Press Tour Redux: Meet Mike Squires

Duff McKagan, left, and Mike Squires of Loaded. Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.

Mike Squires and myself are on a two- week long radio tour this week and next for our band Loaded. Our first single, "Flatline," is getting a ton of play at radio, and Mike and I are out here "taking it to the people" (visiting the stations in person). Rarely is there a time in the company of this band where one will not hear laughter, and a lot of it at that. To continue where I left off last week, may I present "Press Tour: Part II"

Sunday, March 1: Fly to Minneapolis. Mike and I get in the night before our radio visit to discover that they just don't fuck around up here in these parts when it comes to REAL cold weather! No worries, we won't be spending too much time actually outside, right? I mean we will just be going straight to the station in the morning, and then straight to the airport after that to catch our plane to Detroit. But still, it's fucking cold!

Monday, March 2: The morning radio show went well, and Mike and I were even able to play a couple of our songs live on acoustic guitars. We have a local record-label representative who has been driving us around who now drops us off at the airport with three hours to spare. The problem now is that we got dropped off AT THE WRONG AIRPORT! We are told by a very nice Minnesotan that all we have to do is walk a little way (outside!), catch a train (we had to wait OUTSIDE for it), and then catch a tram... oh, that's all? With luggage, guitar cases, and backpacks in tow, Mike and I began our trudge through the frozen tundra. Once we finally get to the correct airport, we find that our plane is delayed indefinitely by a mechanical problem. Mike just farted. Ah, the glamorous life!

Tuesday, March 3: We finally got out of Minneapolis and arrived in Detroit all safe and sound. Our Midwest "radio guys" from our record label are both here, and are extremely pumped about getting some "adds" this week (radio guys are always excited by nature, but our dudes are cooler than most... because we are Loaded and EVERYTHING is cool around us, naturally). "Adds" is a term used for getting your song added to a particular radio station's playlist. Mike informs me that he is going to shave his beard but leave a thin "promotional" mustache. One of our radio guys actually manages Seattle's own Wellwater Conspiracy, as it turns out, and we fill the three-hour drive to Cleveland with conversations about Matt Cameron, Kurt Bloch, and all the things that kick butt about Seattle in general. Our trip to the Detroit station earlier today was again killer, and Mike and I actually got to play live a second time.

We find out that a double murder had just taken place in front of our hotel, but decide to stay anyway. Shit, it's probably the safest place in all of Cleveland tonight! Squires now states that for the rest of the trip he wants to be addressed only in the third person... and to not look at him directly in the eyes. Whatever, princess.

Wednesday, March 4: Today is the BIG one. We will be driving from Cleveland to Columbus to Cincinnati to Indianapolis. We find out this morning that the "double murder" was an execution-style affair. Apparently downtown Cleveland is getting pretty dicey, and there has been an exodus lately of the city dwellers back to the 'burbs. The FM rock station we are doing is one of those wacky-make-fart-sounds jobs. Squires and I, however, keep the goofiness at bay, and they were actually real cool to us (as opposed to being not cool, which definitely happens). Squires, by the way, is now donning a red velveteen floor-length robe that he insists was King Henry the VIII's. He now only responds to the name "The Wizard." More to come on this, of that I am quite sure.

Columbus was quite mellow, and the station DJ let Squires and I tell our dumb jokes and otherwise work off some road giddiness. I spoke with my esteemed SW colleague Krist Novoselic about being a host for a fundraising gig for Dow Constantine (a man who will fight for us all in King County politics!). I asked Krist what a host actually does, and he promised me there would be no funny business or guy-on-farm-animal hanky-panky. Squires informs me that he (Squires) wants some guy-on-horse hanky-panky.

The road now leads us to Cincinnati, where we have two more shows to do today, then it's a drive to Indianapolis. Tomorrow we are doing a syndicated show that goes to 156 radio stations, and also films in front of a live studio audience. Squires is already demanding his own "Star Wagon" (personal RV), and a director's chair with "The Wizard" printed in gold leaf on the back. Squires has his own personal fan base, dubbed the "Squires Army," and they promise to show up in full force at tomorrow's TV taping... for they are legion and they are many.

It is now Wednesday night, and we have finally arrived at our hotel in Indianapolis... I am completely and totally fried. I love to write with humor when I can, and hope that it is very evident that all the stuff about Squires and Krist is meant in jest. What is life, after all, without a lot of fun involved? That's my motto, anyway. For obvious reasons I will not be able to talk about my whole week, as I have to turn this column in now! Radio stations are now adding the single, and we hope that Loaded will be playing a town near you in the next few months. GOODNIGHT!!!

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