Cutlass Supreme: The Dirty Rig Tour salutes you

By: Colin Montgomery

Cutlass Supreme consists of Siraj “Snake Eyes” Jones (Guitars), Louis “Super Hands” Ramsay (Bass/Hands), Jerry Sanchez (Drums) and I, Cutlass Himself (Guitars/Throat). We may not sell out shows, but we’d like to think that we rock just as hard, if not harder than most bands up here in Bellingham.

The maiden voyage of Cutlass Supreme was first sparked when I bought a Ford E-250 work van for $2000. We decided it was time for Cutlass to leave the nest of Bellingham and embark on our first tour late this past summer. The van’s nickname, “Dirty Rig”, inspired the official tour name of this very unofficial tour; The Dirty Rig Tour.

Cruising down to Portland first to play the Ash St. Saloon, it was already evident that it was going to be a hot and sweaty tour. This was late summer during the heat wave that swept the nation. The club said not to worry because they had A/C, which turned out to just be a 3’ fan blowing at the stage. It was 105 when we went on that night and that fan didn’t help one bit! It was so hot that Louis burnt his hand on his amp after the show!

We were in Chico, CA the very next night, where we were fed, taped and paid in not only cash but party favors. Some of Chico’s finest I must say! After the show we met our cameraman Marne, who in turn let us crash at his place. He showed us the local swimming hole, the liquor store and a 20-foot tree that looked strangely like Marijuana.

After many many whiskies, we left in the morning for the bay area. We were not sure what to expect, except a great time. When we rolled into Oakland we were quite surprised how different it was than the city across the bridge. In San Francisco, I remember one moment where we all piled out of the van in what seemed to be a nicer area. Beer cans, piss jugs and four shirtless, sweaty guys made their way out of the van. Damn those sliding doors! Everyone was staring at us as we put shirts on and smoked cigarettes. Lou and I also mixed a coupe beverages as well. The city was engulfed in fog that day which was a great break from the heat we had endured the past three days.

We crossed back across the bridge into Oakland to make our show at Merchant’s Saloon later that night. When we parked near the club, we realized we were already in a  pretty bad part of town. Fortunately we looked so haggard at that point, most people walking by raised their brow at the dirty rig crew. We introduced ourselves to a very nasty bartender, which made us worry only a few minutes until our buddy Mikey showed up. He told us to go grab a drink and be back in an hour for load in. We were relieved. As Jerry and I were waiting in the van, we witnessed a guy punch a bicyclist off his bike in the street. The man laid their in the road out cold. Spitting vodka out of our mouths we rush outside to see what was going on. Jerry and I quickly learned that the boxing champ was actually the lead singer of the band we were about to play with, exclaiming, “Welcome to Oakland”! Apparently the knocked out man in the street drunkenly threw a beer at one of the band’s girls. So he decided to solve the problem the Oakland way.

As we watched our buddy’s tear it up at this punk rock bar we realized that if there was a smoking ban, no one followed it. People just lighting up at the bar, bottles breaking and lots and lots of cussing. We rocked so hard that night because it was the right setting. People were really on our side when it came to rock ‘n’ roll. Mikey even scored us some extra cash by walking around asking for donations to this Washington band no one had ever heard of. I got asked lots of questions about how close Bellingham was to Canada, which made me laugh over and over again.

After the gig, we invited two of our new lady fans to come check out this warehouse show my buddy Shawn was playing at. The only problem was they had their bicycles. One of them exclaimed, “We live like 6 blocks away, just follow us home”. As we followed these two girls home in Dirty Rig, (a perfect example of a white panel van), I couldn’t help but laugh. Here we were following two drunk girls in our rapist van at ten miles an hour, while they road their bicycles with our headlights leading the way. Any passer by may have laughed or even been worried about this situation, but not in Oakland!

Once we made it to the girls’ house, we headed out for the party. When we arrived I was amazed how such a wild party could occur right off a main street. I made it inside to see my buddy wearing a Darth Vader mask, beating on a bass drum in nothing but his underwear. Jerry shouted, “And that’s the guy we’re supposed to stay with tonight”? In fact, Shawn’s place was going to be our place to crash that night. After the festivities were over, we said our goodbyes to everyone and hit the hay.

The next day we went through Berkeley, making it to Santa Rosa for the last show before we made it back for the true last show; Seattle. We made it through California, and said goodbye to cheap liquor and smokes. It hurt some of us harder than the rest. We stayed in Crater Lake with some friends the next night, then embarking through the rest of Oregon. Our last show in Seattle at the Rat & Raven was like a homecoming, even though we had only been gone for a little over a week. Friends, family and great times were had that night.

Our tour was quite unorganized, and definitely dirty to the point where some people might have lost it. Having booked every thing myself, it was a lot of work. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. We made lots of new friends and rocked real hard on the road. Expect to see another, more extensive tour next summer with Cutlass Supreme.

Check our album out for free at cutlasssupreme.bandcamp.com/. We are also  playing the Shakedown Nov. 30 w/ My Dad Bruce and The Staxx Brothers. Come get rocked!