Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, The Bottom Dollars are that rock and roll band you keep imagining when you say “damn, there’s no good rock bands left today.” Their gravelly vocals, musical chops, hard tale lyrics, booming drums along with a mysterious bottom line give these Bottom Dollars some mighty clout.
The Bottom Dollars recently released their debut LP Meet Me In Cognito recorded with multi-platinum, Grammy Award winning engineer John Siket (Sonic Youth, Phish, Yo La Tengo, Dave Matthews Band) and their usual heavy touring regiment to bring their signature blend of neo-classic americana & rock n’ roll back into the expansive assemblage of their ever-growing fanbase. As the band has been touring in support of this endeavor, a couple forthcoming band members shared with Glide some tour stories that shows why The Bottom Dollars are out to make it all costs…
THE BOTTOM DOLLARS 2014 SPRING TOUR BLOG
EPISODE I: The Cove (San Antonio, TX)
By Evan Berg (drums)
Let me tell you about post-SXSW exhaustion: it’s intense. It’s a level of exhaustion usually reserved for those who prevent crimes, fight fires, direct airplane traffic, or short-order cooks working a double. Needless to say, you’re really fuckin tired after SXSW. If you’re a touring band though, that can’t stop you and it certainly didn’t stop us.
Upon leaving Austin: after 11 shows, 2 rehearsals, an inexplicable amount of free drinks and open bars, lack of sleep, and all the other shenanigans you can imagine behind us, we kept on pushin’ towards San Antonio. It was Sunday, and we had to go to work.
Around 3pm, we rolled into our daily: a great indoor/outdoor venue called The Cove. They fed us some delicious, much-needed healthy food, gave us a couple drinks to help/add to the week-long hangover, and let us rock a solid two sets.
It was the staff that really made this spot though. The happy- go-lucky bartender who tried to find us weed for our upcoming camping excursions through the Southwest (we were running dangerously low), the waitress who continuously put up with our seemingly strange requests (excessive amounts of lemons and hot sauce), and the night manager who kept forgetting to pay us (not out of any malicious intent, but just because the poor lady was insanely swamped).
As per usual though, it was the audience that made this show special. Upon finishing our second set and stepping back into the sunlight with an ice cold Lone Star, we quickly made friends with some locals out by the smoking area who’d stomached our matinee.
These people were amazing.
Being pretty close to Fort Sam Houston and Lackland Air Force Base, one of the guys we met wrote programming (or was it operations?) code for the military; something of the sort…after a few beers it was tough to remember exactly (but it was super badass). Then there were his friends.
One brought her son to the bar along with her boyfriend and father, all of whom were as nice as could be. They told great stories of growing up round the deserts of Southern Texas; a world us northerners know very little about. Then there was their last friend…
This girl was amongst the worst I’ve ever encountered. You know, the type that claims she doesn’t like movies, TV, video games, only listens to pop country, claims to read (but couldn’t tell me a single book she recently read). Not to be the judgmental type, but this girl sucked. She was however, attractive and one of my bandmates took quite the liking to her.
Being the good friend I am (and immediately gaining a heavy dislike for this girl), I wing-manned it up for said bandmate and made him look great, then took a very quick exit to go rip the one-hitter by the car (our dwindling ganja supply be damned).
When I came back, the bandmate of mine had been successful in obtaining her number and in the beginning stages of making some plans for that night. So we packed up, and headed off to our cheap motel…but not before dropping off our illustrious bandmate at the “Country Gold” bar in the middle of fucking nowhere.
We could tell by taking one look at Country Gold from the outside: this was a special bar. We didn’t get to know the true extent of its Devil’s Rejectian charm until we got pictures back from this somewhat anonymous bandmate from its bowels. It looked like a cross between a shitty middle school dance, a scene from Top Gun and a retirement home common room (if all of those locales were set in some sub-layer of hell). It was a special kind of special.
With this place having such a knack for the weird, we assumed “Still-Somehow-Anonymous Bandmate” would have zero problem making a great time happen with this date and having a place to sleep that isn’t our shitty motel room with the lot of us. How wrong we were.
Back at our hotel room the rest of us were in full nerd swing. Despite that dwindling stash, we managed to pull a few spliffs out of what we had left (not to mention some extra that I had stashed away in a coat pocket just for this type of occasion). We’d hit up a grocery store on our way to the hotel and accompanying those spliffs was an absolute paradise of snacks. We’re talking everything from gummies and chips to veggies and hummus. We’re talking blood oranges. We’re talking fucking blood fucking oranges.
We were happy, we were content, we were stoned and we had munchies for days. On top of it all, Comedy Central was running a bunch of old Chappelle’s Show episodes. What more could we ask for?
Kind of like this: Spliff -> Chappelle -> Carrots & Hummus -> another Spliff -> more Chappelle, etc…
It wasn’t until about 2 in the morning that we got word from our “who-shall-not-be-named” bandmate that his luck at the Country Gold bar had run out. It wasn’t a, “don’t worry boys, all good for the night!” kind of send-off or even just a thumbs up of sorts. Oh no, this was that wonderful, “emergency evac requested,” type of text message.
S.O.S. – Coordinates: Country Gold. Middle of nowhere Texas. Requesting immediate pickup.
Apparently, “Country Gold,” did not hold the answers our poor bandmate was looking for and upon review had decided my once-over was in good taste. We immediately obliged the S.O.S (well, Shappy did…so that takes two of us out of the running for identifying the anonymous bandmate) and swept up that anonymous adventurer. We got back to our hotel safely, rolled up one last spliff, and heard the great tale of “Country Gold” from the man who lived it, and will never live it down.
Exhausted and bellies aching from munchies and laughing too much, we all found our places of rest and passed on out. The next morning we woke up feeling well-rested for the first time in days, and we headed west towards New Mexico for our next adventure.
EPISODE 2- The Badlander (Missoula, MT)
By Dan Shapiro (lead guitar)
Hitting Montana was hitting big sky; sheer mountains steep as cliff faces, people who leave little to the imagination…These were real-ass people who talk straight to your face and look you dead in the eye (certainly not pretenders glued to their tiny cell phone screens).
They were livers of life, they were explorers of nature. They were excellent pool players. They were following their passions and making moves to-boot. They were the familiar faces in the crowd, the kind that make you believe in the small connections in life. They were our new friends.
Cody and Dave were awesome companions whom we met while camping in the Redwood Forest (right by the ocean) at Big Lagoon. We got to know them as cheerful college kids following their passions. Dave was studying welding and worked summers as a rafting guide. Cody was in school for investment banking and would be moving south to Texas for a job. They were both explorers, and showed us pictures of a mountain they had almost climbed (apparently they were less than a hundred feet from the summit when an ice storm abruptly halted their progress). The ice turned to lightning; the perfect conductor.
Cody recalls how there was so much electricity in the air that his climbing gear was heating up to the point where he couldn’t hold onto it for more than a few seconds. Kind of like that moment, that brief moment in time when a band peaks a song. When they achieve something so powerful, you can only bask in its wake and appreciate its greatness. It was Big Sky.
Upon arriving at the venue, we stretched out and walked in. “You guys are way too early,” the Bartender said. “Put your gear in the back, then you should go and climb that mountain over there…it’d be good to get the blood flowing.”
Or…we could get pulled pork sandwiches at the BBQ joint down the street.
We played a good show that night. There were friends in the crowd. We sang, they danced. We got high in the alley. We caught up, told stories, and reminisced of good (and not-so-good) old times. After the show we went to a diner with four gun racks and a cage around the bar. The bar was closed, the kitchen was not.
Take up offers. Follow through with plans. Visit your friends. Get into trouble. Give up your day job. Put aside the inconsequential for the inevitable. Live your own life. Be a part of something; something worth talking about.