Saturday, December 6, 2008


Friday morning from atop Crystal Peak I woke early and watched the sunrise, a dramatic play of light and clouds. A large lenticular cloud hovered on the downwind side of Mt. Rainier, with smaller versions located nearby Mt. Adams. A complicated, yet beautiful interplayy of light and shadow, gray, orange pink and gold. It was fantastic to watch. I broke camp, ate a little breakfast and slowly made my way down the mountain. I could not help stopping frequently to gaze upon the beauty and take pictures, greatly delaying my return to the waiting vehicle.

Grip it so tightly
Never wanting to let go
Slips from his fingers

Mountain behemoth
Belched fire upon the land
The dragon lies sleeping

A sea of air above
Cloud waves break on mountain peaks
Ripples cross the sky

Down, back to the car and drive to Packwood where I picked up lunch/dinner, a foot-long Subway sandwich. Took the Slate Creek Road to reach Highway 706 on the west side of Mt. Rainier. After wasting time with some high speed driving up and down twisty logging roads, I eventually made it to a saddle just below Mt. Beljica where I had an unobstrcted view looking into the park and the entire west face of Mt. Rainier. Again the sky was swirling with saucer clouds that shone brightly in the setting sun. The cascade of glacial ice down the volcano's face took on the same color of the sun and sky as sunset progressed. Even after the sun dropped below the horizon, the sky burned with deep colors, like embers glowing after the fire has gone out. Eventually it became too dark to take any more pictures, signiling the start of this evening's party.

He's on vacation
World takes on a golden glow
Looks through the bottle

Sunset mountain blaze
Burns as though lit from within
And then it's gone

This night's show took place at the Budokan in Tokyo, Japan on October 30, 1998 only ten years ago. This show was near the very end of the Van Halen III tour, and the end of Gary Cherone's time with the band. Another excellent recording that got me shaking out there on that dark logging road. This is what vhboots says about this particular recording:

This is an excellent audience recording. It is also the only show on the entire "3" tour to feature "You Really Got Me", which is performed at an astounding level, as the show opener. The guitars & vocals are clear but there seems to be slight static distortion in the recording, particularly with Ed and Gary's mike's. This may be due to the fact that the person that recorded the show may have been sitting very close to the monitors. At 7:22 some one in the audience, sounds like an American, yells "Take that shit off!" amid the shouts of "Eddie! Eddie!".

After Gary introduces "Fire In The Hole", and the intro starts, another audience member (sounds like the same previous person) yells out "Fuck that shit!" Obviously not a fan of the new Van Halen.

Mikey gives the audience a rowsing shout of "BANZAI!" after "Somebody Get Me A Doctor". After things have calmed down a bit, Gary remarks how they'll be making a new Van Halen record in a couple of months so that they can "get back to Japan". (Obviously, that was never to be.)

Prior to "Josephina", Gary takes the time to thank "Mr. Udo" for all he's done for the band. Mr. Udo is the major concert promoter in the Tokyo area and responsible for booking all U.S. bands for tour dates in and around the Tokyo area. He's Japan's answer to Bill Graham. Gary also notes how they had a "little food and some wine last night", wherein Ed chooses this time to say "Sake!" over Gary's "wine". You can almost hear Ed smiling when he says this.

During the final song, "Jump", Mike and Ed shout something inaudible to each other to each other. The only thing you can hear Ed say is "No, that was yesterday!".

Just as Eddie's guitar solo was beginning, a truck comes roring out of the darknesss and pulls up next to me, two guys jumping out, firing questions to me about Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer,who was still alive, who killed who, etc. I initially did'nt know what to make of this but I was juiced on tequila and simply rolled with the flow, joining in on the converstaion. Turns out it was Tony and Travis, two Iraq war vets who were driving around the back roads drinking beer and having a good time. Tony spoke like the best part of his life was given to the military, acting as though he was somehow now at a disadvantage. I gave him shit when I learned that he was only 22 years old, telling him that life had only begun. They cracked a few more beers, I sipped my tequila, we talking about volcanoes, the weather, UFOs, and of course mass murderers. They eventually jumped back in the truck, sped around the roads in the valley below me before passing by again on their way out.

Back to Van Halen and dancing in the road. When this one ended, I popped in one or two more, I can't remember. I did not want to go to sleep and shut my eyes to the beauty all around me on this mild autumn evening.

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