with Rollins. At some point, he stopped getting in the van and started getting in airplanes. Hill then picked up the torch of road warrior/end times reporter. I can't wait for Tombs' next record.

— Cosmo Lee
Photo by Jimmy Hubbard

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