Tobi Vail

Hello from Olympia, WA – 5: Go Team Tour Diary Entry from March 1989: NYC – Madonna vs. Jad Fair and The Shaggs

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The Go Team

By: Ms Tobi Vail

Here is an except from on of my Go Team tour diary entries, from March 1989:

We had a party on Friday night at Linda Serbu’s basement apartment, across from Tompkin’s Square Park. There’s a studio in it where the yogis come to teach yoga or whatever, or maybe they live there. Her apartment is painted black, even the bathtub. There’s all this weird art hanging everywhere, like torture devices, it’s creepy. They were doing bad stuff in her room. Sex and drugs and rock-n-roll. Lung Leg lives there too, or did. We got the new Madonna tape after the Boston show and drove straight to New York, the city that never sleeps. We got to the Lower East Side at 4 AM. Apparently the city that never sleeps does sleep from 4-5 AM. Olympia has more stuff that’s 24 hours than the Lower East Side. I didn’t eat anything because we were supposed to get pizza in New York, so we drove around until we found a place called Ray’s and I got a slice. It had canned spinach and corn on; it sucked. We then slept a few hours before getting up early to see the city. Me and Calvin went to Battery City Park where Madonna hangs out in Desperately Seeking Susan and rode the Staten Island Fairy past the Statue of Liberty. He made fun of me because I didn’t recognize any of the buildings, not even the Empire State Building. Who cares about that stuff? I wanted to go to Macdougal Street and Washington Sqare park and see where Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo lived. I wanted to climb the fire escapes of Greenwich Village and live life like the pictures of Jack Keroauc and all the cool girls in the beat history book whose names I don’t know but who must’ve written cool poems too. We walked around for the whole day until I had blisters on my feet and we had to take the subway to an art museum that was showing the Andy Warhol retrospective. Wow. The party at Linda’s was nuts. We got in a fight with Mike McGonigal from Chemical Imbalance. We wanted to dance to the new Madonna record. He kept putting on Jad Fair and the Shaggs. Hey, we love that music, but the new Madonna record just came out yesterday and we wanted to dance. All these east coast people showed up with dyed hair, big shoes or boots and black clothing. Tammy Rae was there and some people from Pussy Galore. We played with Galaxie 500, who are so boring but really nice. When Go Team was playing this totally wasted old guy comes in off the street with a guitar and asks to play a song. He played Sympathy for the Devil. I played the Go Team beat and Calvin & Bill started Go-Go dancing (the rule is that I can play the beat whenever I want and they have to drop whatever they are doing and start dancing like crazy) things really almost fell apart then, the drunk guy thought he was in our band. The New York people wanted to kick him out, but we invited him to stay at the party. It seemed like a culture clash. Tammy Rae said Olympia/NYC are very different and it was weird for her to see her east and west coast friends in the same place. Everyone at Linda’s party was real arty-farty and too cool, like almost too cool to have fun, but we were not afraid of being ridiculous and we pulled off the show I think. Billy taped it. We got beer at the corner store and drank in the park, then hung out at a 24 hour diner for a long time after the party was over. I wonder if they closed from 4-5.

linda serbu, lung leg, richard kern

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