Last year, shortly after Maggie’s passing, we published part one of her tour diaries. Here’s part two of her adventures with Hole, The Beastie Boys and more, from Sensitive Skin Number 11, which we dedicated to Maggie.
October 5th, 1994
We’re leaving on tour in a few hours. Me and Pat and Julia will ride in Julia’s big black truck and Steve and Keith, the Road Manager, will ride in the “Boy Car,” a little white rental car. It’s not deliberate gender division, just worked out that way.
Steve likes to drive at the speed limit and make very few stops. Us girls like to go 90 miles an hour, pee every 40 minutes and go to malls we find along the way. Neither Pat, Julia or I grew up around malls, so we’re making up for that now.
Later, October 5th, Boston
We’re sitting at the club in Boston eating Middle Eastern food. It’s not that good, but it’s free. We just soundchecked, and the sound was horrible and muddy, so we got depressed about our appaling working conditions and Julia said: “Why play? Let’s just kill ourselves now.”
October 6th, Northampton
We didn’t kill ourselves. We played. It was kind of weird. We have the goofiest audience in the world. They’re anywhere from 12 to 50 years old, and the only common thread is that they’re total freaks, and they think I’m the Queen of the Freaks.
This 40ish fat woman gave me a bunch of pairs of panties. She was with her son, who was about 15 with a lot of pimples and a Bon Jovi shirt. He gave me a fruitcake. I don’t know how that’s supposed to make me feel.
This really cute, tall boy came up to me and said: “May I kiss your boots?” I laughed and said: “Oh, sure.” Then, incredibly enough, he got down on his knees and really did kiss my boots. Then he stood up and walked away. I was, like, “Wait, where you going? Come back,” but he just wanted my boots, not me.
October 7th, Montreal
So we eventually got to Canada and the Canadians are sexy, so it was worth it all. We got to the club and a dozen cute Canadians were waiting to help us lug our gear inside. Usually club people just stand around watching you hump gear, but these Canadians are great. We love them.
My fan Dominick the Accountant came to the show. Came backstage after we played. He had a briefcase, and in it he had all these accountant papers that he wanted me to autograph, but then he saw Pat and decided he was in love with her instead, and he stalked her all night. Meanwhile, Pat had seen this 50-year-old woman with grey hair hanging out in the bookstore next door, and she’d gotten a big crush on the woman because she was reading a book on Spirituality. Pat has this big thing for 50-year-old women who have grey hair and read books on Spirituality. I guess it’s an acquired taste. Anyway, Pat wasn’t into the accountant, and he finally left, depressed and in love with a spiritual lesbian guitar player.
October 10th, Rochester w/ Hole
It was our first gig opening for Hole, and now I never want to play for 100 deadbeats again.
We walked onstage, and 2000 writhing teenagers started screaming and trying to touch us. The front row was all girls, and they all had that tight-t- shirt-and-barrettes-in-the-hair look. I don’t really understand the barrette thing. Little pink plastic barrettes were a bad idea when I was 7, and they’re a much worse idea now. But it’s OK; the barrette girls loved us, and their boyfriends kept pawing me and Julia’s legs. They started moshing when we played “Fuck Me. “This was the first time anyone had moshed to us. So that was good.
After playing, we lounged in the dressing room waiting for Hole to go on. Little Frances Bean Cobain was poking around back there, and it was eerie because she actually looks like Kurt Cobain. She was wearing big huge earmuffs so the loud music wouldn’t scorch her little ears. Eventually, Courtney came in and she and Frances Bean and Eric, the guitarist, and Drew Barrymore, his girlfriend, all started throwing hunks of cantalope out at the audience.
Courtney is the indisputable Goddess of Rock. She was wearing a pale blue, see-through mini night gown, 9-inch, black patent-leather spike heels and frilly white underwear that peered out from under her pale blue nightgown. Her mouth was painted a big crimson slash, and she strode onstage, sneered, propped her long leg on the monitor, and started howling into the microphone. Little Frances Bean Cobain stood on the side of the stage, waving and saying: “Mommy! Mommy!”
There we were onstage, doing “Hey Baby,” and I just went blank, completely forgot what the words were and just stood there on the stage looking confused. So the set was kind of downhill from there. The Barrette Squad still moshed, but I felt like a retard anyway.
After the show, we sat around in the dressing room saying, “Maybe we should just kill ourselves now.” I know suicide’s not supposed to be funny, but for some reason it is. So is bulemia; we’ve got this running gag about changing the name of our band from I Love Everybody to That Bulemic Moment. Or we could call the band Maggie Estep and Am I Fat?.
So we joked about suicide and bulemia, and then we got on the road and drove all night. The malls were all closed and America was asleep. We listened to Johnny Cash and ate half a dozen tootsie pops.
October 28th, On a Plane to Memphis
I’m flying to meet the band in Memphis because I just detoured for 2 days to play a 17-year-old poet in this low budget movie in Delaware. I’d never acted in my life, and I’m 31, so I guess it was a stretch. But they put barrettes in my hair, made me wear some ill-fitting pants, a tight t-shirt and some pink lipstick and presto, I was 17. My first line was: “Haven’t you heard of me? I’m really famous.”
And I pulled that off just fine. So now I”m flying to Memphis.
I’m stuck in the middle seat between an army guy and a guy who does some kind of urinary tract business. The guy is reading a report on the subject of Sphincter Urological Prosthesis, I’m not kidding. I don’t know what a prosthesis in the sphincter would feel like, but I wouldn’t think it would be nice, and can you possibly imagine devoting your life to that kind of thing?
October 29th, Memphis
Courtney was indisposed last night and cancelled the show, but we played anyway, and so did the other opening band, Veruca Salt. The singer girl from Veruca Salt is a big snotball. The rest of Veruca Salt are nice though. So we went first, then them. The Barrette Squad ended up giving me all the flowers and stuffed animals they had brought for Courtney so I made out just fine.
Before the show, me and Pat and Julia went into a weird Pizza place on Beale Street which is this famous blues Street. I hate the blues, but of course Pat and Julia love the blues, so we walked down Beale Street. We went into this little pizza joint. They were playing James Brown, and the place was empty but for a few old skinny black men sitting in a corner squinting and smoking. The lady at the counter was really mean to me because I ordered a sandwich, as opposed to pizza, and that meant she actually had to make something. She slathered it in mayonnaise even though I asked for no mayonnaise. So then I stood by a table wiping off mayonnaise, and all the skinny old black men stared at me. James brown was singing “Sex Machine.”
Some kids found me after the show and made me autograph dollar bills and flyers and stuff. One boy had me sign his forehead.
October 29th, New Orleans
We had a really long drive down to New Orleans, and we hate all the CDs we have, so we ended up listening to a voodoo seminar on talk radio. We found a mall, but we didn’t have much time so it was the quickest mall expedition in history. Me and Julia raced into Victoria’s Secret and fanatically tried on lingerie, bought none, then raced back out to meet Pat in the parking lot. Pat had bought a book on spirituality.
Now we’re in this weird hotel in the suburbs of New Orleans. We almost didn’t find it because it looks like a hospital. Then it turned out it actually is a hospital. It’s a hotel adjoining a hospital. They think of everything down here.
We passed through the bayou country on the way here, and it was beautiful: washed-out wood houses propped on top of the water, and shrimping boats everywhere. Old people sitting around with crinkled faces, just sitting there, watching the sun go down on the bayou.
October 30th, New Orleans
Last night’s show was pretty weird. The audience stared at us. I know they’re supposed to stare at us, but it wasn’t a good stare.
Afterwards, we were hanging in the dressing room, and our friend Kate from New York showed up. She had Michael the Rock Critic with her and also this guy Tony, who’s a journalist from Atlanta, and looks like he should have been in Interview with the Vampire.
Me and Julia and Pat and Steve were depressed and only half-heartedly joking about suicide and bulemia, but Kate and company cheered us considerably. Tony the Vampire amused me by playing with Hole’s deli platter, and making sandwiches out of white bread, potato chips and mint jelly.
Courtney came into the dressing room after our set, and she gave me a dirty look. Some girl was there who follows Hole around everywhere. She was wearing this interesting see-through maroon dress and Courtney said, “I like that dress.”
So the girl took it off, and Courtney took her own dress off, and they traded dresses. There were about 20 people in there, but both girls stripped down to their garter belts and black lace bras anyway. Courtney’s body is like a superhero’s: enormous tits, no hips or ass and legs that go on for miles. Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched Courtney in her underwear.
October 31st, Highway in Texas
We just stopped at a horrible diner, where me and Pat ordered shrimp gumbo which was really disgusting and looked like raw sewage. Julia ordered catfish and it came smeared in paprika. The only thing that was really good was the peas. The waitress hated us because we kept ordering side orders of peas.
Truck drivers in Mac trucks were fucking with us all night. They kept trying to push Julia off the road. “Julia, I think they want you off the road because you’re driving slower than them, and they want to rush home and put on big bunny suits and have sex with their wives.”
“No,” Julia said, “They want to pull off at the next rest stop and put on big bunny suits and sodomize each other.”
“That’s not funny,” Pat said. Maybe there’s a bunny suit in her past. I don’t know.
We pulled into a Holiday Inn and slept for a while before getting back on the road, then me and Julia had a big fight, and she called me a “little bitch tyrant” because I got mad that she and Pat were late getting up.
November 2nd, Austin
I checked my messages, and I’d gotten a message from my little sister, saying she got her tongue pierced. She could barely talk because her tongue was swollen. I called her back and asked her if it was a sexual thing. “What do you mean?” she said
“Well, don’t people get their tongue pierced as a sexual thing?”
“No, I just did it ’cause it looks good,” she said.
“Oh,” I said.
“Well, I gotta go Maggie,” she said then, clearly thinking I was a total moron for not knowing why she got her tongue pierced.
We had an OK show last night. They didn’t start moshing till the very end of the set though. Then a bunch of 12 year olds were looking for us trying to make us autograph their foreheads, and I escaped into the dressing room and ended up sitting on the couch talking to Patti, the drummer from Hole. She had this great fuzzy backpack and we ended up comparing the contents of our backpacks. Mine was all practical stuff: a hairbrush, paper, a pen, lipstick and tootsie pops. In hers, she had a huge plastic rat autographed by Anne Rice, a miniature plastic rat with a bow around its neck, three pairs of boxer shorts and a picture of Jodie Foster. “That’s what I would like for dessert,” Pattie said, pointing to the picture of Jodie Foster. “Oh,” I said.
“What would you like for dessert?” Patti asked.
“Cake,” I said. I guess I’m boring.
Julia and Jim, the drummer from Veruca Salt, were off in a corner flirting. Julia’s been turned on by him since she found out he went to Yale. It’s not so much that he went to Yale, but rather the combination of being a drummer and having gone to Yale. Keith, our road manager, thinks there should be a Playgirl spread of Ivy League drummers. Our own drummer Steve is an Ivy League drummer, and Keith is a drummer in a band and he’s an Ivy Leaguer too. Personally, I don’t go for Ivy League Drummers. I guess it’s an acquired taste.
So, Hole went on stage and Courtney spent 2/3rds of the show talking to the audience: “I’ve had it with you little fucks! Everytime I try to stage dive, somebody sticks their finger up my ass. Then they go, ‘Oooh, I had my finger up Courtney’s ass and it stinks.’”
I’m not sure the Barrette Squad really ever stick their fingers up her ass, but I guess it’s something to talk about.
November 2nd, Dallas
We all sat around in the dressing room, playing our favorite new game, which is to come up with new band names.
We’re getting tired of “Maggie Estep and Am I Fat?” So Pat has a new one: “Maggie Estep and Gay Sex.” Pat saw the headline “Gay Sex” on the cover of The National Enquirer, “Nicole Simpson’s Last Days: Gay Sex, Drugs and an Affair with OJ’s Best Friend.” Pat, who of course is gay, thinks that “Gay Sex” is just the funniest phrase in the world. Now when we’re hanging out backstage, we talk about Gay Sex. It’s a sure way to get the mean Veruca Salt girl out of the dressing room.
November 3rd, Plane from Dallas
Last night was the best gig so far. I think we actually did better than Hole. The audience threw condoms and cigarettes at us, and I threw water on them, and we all bonded so much it was like a having a huge orgy with 2000 teenagers. So that was good.
Now we’re done with the Hole tour. This woman sitting next to me on the airplane just asked me if I was in Dallas on business—which freaks me out because that means, I look like I do business.
“Yes,” I said, “I was in Dallas on Business. I’m in a Rock band called Maggie Estep and Gay Sex. We’re really good.” That wiped the smile right off her face. She pinched her lips and turned back to reading Vogue Magazine where there was a big spread of fashion models with little plastic barrettes in their hair.
Excerpt From Lollapalooza Tour Diaries
August 24th, 1994, Phoenix, AZ
It’s 120 degrees here, and the sky is huge. In spite of the heat, they seem to be big on poetry in Phoenix. I read four poems then almost passed out from the heat. My t-shirt was soaked with sweat and some weird fan boy started following me around, trying to buy my t-shirt. Finally, I was saved by Torment the Drag Queen, who is now the official poetry tent MC. Torment came and stood between me and my loopy fan boy and told the fan: “Get down on your knees and lick my shoes, then we’ll see about Maggie’s t-shirt. “
The guy scratched his head for a second then turned and walked away. I kissed Torment’s powdered cheek and lay down on the dirty grass and tried to recover from borderline heat exhaustion.
August 25th, San Diego
I performed a bunch of times, but nothing all that exciting happened.
I was lying on a couch in the Breeders’ dressing room when Evan (the guy whose job it is to make juice for The Beastie Boys) saw me and said I looked sick, so he brought me into the Beasties’ dressing room and made me a huge carrot juice.
The Beastie Boy I Have a Crush On was hanging out and we talked for a while. He told me he thought he’d seen me in an airport three days earlier. I said it wasn’t me, but I was secretely pleased that he was hallucinating visions of me in strange airports.
Liz the Poet and I ate together. The catering tent was set up inside an indoor parking structure and all the food smelled like gasoline.
Liz was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a kitten on it. Above the kitten Liz had written “LIZ: Poet, Cunt, Whore.” Liz is not one to mince words. She has a poem called “All Women are Whores.” And one called “My Country, My Cunt,” which she and Torment, the Drag Queen, do as a duet. Liz says “My Country” and Torment says “My Cunt.”
Liz is having an affair with a guy named Joe. Joe’s official job title is “Snowman Roadie.” He’s in charge of the 8-foot paper-mache Snowman that L7 have on stage with them. He and Liz are crazy in love.
Now it’s about 9pm and I’m riding with The Breeders on their tour bus and we’re heading for L.A. Me and Levi, the Breeders Road Manager, are having a love affair, but we’re trying to keep it a secret so I’m not going to write about it.
August 27th, San Francisco
Performed four times today, and it went pretty well. I taped a copy of me and my band’s CD to my ass every time I went onstage. Then I’d turn my back to the audience, point at my ass and say: “This is my promotional device, and this is my CD. Please buy it.”
I went to do a set on the Second Stage. Sterolab were going on right after me, and right in the middle of my piece, their guitar player started checking his guitar tone really loudly, so I couldn’t hear myself. I turned around and gestured for him to please hold it for a minute, but he just made a snotty face and hit a power chord. I finished my piece, threw the microphone at him, and stormed away. I hate Stereolab.
I stormed into the catering tent to tank up on coffee and bumped into Billy Corgan, the Smashing Pumpkins Guy. He was in an expansive mood. He gave me this big hug, sat me down and asked what the matter was.
I told him all my problems, and he gave me career advice, then said he’d come play guitar for me during one of my sets. Then, my fellow poets Wammo and Shappy appeared, sat down with me and quizzed me in depth about Kim and Kelly Deal, who they worship. So I told them about how Kim doesn’t ever change her pants but is really a sweetheart. That was the clincher for Shappy. He doesn’t change his pants either. Now he’s got this big fantasy about him and Kim breeding and frolicking and never changing their pants.
September 2nd, Los Angeles, Day Off
Last night me and Levi and the Breeders caught a plane from Seattle to LA. The tour bus dropped us at the airport in Seattle, and Kim Deal didn’t want to get off the bus. She was holed up in the back lounge, burning candles and figuring out Hank Williams songs on guitar. All the rest of us piled off the bus. Finally, Levi had to practically pull Kim off the bus.
The whole sorry bunch of us traipsed through the airport.
Everybody stared at us. By this point, Kim hadn’t changed her pants in probably two months. And I don’t really think she’d bathed, either. I don’t know why. She still seems to sing and play guitar just fine though.
We got to The Roosevelt Hotel around 2am. Me and Levi have this big suite with a view of Hollywood Boulevard and a throbbing neon sign that says “Roosevelt.”
September 4th, LA
I hate LA. I can’t go anywhere because I don’t know how to drive and Levi is busy doing important road manager business.
Last night I got really stir crazy so I went down to the pool and furiously swam laps. Back and forth and back and forth, and then all of a sudden, I see this hand in the water. I totally freak out, swallow huge gulps of water, then come up gasping for air. Then I see that it’s only Wammo the Poet, sticking his hand in the water, trying to get my attention.
“Wammo, what the fuck are you doing here?”
“I’ve come to rescue you. Liz told me you were stranded here so here I am.”
So I went up to the room and put clothes on then went off with Wammo and Shappy and a few guys from the Lollapalooza coffee booth. They were driving around in this huge Ryder truck where the coffee people store all their coffee-making supplies in, and also live in.
We tooled down Hollywood Boulevard in the coffee truck. We went over to Liz’s house and from there walked to Liz’s friend Joan’s house. Liz’s friend Joan really liked me even though I was in a surly mood.
She gave me three cups of coffee and some bananas ,and quizzed me about my brief acquaintance with Courtney Love, who she worked with a few years back.
Wammo got drunk. Liz and Joe the Snowman Roadie were kissing in a corner. The coffee boys got drunk. Me and Joan talked. The sun started to come up, the sky turned pale blue over the palm trees. I felt better. Joan’s friend gave me a ride back to the Roosevelt. Levi was sound alseep.
September 5th, LA, the Last Show
I have a horrible cold and performed only once. Billy from the Pumpkins played guitar for me. He was wearing a big straw hat that obscured his face and I introduced him merely as “My love slave Bob” but the audience wasn’t completely fooled, and spent the whole time trying to figure out if that was indeed Billy Corgan, and they didn’t pay attention to the fine subtleties of my new poem called “Your Poetry Sucks.”
I watched The Beastie Boys for the last time and for the last time watched the way The Beastie Boy I Have a Crush On’s pants sagged loosely over his very small butt. And maybe this is what I got out of Lollapalooza, a bunch of crazy new poet friends, and a possible sequel to the Stupid Jerk I’m Obsessed With: “The Beastie Boy I Have A Crush On Who Wears Ill-Fitting Pants That Sag Loosely Over His Small Perfect Ass And Basically Doesn’t Give Me The Time Of Day But I Don’t Really Give A Shit Because Frankly I’ve Evolved Beyond My Obsessive Phase And Besides, I Got Bigger Fish To Fry.”
Yeah, that’s it. That’s what I got from Lollapalooza. What more could a girl want?