January 7 looms large in the Yo La Tengo lexicon for multiple reasons. In 1994, Matador Records released “From a Motel 6” on the then-popular compact disc format. Meanwhile, a little ways east, we continued traipsing around Holland. My memory is a bit hazy, but we’re fortunate to have James’s actual diary entry for that actual day:
Groningen, en route to Den Haag, NL
We tumble down the steep stairs of the hotel, back over to Vera to load out. We say goodbye to Peter and crawl our way out of town through the cycle-choked streets. I give Ira a George Baker Selection LP for his birthday, and Joe gives him a racy-looking old paperback entitled Georgia Boy. He is happy. We drive along the dyke and stop for coffee at the Aftsluitdijk rest area. We make it to the venue in Den Haag (“I think it’s actually Dutch for ‘The Hog'” – SooYoung Park) in time to hear [REDACTED] soundchecking. Georgia has a cold. Dinner sucks. Our acoustic opening set is really fun, despite the promoter’s reservations, doing versions of songs we never tried this way before (“Shaker,” “Sudden Organ”) and a surprise closer of “1969” – Ira played the acoustic through the Rat, sounded great. Good times, people liked us, we even did an encore. We loaded up the van and left during [REDACTED]’s set. Pouring rain, freezing cold. Hotel, somewhere, is nice and warm and clean. We watch UK darts championships on tv all night long – Bobby George breaks through the pain barrier! A true hero.
Joe has taught himself how to speak Dutch without learning an actual word of the language.
More funny things [soundman] Joe Hickey has said on this trip:
“I was stark bollocks naked”
“(mumble mumble) bunch of butt-fucks” (during [REDACTED] soundcheck)
Referring to underpants as “trolleys”