Welcome to day 24 of a 30-day tribute to the history of Duluth's favorite
... And so our reluctant heroes made it, against all odds, half-way across the country to arrive in Reno, Nevada.
The overwhelming sense of relief was palpable in the car as the band rolled into the valley that held their destination, sparkling like a jewel to their tired eyes. The band first met Jizzy's folks, two of the nicest and most hospitable people they'd ever met. They had graciously secured lodging for the band in the Fitzgerald's Casino Hotel, seen just to the right of the famous Reno sign below.
The exhausted band however couldn't simply rest as they were too excited to hit the strip. Hot Rod immediately began losing money on the casino floor, Richie scoured for free drinks, Jizzy played it cool drinking and gambling in moderation (at first), Death did his thing looking tough, and Double Barrel went in search of the nearest all-you-can-eat buffet.
They were scheduled to play shows in Reno both nights of their stay; the first being at The Jazz Club, an off-the-strip punk club frequented by some rather colorful folks. The band pulled up and loaded into the bar, which was separated into two rooms, the main room with the bar and a back room with a pool table. Bone Appetit stashed their gear in the back room, got drinks and awaited their big chance to impress these discerning Nevadans.
All of a sudden a guy who, at least in this writer's memory, looked a bit like Stone Cold Steve Austin and had the same demeanor, came busting into the back room. He promptly yelled at the band for moving a bicycle that was in the way of getting their gear in the door. Sheepishly the band apologized to avoid an ass-whooping but the bad-ass shot them down yelling "Fuck You. That's not even my bike." This lovely gentleman was known as Kowboy, "with a K," as he was to introduce himself. The more benign members of the band, specifically Double Barrel, were terrified of this methed-up asshole. Sudden Death on the other hand offered to smoke up Kowboy in the bathroom, to which he was threatened that if he "didn't come out of the bathroom high he'd be fuckin' pissed." Death did his job well however, and Kowboy was a kitten (with a K) the rest of that night.
The show itself was rather uneventful, though the crowd seemed to genuinely appreciate Bone Appetit's musical stylings. What's more interesting however is the rest of that evening. The bouncer at The Jazz Club was a gentleman named Fuzzy, that gave Death and Max Blast an unknown substance that empowered them to disappear for the rest of that night into the seedy underbelly of Reno, only to emerge the next morning at 8am looking like hell and unable to explain where they had actually been.
After some hung over buffet trips, more drinks, some craps (the game and the one Max Blast clogged the toilet with), and a wonderful steak dinner paid for by Jizzy's parents, the band prepared for their second show.
This time they played a bit further away from the strip at an awesome bar called Harry's. Perhaps sensing this was their last show of the tour, the band played a blistering and enthusiastic set, earning an incredible response from the small crowd that was there.
Bone Appetit played with a local band that night from Reno called The False Idols, that seemed to fall in love with the Duluth boys instantly, following them around the bar like wide-eyed puppies in awe of an actual "touring" band.
Bone Appetit crammed in as much partying as possible in Reno that night, although the road home beckoned.
In hindsight, it might have been wise to actually book shows on the way home, but Double Barrel's vacation days were numbered and so the band rushed back to Minnesota in a single swoop, not stopping for anything more than gas, or a quick truck stop breakfast. During the ride home, tensions ran high as volunteer drivers were lacking, money was tight, people smelled bad, and the band simply had had enough of each other's company for one week.
In the end though, Bone Appetit accomplished something special with the Reno or Hell tour. Even though it was somewhat ill-conceived and only served to lose money for the band, Duluth's Sexiest proved themselves adept at spreading their music, energy, and the party lifestyle in every town they graced.
Also, somewhere in the Nevada desert alongside the highway a False Idols CD awaits the nuclear holocaust and subsequent discovery by aliens that will enter them into the annals of this planet's history.
Love, Lust, and Rock n' Roll
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