Venus DeMars

Venus DeMars
Glass Plate photo

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

photo by Gretchen Baer

Spring Tour 2011 update ;)

Tuesday May 31st.

Two nights ago, I was sitting in the outdoor patio of 'The Rock' gay bar in Phoenix AZ re-connecting with my friend Scott Pierce a.k.a "Miss Pandora." The night before was the after party for the big Fetish Prom event in Scottsdale which we performed at. My band had caught up on sleep during that day, but I'd stayed up as I'd not made it till "sun-check" party time... I'd gone to sleep at 4:30 ish and had been able to get a few hr's sleep, so wasn't sleepy enough to crash at our overnight at Paul and JoHanna's. But now, as I was fighting sleep, and they were not, i was regretting that decision.

As we talked, a huge verbal fight began outside the patio... which elevated into one car being driven into another over and over disabling that 2nd car, and causing the occupant to run for cover... (this between a man and woman who did not appear to be part of the GLBT community.

Our evening ended when the police arrived, and the owner of the disabled 2nd car came into the patio area. He was also drunk, and when he saw me, he stiffened, and stared. I knew that look. it's the one I get in straight bars just before a get a verbal attack or a threat of physical attack, and it threw me off.

Too much was going on police-wise for this to develop further, and we left, but the look startled me.

The police waited for the woman driving the 'attack' car to return, (she's been circling the parking lot for about 2 hr's and every now and then swinging into it to slam into the 'victim' car. )

As we left, the band-van's breaks began to fail.

The next morning while I was struggling to get the van's master cylinder replaced, I learned of a number of shootings which had just happened in Minneapolis including one which resulted in death.

This morning, I was contacted by an old trans-friend of mine from New York, who'd relocated to south america, maintaining Hi/r connection to New York. She's an organizer and an activist/advocate for the trans-community, She wants me to call her to discuss something about my music. (I'll be doing this in the next few days to see what she's wanting.)

Last night I dreamt that I was floating high above the earth attached to a balloon, then I was in a huge grass field under a windy grey sky, watching someone else struggling and floating by high overhead as they were attached to a wind buffeted balloon. I was alarmed that they didn't have control, and appeared to be in trouble.

After our performance here in Bisbee, we stopped off at the Grand Hotel bar, and met Burt (the bartender,) who used to drum for bands contracted with big label management, (Burt now drums locally for the fun of it having left the destructive rock and roll tour life-style he described, loved, and lived, to remain in his past.

At the after-party in Scottsdale, I drank too much, and found I had crossed the line for my ability to have intelligent dialogue. After apologizing for my drinking, I knew I had to find my hotel room and give up on the night, not wanting myself to progress further down that troubled mind-set.

Tomorrow night I am recording a solo song with Shawnee for his & Gretchen's compilation disc they're assembling. I plan to also use the track for my own release, feeling the now possible way to archive my developing connection here in Bisbee.

I have made new friends in El Paso TX now with our debut performance there at a club called LIPS. We, the band, agree, that that performance is standing out as one of the best performances we've put on during this tour so far.

I find that the thing I always thought I was "doing just for now," has become "the think I do." I've been on the Rock and Roll stage now for most of the years in my life now... weird to have figured that time percentage out. And I continue to attempt to make sense from this crazy-chaotic thing I've decided to make my life's work.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter-West solo-electric Tour 2011 wrap-up

DREAM (Las Cruces NM Jan 12th 2011:)

Breaking through the ice, I was still angry about the GPS directing me to drive over the frozen lake... I knew it was frozen too thin. I swam towards the rock faced shore line, and reached for the hand that was extended down. grabbing it, I was pulled up onto the shore wet, cold, but safe.

Jan 2nd : Almost fell asleep during the first leg of the tour from Minneapolis to El Dorado KS just 40 minutes north of Wichita. Worrisome, but made it. Hot Tub and a wonderful spicy-veg soup waited.

Morning of Jan 3rd: wondered around Pete and Liz's 2 horse ranch... saw the snapping turtles under ice... (Or Lynette did... I only saw this video.)

Evening Jan 3rd: Wichita KS -"Kirby's Beer Store." a forgotten club calender notice, but both the bartender and I started to text and tweet. In the mean time, Lynette and I took a quick trip to the "Keeper of the Plains" monument downtown Wichita, the headed back to Kirby's for load in and set-up. The place filled nicely, and both the performance and DJ set went


I love this club.

Note to self, Always a wonderful welc

ome here at this tiny club. Despite it's size, I'm thinking this should be a regular stop for future Venus/ATPH tours. Reminds me of the old CBGB's days.... (Everybody Dance!!)

Morning and Afternoon Jan 4th: Drove Highway 54 to Albuquerque. Small towns, mostly 2 way highway driving..... Through the Oklahoma pan handle, Texas, and New Mexico. More dangerous than the split highway driving... but shorter. follows the railroad line. More single bathrooms along this route. The up side of this route for a tranny-traveler like myself.

9 pm Jan 4th: arrive Hotel Blue. A cool art deco style old-world motor loge-inn. Doors to guest rooms (6 floors,) open directly outside. Great view. Located in a tougher part of town though. Everything closes up at 9 p.m. it seems, other than Burt's and a strip joint I noticed. Oh, yeah, a NY style pizza place, (which isn't really NY style, sic. Ray's Pizza on Saint Mark's Place is NY Pizza!) is also open late. Worth it?? I don't know... We were hungry.

Had Zombies at Burt's... watched the fish behind the bar attack each other. Walked back to the hotel and fell asleep.

Note to self: Avoid the 'Cackling Lady' with the dried snot over her upper lip at all costs!

Jan 5th : Drive to Phoenix via Las Cruces...

through the town of "Truth or Concequences" (formerly known as Hot Springs AZ. Yup, they changed their town's name in the 60's in order to

host the old game show there. Big deal of a thing, and then they kept the name. Odd... still has the Hot Springs though I understand.

Evening arrival at Paul and Johanna's place. Met Paul. (He's Lost weight!!! 50+ lbs he sez! Wow!!) Went out to lovely high-end mexican restaurant for dinner. Guacamole made at table side (I gotta do that at home!) Lovely! & Warm! Great Food!

Morning of Jan 6th: Breakfast at Two Hippies Breakfast Joint. (Love that place !!) Met some Phoenix friends: Nikki and Ester, and Ms Pandora (a.k.a. Scotty)

Evening Jan 6 : The Rock (show lounge,) gig - Phoenix AZ: Great turnout. I set up the full staging with lighted platforms and light tree. The works!

Note to self:... hard to keep track of all that footwork needed to do both the light switching and the effect pedal switching. BUT it worked fine. Also, DJ sets are best left for rooms with the bar. The show lounge is best for just the live performances.

Morning of Jan 7th : The drive to Tucson... Arrive at the non desrcript tiny, adobe style

motel... Got one key only, also the TV remote given at time of check in... to be returned upon check-out.

Evening of Jan 7th: PLUSH. Great turn out. At load in, we met and talked to local couple... told us of an excavation done on a sidewalk where they city discovered 6 feet down, a forgotten grave from the old west, it contained two skeletons who were in an embrace.

First band: Pork Torta (Friends of mine,) Sounded like Gang of 4. Loved them!! Then me... the crowd seemed to like what I did... sold a lot, also heard lots of interest in my return. Last band: Mr Free... a cross between Go-Go Bordello and Frank Zappa I'd say. Way cool! the audience was there for them, and they loved it! So did I.

Morning of Jan 8th: breakfast at a crepe place near PLUSH on 4th. Wonderful. left for Bisbee.

Midday of Jan 8th: arrival at Bisbee. Heard the news: The shooting of AZ congress woman Gabrielle Giffords. which had happened in Tucson while we were having breakfast there. Horrible news. We'd had no idea till we'd hit Bisbee. Everyone we saw had red eyes. So sad.

Evening of Jan 8th: Dinner at Roka. Learned that congress woman "Gabby," (as people there

were calling her,) was a regular at Roka, and had even held fundraisers there. People were relieved that she had survived the shooting, and were now all talking about the circumstances surrounding the shooting, and AZ politics in

general. Sad Sad stuff... but dinner was wonderful!! (see photos of special custom made dessert: before and after photos... a preview of tomorrow's theme surrounding the performance: "Mimes vs. Clowns"... Note to self: mimes are OK, clowns still creep me out.)

Jan 9th : Roka "Venus' Dark Carnival" aka "Mimes vs. Clowns". at load in, the band van, aka "John Claude Damn Van" aka "The Black Pearl" aka "The Kitty Van" acted up... didn't like the altitude much... (air to fuel mix to rich?) the carburetor doesn't have mix adjustment screw... what's up with that!?!

Upon our costumed arrival just half an hour before doors, I hit a curb outside the restaurant and immediately blew the front right tire (AGGH!!) Attempted to change the tire in stiletto boots, mini skirt, corset, and orange fuzzy short-jacket. Rod, one of the owners of Roka, came out, and took over... (Thank you Rod!!! )

The show went Wonderfully. Everyone able to be together during this rough time for AZ and the country. ...DJ set was a blast... (Everybody Dance!!... even Clowns and Mimes.)

Load out at the end of the night was down the 3 flights of stairs... tough, but had help.

PS Louise, (aka Sock (slut,) Monkey Thank you SO MUCH for the painting!!!! I missed you at the show... PPS I like the crotch grinder idea... I may use the idea, if you don't mind, in some future performance ;)

Jan 10th: drive back to Phoenix... saw Lynette off on her flight :_( ... "bye spot...." :( Sad again.

Evening of Jan 10th: pick-up gig at coffee shop via Jane Joyce. A cameo performance outside after a Poetry Slam.

Chilly but decided to do it in full costume... grinder and all. Full electric rig... Yeah!! Tiny audience of poets plus one couple who had missed the earlier "ROCK" performance, (also Johanna and Paul of course, ) ... they all seemed to like it... the chill finally stopped my finger's articulation, and I had to give up, but not till after the grinder ;)

... Note to self: Ask if the outdoor heaters are working for next outside gig... these weren't.

End of night Jan 10th: the ReBar (bar,) around the corner. a woman came up to me and said she and her friends had walked past during my outdoor performance: Quote: "Kick Ass, You were Rocking Out, ... Loved the ass (my g-string,) in fishnets!"

... She made the chilly night totally worth it.

PS Jane, Love your songs (also performed that night,) AND Brilliant New CD! Listened to it on the drive to Las Cruces!! (PPS LeFreak, Jane gave me an extra to give to you ;)

Jan 11th: FB Flooded with Happy Birthdays.. (Thank you ;) Got lunch muffin and coffee thanks to Ms Pandora. Bought a pair of black cowboy boots at an antique store... Broken in for someone else's feet... but should be broken into mine in a few weeks. Got dinner, and later.. an saw a vinyl dress that I had to have in a small GLBT boutique next to The Rock! wasn't sure know just how I was going to buy it... when Paul stepped in...

(Thank you Paul,) =D

Went clubbing that night... (in the n

ew dress of course.) Ended that at Char's House and Lady Jae's performance with Paul and Ms Pandora... way cool! Ended the night helping Paul jump Ms Pandora's car which had died earlier in the evening... (how's it looking now Ms P? I think it's either the belt or the alternator... again with the tools and fishnets... discovered my large ratchet tool was broke when I tried to tighten the alt. belt.

Last B-Day Present: got a lovely Jack Skellington and Zero bobble-head for Pearl's dash from Pandora. !! They're bobbling just fine!!

Morning of Jan 12th: Last breakfast at Two Hippies... bought a bustier I saw the day before at the antique shop across the street which I'd had my eye on.. Left for Las Cruces. Was lonely to drive solo for the first time on the tour. ("Miss you Lynnie.")

PS... Jar-Jar (the wonder dog:) Stay Off The Bed will Ya?!! and to Tordie-kitty Pandora: Thank you for your fuzzy-cute company. Did you know you have a twin in Minneapolis by the name of "Bat-Girl?"

Evening of Jan 12th: arrival at Las Cruces; The city unfolded like a crowded, beautiful star field in the desert darkness as I drove in. Pulled in front of David and Donny's house. Warm welcome including a fire in the fireplace, and a home cooked pot-roast dinner!! Couldn't get any better! Caught up with old friends, and met their house mate James who graciously let me sleep in his room. (Thank you James. hope you had fun at the Truck-Pull ;)

Morning of Jan 13th... David and I went on our hike up the Organ Mountains. More catching up... enjoyed a wonderful packed lunch. Took tons of photos... Simply Beautiful!! Heard an Eagle just on the other side of a peak, but it wouldn't fly overhead... On the way back, Saw my first Road Runner crossing our path... Totally cool!!! "Good Luck... worth a thousand falling stars" David sez. We stopped at the downtown Theater (the Rio Grande) which David runs... Also beautiful. Had another lovely home cooked dinner (both dinners prepared by David,) and finished the evening by playing guitar, and also listening to Donny's piano playing and songs.


Note to self: Be Sure to make a return visit on the next tour. the perfect halfway stop!

Afternoon of Jan 13th: stopped at Le Freak's favorite fuel stop.

Note to self, (based on LeFreak's last experience there:) remember not to wear women's bib overalls and use the urinal in the men's room at this stop. I successfully avoided doing both.

Morning and afternoon of Jan 14th: drive into Albuquerque and checked back into the Hotel Blue. Tried to run out for coffee, but the coffee shop: (Java Joe's) closed at 3:30 pm!! Just missed it. Went back to the hotel, had 'Hotel Coffee' bleacchh, and napped till it was time to get ready for the gig.

Evening of Jan 14th: arrived an hr too early at Burt's... still closed. too cold to sit in the car, went back to the hotel... returned at 8, but still locked... finally got their attention, and loaded in... got the DJ table, (my rig, and also my merch,) set up just in time to spin 3 records before the opening act. Which was led by Chris (of Vertigo Venus,) Surf guitar... totally cool as shit! Then Suicide Lanes... also Totally cool!! then me... (Thank you Albq for such a warm welcome!! was good to be back!) Finally Vertigo Venus got onstage, and kicked ass till the bouncers kicked everyone's ass outta there.

Load-out with help from Vertigo Venus, about to drive away when Kenny run up and stuffed cash into my hand saying Suicide Lanes had donated their cut to help with travels!! Couldn't believe it!! (Thank You Guys!!! Wow!!!) Slept for 3 hr's, Head felt like lead...

Morning of Jan 15th: head REALLY felt like lead!! Got on the road by 7:30 am, and used the donated cash for my first tank of fuel at the top of the mountain pass out. Drove 54 all the way to Wichita... thought I was almost to my overnight at Peter and Liz's when I saw I'd set my GPS to Kirby's and was 5 minutes away from there. ... pulled over and re-set GPS with sleepy eyes... took another 40 minutes, but made it.

Another home cooked dinner waited, then Hot Tub and 2 cold beers... I almost fell asleep in the hot tub at 9:30!! ... Long drive! Thank you two Pete and Liz!!

Jan 16-17... just hanging out in Kansas (El Dorado) at Pete and Liz's ... went to a cool movie theater chain called Warren Theaters. Newly build, but in the old world style of over the top opulence. Gorgeous! Left my cab light on since the evening of the 15th... so now I have a stone dead battery, but Peter has a charger, and it's charging up as I finish this wrap-up.

Plans are to head out on the last leg to Minneapolis between 7 and 8 am tomorrow morning. Dodge the ice storm, and deal with the single digit temps again.... But it's Home. See you soon.

- Venus