Now with a new Postscript added at the end of the diary!

For years Tribal Tech fans worldwide have known that the Gary Willis web site is the place to go for the latest news about their favorite band. Those of us fans here in the states rely on the web site as our only connection to the band, since apparently TT no longer plays in these parts. (Who needs such hick towns as San Francisco?) However, of late the Willis web site has been undergoing a redesign, and there's no news of the current tour, and the "Ask Willis" section has been discontinued. To fill this void, I have taken it upon myself to host this year's tour diary on my own web site as a service to TT fans everywhere. All of the events described in this diary are true to the best of my knowledge. I rely on fans such as yourself to keep me informed. Email me with your latest tips and first-hand accounts.

Your faithful reporter,
Curt Bianchi

March 31 Copenhagen, Denmark
Henderson's dreadlocks once extended below his waist
Tomorrow is April Fools Day, a fact that is not lost on Kinsey and Covington. But what to do? After some deliberation, they decide to pull out all the stops and attempt a prank that they have long wanted to try.

In the wee hours of the morning, Kinsey and Covington sneak into Henderson's hotel room while he's sound asleep and cut off his dreadlocks. "This'll be a good one," Kinsey whispers, as they tip toe back out of the room. Our interpid duo cover their mouths to keep from laughing out loud, and are panicked when Henderson stirs and mumbles in his sleep.

Upon returning to his hotel room undetected, Covington gets into bed, the adrenaline rush of the ultimate prank beginning to wear off. It is at that moment that Covington starts to grow concerned that maybe this wasn't such a good idea afterall. Still holding onto miles and miles of hair, he decides he had better save it.

April 1 Stockholm, Sweden Henderson reports to the bus this a.m. in an upbeat mood, claiming that he feels like a tremendous weight has been lifted off his shoulders. After much smirking amid idle chit-chat, Kinsey and Covington can contain themselves no longer. "APRIL FOOLS!" they shout in unison. Henderson, not realizing the joke is on him, complains, "What?! Where is it?! Damn, you guys! I always miss out on the good stuff."

As the self-appointed brains of the outfit--well, assuming we leave Henderson out of the "outfit"--Willis realizes that some quick thinking is needed to avert a major disaster. He convinces Henderson that the gag was up in his room and he must have missed it. Henderson, always game for a good laugh, heads back to his room to see what he missed. As soon he's out of sight, Willis commands the driver to get the bus moving.

Once in Stockholm,
Kinsey attempts to get used to his new pentatonic keyboards. "I wonder if Zawinul has ever tried this."
Henderson fails to show up for the afternoon soundcheck. Willis briefly toys with the idea of changing the billing to The Gary Willis Trio, but then he remembers that gig in Santa Fe. So instead, he recruits the guitar teacher from the local high school. After a quick rehearsal, Willis concludes that there may be a problem with this arrangement.

But Willis is no dummy. He calls the band together and declares, "The hallmark of this band has always been improvisation. Tonight, the entire concert will be all pentatonic. We're only going to play the notes E, A, D, G, and B." He demands that the road crew physically remove all of the other keys from Kinsey's keyboards.

Covington wonders what this means for him, but then neatly solves the problem by labelling each of his drum heads with a black marker, "E," "A," "D", "G," and "B." "Every Good Boy Does"... He pauses realizing this isn't going to cut it. "How about... Every Average Dead Good Boy... Oh, forget it. I'll just wing it."

April 2 Stockholm, Sweden
Elka poses for a picture prior to her first and only performance as Tribal Tech guitarist. Talk about stage presence.

Still no Henderson. "What's he going to do? Wait until it all grows back?" quips an annoyed Kinsey. "At least he's still got hair on top of his head."

Meanwhile, Willis decides to try a different approach to the guitar problem. He goes down to the local junior college and selects the best-looking guitar player in class, figuring that if nothing else, she will give the band a new stage presence.

"Don't you want to hear me play?" asks Elka.

"It doesn't matter," replies Willis. "Just be at soundcheck at 4:30."

At soundcheck he tells Elka, "Play whatever you want. We can improvise anything. Haven't you heard our records?"

After the show, Covington says it is his best concert in years. "That E, A, D, G, B thing has really twisted my mind. By the way, where's the post-concert spread?"

April 3 Day Off It's a rare day off for the band. Covington takes advantage by playing a cruise ship gig. "Hey, you ever had the food on those things?" he says by way of explanation.

Still no sign of Henderson. "Maybe he's getting a wig," Kinsey thinks aloud.

"That ain't gonna be no wig. More like a prosthetic," grouses Willis.

April 4 Amsterdam, Holland No Henderson Day Four. The band has taken to calling him Sampson.

Russ Freeman will sit in with the band tonight. Willis cinches the deal by promising him that Elka will make a dramatic entrance for the encore, riding the rocket from Rocket Science.

At soundcheck Freeman asks about the tunes. "Tunes?" replies Willis. "That's really passe, Russ. We just make 'em up as we go along. Haven't you heard our records?"

"I would if I could find them," says Russ.

Meanwhile, Covington brings in one of those boxes that fancy long-stemmed red roses come in. He lines it with felt and places Henderson's shorn locks carefully inside.

"What are you making, a casket?" asks Willis. "You don't bury something like that, you cremate it."

Covington, ignoring this juvenile banter, stands back and stares at the box in silence for several seconds. Finally, the trance is broken when Kinsey notifies him that the pre-concert spread has arrived.

After the concert, Freeman concludes that Tribal Tech is not fit even for shortwave radio airplay. "Radio is for woosies," Willis huffs.

Russ Freeman sits in with Tribal Tech in Amsterdam
"These guys don't have a clue."

April 5 Amsterdam, Holland The day gets off to a poor start when Willis picks up a copy of de Volkskrant, only to discover a review of last night's concert entitled "The Rippingtons Lose Their Way." Covington pays no attention, having bought a big vat of Karnemelksepap for the bus ride to Berlin.
Berlin, Germany Willis arrives at soundcheck carrying a mannequin and an Ace Hardware animatronics kit. "Still no Henderson, huh? I better get busy."

He calls the band together and announces tonight's plan. "Okay, here's the deal. I'm going to wire up this mannequin to play guitar. For the concert we'll play a tape of the last show we had with Henderson. That's right: we're lip syncing. Scott, you and I will unplug our gear on stage and just go through the motions. Kirk, we're taking away your sticks. I've got this animatronics kit and I'll make this dummy look like it's Scott actually playing. Nobody will know the difference."

"What makes you think you can program it?" asks Kinsey.

"Hey man, I do Macromedia Flash. How hard can this be?"

The stage crew immediately dubs the mannequin "Henderquin." The name sticks.

Willis spends the rest of the day right up until show time programming Henderquin's motions. He recycles Henderson's own foot pedals to create an ellaborate control mechanism that he will use during the concert to direct Henderquin's movements. They dress Henderquin in a t-shirt and tattered jeans. Covington insists on putting Henderson's hair in place on the stand-in; it proves to be an emotional moment for him. Finally, Henderquin is ready to go. Even Kinsey is impressed by the result.

The show gets off to a good start. Henderquin's arms move back and forth and he doesn't look too bad. "This could work," Kinsey mutters to himself. Then the first song ends. But Henderquin keeps moving.

Kinsey looks at Willis. Willis looks at Kinsey. A pained look comes across Willis' face as he furiously presses foot pedals like Joe Zawinul during a Weather Report concert. He gets Henderquin stopped just as the second song starts up.

By the third song Willis has got some rudimentary control over Henderquin, and agrees with Kinsey, "This could work." Unfortunately, Henderquin's motions are slowly vibrating him off his stand, and 20 minutes into the show he falls over face-first, his arms continuing to flail away. Covington jumps out of his seat in horror. "Scott! Scott! Are you okay?!" Willis gives him a dirty glance while a roadie rushes out and props up Henderquin. The roadie spends the rest of the show holding Henderquin upright from behind.

Things go pretty well from there, although when Henderson does the band introductions via tape, Henderquin's mouth doesn't move and the results are less than satisfying.

All agree after the show that they wish Elka could have come along.

Willis poses for a photo with Henderquin prior to final assembly
Henderquin's ellaborate control mechanisms

April 6 Berlin, Germany Willis picks up a copy of the Express for the bus ride to Zurich. Covington snags the sports section and takes a seat next to Henderquin. Kinsey grabs the Erotik section and heads to the back of the bus. Willis spots a review from last night's show. "The guitarist played with great fluidity," it says. "However, he appeared to have partaken of a few too many German beers prior to show time." "Media hacks," Willis complains.

Nevertheless, the fact that Henderquin went relatively unnoticed has Willis thinking. Perhaps he could replace Covington and Kinsey, too. Kirk has his cruise ship thing, and Scott could always land a gig with Jeff Berlin. It could work.

Zurich, Switzerland Willis calls the band together at sound check. Covington dutifully brings Henderquin to listen in.

"You guys stunk last night," Willis tells them.

"Even him?" Covington says, pointing at Henderquin.

"But we didn't even play!" protests Kinsey.

"Yeah, well, you guys could at least show some enthusiam out there! This damned Henderquin thing was more lively than you were, Kinsey."

"He's not a 'thing,'" interrupts Covington.

"I know it's hard going through the motions and all," continues Willis, "but if you guys don't want to be here, there's more dummies where this one came from. Don't make me bring 'em on!"

To avoid a repeat of last night's pratfall, Willis has the roadies screw Henderquin's feet into the stage floor. A few folks lingering in the concert hall audibly gasp at the sight, but Willis assures them it's nothing. "Scott had a bad case of the gout when he was young, and he's got wooden legs below the knees. We do this all the time."

The concert is, of course, a repeat of the previous night, which was a repeat of another show, since it's all on tape. Covington revels in his newfound freedom of not actually having to play while the band "plays." He eats a sandwich during his drum solo, thinking it will really impress the crowd.

The one glaring problem is that Henderquin, feet screwed to the floor, remains frozen on stage at the end of the concert. The house lights go out and while the crowd shouts for an encore, Covington rushes to unscrew Henderquin in the dark. He lifts him from the floor, but just as the lights return, catching Covington hold Hendequin horizontally across his arms. Not sure what to do, Covington shouts, "We love you Zurich!"

The crowd loves it. Covington realizes he's on to something and walks around the stage with a horizontal Henderquin playing guitar in his arms. Covington holds Henderquin over his head. He holds him upside down by the ankles. And for the coup de grace, he windmills him around the stage in circles like one would a small child, nearly taking Kinsey's head off in the process. The crowd goes berserk. (If anyone has pictures of this, please email them to me.)

"I think Kirk did enough emoting for the both of us," Kinsey says after the show.

The fans go crazy for Covington and Henderquin.
"I want him," the woman in white is heard to say.

April 7 Zurich, Switzerland Willis picks up a copy of Tages-Anzeiger for the bus ride to Italy. The reviewer of last night's show, who claims to have also seen the Berlin show, notes how much better the band sounded last night than the night before, but the choreography could use some improvement. It merely confirms Willis' suspicions about media types.
Rovereto, Italy As Willis, Kinsey and Covington (who drags along Henderquin) enter the concert hall for sound check, they are greeted by the strains of "Send In The Clowns" played on electric guitar. Henderson is finally back. "The reign of Willis terror is over," Kinsey thinks to himself.

The trio sheepishly walks up to the stage and stand before Henderson, who is looking as good as ever--a full head of hair just like before "The Hair Incident." Willis, Kinsey and Covington are just in time for Henderson to continue singing the lyrics after a typically scorching guitar solo:

Don't you love farce?
My fault I fear!
I thought that you'd want what I want
I'm sorry my dear!
Quick, send in the clowns . . .
Don't bother . . . they're here!

Covington starts to join in, but Willis elbows him and gives him a dirty glance.

"Right on cue, fellahs," Henderson says. Willis, Covington and Kinsey stand in silence. You could cut the tension with a D'Addario guitar string.

"Make that GHS," corrects Willis.

"D'Addario!" says Henderson, stomping his foot on the floor for emphasis.





"Oh, you big lug. It's good to have you back," chortles Willis.

"Yeah, yeah. I've been secretly watching you guys from the audience the past couple of nights, and you've been turning us into a bunch of clowns! This isn't some frigging Cirque du Soleil show, you know!"

As the concert begins, Kinsey is fearful of their own "Bay Of Gigs" fiasco. But aside from Henderson quoting "Feelings" during "Saturn 5"--there's an obscure connection in there somewhere--the concert is one of Tribal Tech's best. "We should have trimmed his locks a long time ago," Kinsey thinks to himself.

While the band is backstage waiting to return for the encore, Covington asks Henderson if they can do "that windmill thing" again like last night. "Drummers," says Henderson derisively as he shakes his head and returns to the stage.

April 8 On the road to Prague It's a quiet bus ride to Prague. No one says it, but it's on everyone's minds: How is it that Henderson's hair appears to be exactly as it was before "The Hair Incident?" He's been in such a grouchy mood that no dares bring it up.
Prague, Czech Republic Upon arrival at the Lucerna Music Bar, the band learns that there's been a bit of a mistake. Monday night is Lucerna's weekly Eighties pop party, and management is under the impression that Tribal Tech is an American cover band.

"No way, man. I ain't doing it," grumps Henderson. Nevertheless, a gig is a gig--especially when you're 10,000 miles from home. "We can do this," Covington says, eyeing the nearby McDonalds and therefore motivated to stay in town. "I wonder if they have McRibs," he asks no one in particular.

At any rate, Willis, Kinsey and Covington finally convince Henderson to stay for the performance, using such logic as, "No one will ever know since they can't read those Czech newspapers anyway."

With his encyclopedic knowledge of pop tunes, Covington whips into action. "Maybe we can put 'The Hair Incident' behind us and be one big happy family again," he thinks to himself. His first order of business is getting the band some costumes. Several looks are rejected before he finally settles on an Eighties art rock motif that he considers quite tasteful.

Looks that were considered but ultimately rejected by Covington

Covington also recruits local vocalist Olga, who is such a legend at Lucerna that she goes only by her first name. (As in, "I had Olga last night.") Finally, Covington selects a daring program drawn from the best the Eighties has to offer. Included are such stimulating classics as "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang, and "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" by Boy George.

The show goes pretty well. Henderson manages to keep from gagging through most of it, but becomes physically ill during "Walking On Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves, and has to be helped off the stage. Covington comes out from behind the drums to join Olga in a stirring rendition of Grease's "Summer Nights," as originally performed by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. For the encore, Willis programs Henderquin to do the arm movements for "YMCA."

Backstage after the show, Covington basks in the glow (and the post-concert spread). "Did anyone get me and Olga on videotape?"

Tribal Tech in concert at Lucerna. Left to right: Kinsey, Olga, Henderson, Willis, Henderquin.

April 9 Prague, Czech Republic Covington learns that Daylight Savings Time started on Sunday, so he dutifully sets his watch ahead one hour, not realizing its an American thing, and, well, he's not in America. He wonders why he and Henderquin are the only ones on time for the bus this morning. "Bunch of slackers," he mutters to himself.

As he waits he spots the nearby McDonalds. "I wonder if they have the same Happy Meal toys as we do back home," he says to Henderquin, who has no response. "You know, Henderquin, if you could talk you'd be a helluva lot better company." The thought consumes Covington while he waits for the rest of the gang to show up.

April 9 Russelsheim, Germany An otherwise fine concert is marred by fans heckling Willis, shouting "Where's the web site?" and "Don't ask Willis--he doesn't care anymore." One particularly bitter fan lingers after the show complaining, "It was all a charade to begin with. He never answered my question. And even if he had, it would have been the wrong answer anyway."

Fans protest the redesigned web site outside the concert hall

April 10 Karlsruhe, Germany As the Tribal Cruiser rolls up to the club, Henderson starts to get that nervous feeling in the pit of his stomach. "I don't like the looks of this," he says. If there's such a thing as a German biker bar, this is it. The band remains apprehensive as concert time approaches, but their nerves are quickly shaken as they launch into "Mini Me."

Midway through the tune, however, a very large individual proceeds to slowly walk up the center aisle toward the stage, followed by his entourage. He stops and stands directly before Henderson.

"Halten... Halten! ... HALTEN DIE MUSIK!!"

"Mini Me" comes grinding to a halt. The man before Henderson is immense--even bigger than Covington, Henderson reckons. "That's the scariest looking dude in lederhosen I've ever seen," agrees Kinsey. The club is ominously quiet. Danger is in the air.

"We have heard of thee Henderquin fellow," Big Lederhosen says. "You have him vith you, ya?"

"Well, uh, yeah," says Henderson, "there's a mani-"

"Ya, gut!" Big Liederhosen interrupts. "Ve vant to see the Henderquin. Ve don't vant to see you. You get him. Ve vait." Big Lederhosen sits down, as does his band of little lederhosens.

Henderson looks at Willis. Willis looks at Kinsey. Kinsey looks at Covington. Covington looks at Henderson. The feedback loop starts to give them all headaches.

"Scott, I think we had best get the mannequin," Willis says quietly. The two go backstage and briefly discuss their options. "We could make a run for it," says Willis. "And leave Kinsey and Cov behind?" asks Henderson. "Hey, I don't see their names on the marque! They're on their own!" Ultimately, Willis and Henderson decide that the Tribal Cruiser--as fine a machine as it is--just isn't up to the autobahn, so they reluctantly bring Henderquin out to the stage and set him up.

Kinsey gets down
"And you!" Big Lederhosen says to Kinsey in menacing fashion. "Your strange sounds are not velcome here. Instead, you vill play this," motioning to an accordion. "And you vill all play good German music," he says to the rest of the band. "And ve have a good time, ya?" With that, Big Lederhosen takes a seat in front of the stage and vaits. Er, waits.

Willis searches his brain for "good German music," but the best he can come up with is "Beer Barrel Polka." He's pretty sure Big Lederhosen won't find that satisfactory.

About then Covington jumps up from behind the drum kit. "Just take my lead, boys! 'Mack the Knife' in G. Hit it!"

Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne
Und der trägt er im Gesicht
Und Macheath, der hat ein Messer
Doch das Messer sieht man nicht.

As the last strains of "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" come to an end, the club grows quiet once again. All eyes are on Big Lederhosen. He lights a cigar, then slowly rises, looks Henderquin in the glass eye for what seems like an eternity, and finally starts to slowly clap. The rest of the lederhosens get up and join in for what grows to become a thunderous ovation. Kinsey wipes the sweat off his brow.

"Weider... Weider... WEIDER!" (that's "again, again, AGAIN!" for our German impaired readers) Big Lederhosen bellows.

And on and on it went. Despite Covington's mastery of German caberet tunes, Henderquin is the unquestioned star, moving in his unique herky-jerky fashion while Henderson plays offstage and out of sight. "The circus continues," he mutters to himself.

Big Lederhosen demands that Henderquin join him for several rounds of fine German lager. They play darts together. He confides to Henderquin the difficulties of maintaining his hooligan status day in and day out. They sing German folk tunes until Big Lederhosen falls asleep on Henderquin's shoulder. Covington manages to slip Henderquin out from under Big Lederhosen's chin, and in the wee hours an exhausted Tribal Tech finally tip toes out of the club.

April 11 On the road to Vienna After last night's "Close Encounters of the Lederhosen Kind," the band is drained and tries to get some sleep in the Tribal Cruiser on the way to Vienna. This is probably as good a time as any to introduce readers to Tribal Tech's luxuriously appointed tour bus.

German Tribal Tech fan Robert Schmittinger and a friend pose for a souvenir photograph in front of the Tribal Cruiser. Note the auxilliary equipment trailer. "Sometimes Kinsey likes to ride back there," says Willis.
The sleeping quarters allow the band to rest comfortably while on the road.
The versatility of the Tribal Cruiser is illustrated in this photo, in which the sleeping accommodations are transformed into a music studio on wheels, simply by rolling up the sleeping bags. "Some of my best work is done right here on the Tribal Cruiser," says Henderson. "I find the fact that I can barely move any of my limbs to be oddly liberating."

April 12 On the road to Innsbruck Covington remains perplexed at Henderson's hair, and while the Tribal Cruiser motors its way to Innsbruck, he gets up his nerve and casually asks, "So, uh, Scott, I didn't know hair could grow back that fast."

"It didn't, stickman!"

Beneath the bluster, Henderson is actually quite pleased with his new hair. He admits that he got it from Hair Club For Men. "They have a special entertainers division," he says. "All the guys in Kiss use 'em. I would have had mine sooner, but it was a special order item."

In any event, Covington resents Henderson's tone, vowing to restrict his conversation to Henderquin from now on.

Meanwhile, Kinsey reveals that he has submitted an audition tape for "Survivor 5." "Do us all a favor," Henderson tells him, "and don't prance around naked like that other clown."

"Note to self," Kinsey thinks. "Hit the gym tomorrow."

April 13 Dornbirn, Austria During sound check Covington gets Henderquin out of the equipment trailer and brings him into the club. "What are you doing with that thing," Henderson asks.

"First of all, he's not a thing. And since you asked, I'm adding a percussionist to the band," Covington announces.

"Since when do we need percussion?" wonders Henderson.

Covington attempts to hook up Henderquin's controls to his hi-hat.
Covington ignores him and tries to jury-rig Henderquin's control mechanisms to his drum kit foot pedals. But no matter how hard he tries, he just can't control Henderquin and play the drums at the same time. After several aborted attempts, Covington finally plops down on the floor, his head in his hands, a dejected look on his face.

"Oh here, give me the friggin' controls. I'll do it myself!" Willis tells him. He duct tapes a drum stick to Henderquin's right hand--the other hand will be use for, well, hand percussion. Willis starts working the controls with a deft touch honed through hours of practice, and Henderquin comes to life once again. "I'm getting to where I kind of enjoy this," Willis admits.

"Gee, this is my big opportunity to actually play on stage with the great Henderquin," Henderson says derisively at the sight.

"Hey, I bet he gets more applause than you do," Covington replies in a huff.

Indeed, during the concert the female members of the audience are particularly attracted to Henderquin. "He's so... stiff," says one fan. "That thing is a babe magnet," Kinsey thinks to himself. At the end of the show, Henderson introduces the band--that is, everyone but Henderquin. Covington can't let that slight pass, and jumps up from behind the drums--he's been doing that a lot lately, hasn't he?--and grabs the mic. "And on percussion, Manolo Henderquin!" Covington was right: Henderquin gets more applause than anyone else.

Henderquin debuts as Tribal Tech's new percussionist.

April 14 Dornbirn, Austria Before leaving Austria, the band members make a pilgrimage to the home town of jazz legend Joe Zawinul, in whose band both Henderson and Covington once played. Upon learning that Covington served a tour of duty as Zawinul's drummer, the locals treat him with all the reverence of a returning war hero.
Cordevilla, Italy Flute player Dave Valentin happens to be in town and asks to sit in for a tune. "Could you play something from the Dave Grusin canon?" he asks.

Valentin remains motionless for several moments before leaving the stage complaining about "Tribal Dreck."

The band launches into a singularly raucous version of "Mountain Dance," and Valentin is so taken aback that he can't bear to put his lips to his flute. He stands frozen in utter shock at what he's hearing, before finally turning and walking off the stage. "You deserve better," he mutters to Henderquin as he leaves.

After the show, Kinsey is concerned. "Was it me?" he asks. "He was looking right at me when he freaked out. Are you sure it wasn't me?"

"Yes, Scott, it was you," says Henderson.

April 15 On the road to Barcelona With the day off, there isn't much of anything else to do but drive aimlessly around Europe on their way to Spain.

"So, uh, we need to come up with something for today's diary entry," says Willis, guiding the Tribal Cruiser to no where in particular.

"Oh man, can't we take a day off?" asks Henderson. "Fifteen days of diary entries has taken its toll."

"And you weren't even here for half of it," notes Willis.

"Kirk's off doing his cruise ship thing somewhere in the Mediterranean, so we can't talk about him," says Henderson.

"Yeah, and he took Henderquin with him, so that subject's out."

"Don't you think we've exhausted the Henderquin angle?" asks Henderson.

"I think Henderquin's still got legs, even if they are fake ones. Besides, the babes like him."

"Yeah, and Kirk has practically adopted the thing. They're like the Skipper and Gilligan."

Kinsey, who's been listening to this from the back seat, chimes in. "If it wouldn't be too much bother, maybe we could make up an entry about me," he suggests.

Willis and Henderson exchange glances.

"Well, Kinsey, let me clue you in," says Henderson. "It's Scott Henderson and Gary Willis and Tribal Tech. See, I'm the Scott Henderson part. This here is the Gary Willis part. And you are... the Tribal Tech part! That's why you don't get to do much in the diary."

"Yeah, but how about Kirk?" Kinsey asks. "He's gotten to save the day twice already."

"Can you sing 'Mack the Knife' in German?" asks Henderson, pointedly. "I didn't think so."

Kinsey grows silent, wondering what ever happened to Henderson's real dreadlocks. The gang drives through Marseille in silence, enjoying the scenery.

"I know it runs against ever fiber in our bodies," Henderson finally says, with some trepidation. "But maybe we should just make something up."

"Like?" asks Willis, glancing back at Henderson, eyebrows arched.

"How about... Henderson and Willis are mobbed by hordes of delirious fans in the south of France," Henderson suggests.

They drive along a while longer, pondering Henderson's fabrication.

"No one would believe it," says Willis.

"I guess you're right," agrees a resigned Henderson.

"Yeah, too far-fetched," says Willis. "Better stick to the boring tour drudgery stuff that we've been posting up to now."

"At least it's grounded in reality," agrees Henderson.

April 16 Barcelona, Spain
Kinsey basks in the glow of "Scott Kinsey and Tribal Tech"
Kinsey has grown increasingly annoyed with his lot in the diary, especially after getting shot down yesterday by Willis and Henderson. "I'm Henderson, he's Willis, you're nothing," he mutters, mimicking Henderson in a sarcastic tone.

"First off, I'm portrayed as the bad guy just because I was an accessory to cutting off Henderson's precious hair," he grouses to himself as he sets up for sound check. "It happened over two weeks and who knows how many countries ago. And still, I don't get anything good to do. Well, I'm showing them all tonight."

From the moment the concert begins all of the stage lights are trained on Kinsey. "Yes!" he say to himself. "Scott Kinsey and Tribal Tech!" He has secretly hacked the stage lighting system. "It was easy," he would later say. "It runs Windows, so all I had to do was email it a VB script. Computer hacked."

Henderson can only glower at him from the darkness for the rest of the show.

April 17 On the road to Santander After Kinsey's little stunt with the stage lights last night, he's been relegated to the equipment trailer for the ride to Santander. It's just as well, because Covington is driving everyone else crazy.

"Look what I picked up on the cruise ship, boys!" Covington shows them his new book: Ventriloquism For Dummies. "Get it?!" he asks Henderson. "I'd get it if it was worth getting, Kirk. It isn't."

In any event, Covington spends the rest of the ride working on his new ventriloquism act with Henderquin. He has also sent away for a "supermarionation" kit. "Remember 'The Thunderbirds' TV show with the constantly shaking marionettes?" Covington asks. "This is going to be so cool. We can hook up solenoids in Henderquin's mouth so that it actually moves while I talk for him!"

"He reminds me of that guy in Best Of Show," sighs Henderson.

"If only he were that good," laments Willis. "He reminds me of Jerry and Knucklehead."

"Yeah, but which is which?" replies Henderson.

April 18 Santander, Spain
The audience shows little reaction to Tribal Tech's brand of music.
It's one of those nights that seems to plague every Tribal Tech tour. The band has been booked into a hotel full of actuarials. They try running through their standard repetoire, but, well, let's just say the audience isn't prepared for it. Willis rolls off one of his funky basslines, and the audience sits in a dazed silence. Henderson unleashes a wicked guitar solo, and the audience appears confused. Covington lets loose with a drum solo containing as much sound and fury as he can muster, but when he's done, all that is heard is an audience member saying, "I wonder if this hotel does dry cleaning." Henderson calls an unscheduled intermission.

"If we wait back here long enough, maybe they'll all leave and we can just go back to our hotel rooms," he suggests, once they get backstage.

"I don't think so," replies Willis. "They just brought out the dessert tray. You know how those conventioneers are. They'll put up with anything for free food."

"Well, we've got to do something 'cause we're dying out there."

Right about then Henderson's eyes turn to Covington.

"So, uh, Kirk, how's that ventriloquism act coming along?" asks Henderson.

Covington's eyes light up. "I've read that dummies book backwards and forwards!" He gets Henderquin, and "The Skipper" and "little buddy" head back out to the stage for act two. The rest of the band watches from the wings.

Covington breaks out some of his new material. "So Henderquin, why was the tomato blushing?"

"I don't know, Kirk, why?"

"Because he saw the salad dressing!"

"Oh my God, it's worse than I thought," Henderson says backstage.

But they love Covington and Henderquin.
"And Henderquin, why don't cannibals eat comedians?"

"You're going to tell me, right Kirk?"

"Because they taste funny!"

"Pray that no one from the media is here," says Willis.

"I don't know which is worse," quips Kinsey, "his ventriloquism or his jokes."

"It really doesn't matter, does it?" Willis says, shaking his head.

Henderson, Willis and Kinsey sneak out the back door. Covington entertains the audience for the next hour. The conventioneers are so enthralled that they insist on taking Covington and Henderquin to the local strip club. Indeed, a good time is had by all!

April 19 On the road to Galapagar It's more than three weeks since the gang left home, and inevitably thoughts have turned to home cooking. Covington longs for some Texas barbeque. Willis wouldn't mind being asked "Red or green?" right about now. Henderson pines for his favorite Korean restaurant. Meanwhile, Kinsey obsesses about whether he will be able to get through the "Survivor 5" food challenge without barfing on TV.
Galapagar, Spain Upon arriving at sound check, Willis discovers that his signature Ibanez bass was left in Santander. The best he can come up with on short notice is a Bunny Brunel model. The band calls him "Hop-a-long" for the rest of the evening.

April 20 Day Off One more day off before the home stretch. Covington foregoes the usual cruise ship gig in search of vast new audiences for his ventriloquism act. He asks Tribal Tech's booking agent to book his comedy act, but with the actuarials convention not due back for another year, there haven't been any takers here in Spain for a grown man telling dorky jokes in English to a mannequin.

Not to be deterred, Covington takes his act to the streets, where his luck takes a turn for the better. "I wonder if Mr. Rogers started this way," he asks himself.

Covington finds an appreciative audience for his Henderquin comedy routine.

April 21 On the road to Italy It's a long drive back to Italy, giving Willis and Henderson ample time to discuss plans for their long awaited Christmas album.

"Maybe we should work on the track list," suggests Henderson. "Amazing Grace has always been one of my favorites, although strictly speaking it's not a Christmas tune."

"I once knew an amazing Grace," Willis offers.

"Yeah, but you should have seen my first Noel," counters Kinsey. "She really got my eggs noggin'."

"Let's not go there! This is sacred music we're talking about!" complains Henderson.

Covington, using his Henderquin ventriloquism voice, suddenly interupts: "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!"

"Kirk, you're lucky we didn't tell our Spanish audiences that Henderquin was a pinata, so stuff it!"

"Batmobile lost a wheel, and the Joker got away!" continues Covington to the tune of "Jingle Bells."

"We should have named our band the Four Wisemen," deadpans Kinsey.

"Except there were only three, so maybe we'll just leave you out," snaps Henderson.

"I can only speak for myself," Covington says in own voice, "but the Holly and the Ivy that I knew could deck the halls with your Grace and Noel."

"Is that 'knew' in the Biblical sense, Kirk?" asks Willis, attempting to bring the conversation back to some sort of spiritual plane.

"Oh for heaven's sakes, stop the Tribal Cruiser," groans Henderson. "I'll ride in the equipment trailer."

April 22 On the road to Pisa On the drive to Pisa, Henderson proudly wears the crown he received from an Italian music magazine, proclaiming him "King of Guitarists in a Format Least Likely to be Heard on Radio." He accepted the award at--you guessed it--a local radio station that had never heard of him. (The DJ referred to him as Scott Willis.)

"At least they didn't call him 'Henderquin.' That would have been the ultimate insult," observes Willis.

"You know, he hasn't taken that thing off since he got it," notes Kinsey.

"Probably slept in it," agrees Willis.

"Do you think we should tell him it's actually a Burger King hat?"

"Nah! Let him enjoy it. He's had a hard enough tour as it is."

Note how life-like the hair looks.

April 23 Pisa, Italy Kinsey and Covington spend the morning trying to fix the leaning tower. Alas, they have to give up in order to make the trip to Potenza. "If only I had the right tools," laments Covington.
Potenza, Italy In an unusual move to attract a larger audience, the promotor has given out disguises to all in attendance, reasoning that if one doesn't have to risk his or her friends and co-workers knowing that they went to a Tribal Tech concert, then they will be more likely to actually show up.

April 24 Rome, Italy Well, it's the final stop of the Tribal Tech European 2002 tour--Rome, the Eternal City.

"Does that means it's like Vegas and never sleeps?" wonders Covington.

"Something like that, Kirk," replies Willis.

"Don't you have some Italian proverbs to teach Henderquin?" suggests Henderson.

As they drive through the city, Henderson notices what appears to be people waving... at the Tribal Cruiser. "You know Willis, if it wasn't so far-fetched, I could swear those women back there recognized us."

"About time we got some promotion," says Willis. By the time they get to the club, there's quite a group waiting outside for the band.

"Now this is more like it!" says an impressed Henderson. "I might even get to sign some autographs."

The Tribal Cruiser pulls to a stop in front of tonight's venue, Big Mama, and Henderson and Willis get out to greet the chanting crowd. Is that "Henderson, Henderson" they're shouting? Of course not! It's "Henderquin! Henderquin!"

"Ya just gotta go with flow!" a grinning Covington shouts over the crowd as he carries Henderquin out of the Cruiser and into the club. Henderson can only shake his head and follow behind. He notes that the marquee reads "Scott Henderquin/Gary Willis/Tribal Tech." "I bet Mike Stern doesn't have to put up with this garbage," Henderson mutters.

The band gives them what they want. Willis arranges for Henderquin to do a solo spotlight on the timbales. He's gotten so adept with Henderquin's controls that it almost sounds good. No matter, the crowd loves it.

Henderquin has the babes on their feet. "Stay out of my way, ladies! That boy is mine!"

"Do you think he's into masks, too?"

April 25 The Vatican I'm sorry to report that few details have reached me, but the rumors are true! Henderquin got to ride in the PopeMobile!

"And I didn't even know he was Catholic," marveled Covington.

Although the Pope was heard to say, "You are a man of few words, and even fewer clothes," the rest of their conversation remains confidential.


Some folks have wondered just where in the heck this web page came from, anyway.

It started innocently enough one day when I went to check Gary Willis' web site for the latest news from the tour. His web site didn't seem to be working--he was in the midst of redesigning it with Macromedia Flash--so I sent a short email to Scott Kinsey, saying: "Since Willis' web site no longer works, I have taken the liberty of posting the tour diary on my server. Think of it as a public service."

I had included a couple of days of entries as a little joke. I didn't intend for it to go any farther than that, but the next day I got an email from Gary Willis: "I took the liberty of linking to your tour diary from my flash/schedule page. Think you can last for the whole tour?"

Hmmm. 26 days. Man, that's a lot of diary entries to make up. I told him that I thought I was good for about ten days, and that I would do my best. With that, we were off and running. A new entry appeared daily as the tour unfolded.

On April 10, I received another Willis email from the road: "Dude, I just got caught up with the diary today - awesome work. Just wanted to let you know you have fans in Karlsruhe. In between tunes they were shouting 'Where's Henderquin?' I'm not kidding - - - they were also yelling for the Rippingtons. We'll try to get you a closeup of some strange pics of Kirk that are in a Czech music magazine - coming your way soon. cool, out, GW"

Then a fan from Germany, Robert Schmittinger, sent me an email on April 12:

"We saw the band in Karlsruhe on 10th of April. The gig was great, even if Gary Willis was not 100 % happy about his sound (he told me after the concert that he is using a new amp and new speakers for the first time). It was a great evening concerning the music and it was really funny. Like 'Big Lederhose' in your diary I really shouted during the concert 'Where is Henderquin' to the stage. Willis was almost unable to continue playing because the whole band started to laugh and laugh. Henderson started moving like a marionette and promised that he is the real Henderquin. After the gig we talked a lot to Kinsey, Henderson and Willis. Henderson signed my Fender guitar which I brought to the concert and Kinsey told us that he feels so sorry that Russ Freeman was not available for this evening when we told him, that we expected some "Rippington"-tunes. These guys are really funny and it was great to listen to this outstanding band and to have the opportunity to talk to the guys."

So, amazing as it was, a completely faked up, farcical diary was actually having an effect on the real tour. I've received a number of other emails from appreciative Tribal Tech and fusion fans. It was fun writing this and getting such good reactions. "Henderquin" has become a part of Tribal Tech lore.

When I wrote this, I had never met any of the band members. I knew they had a good sense of humor (just read the liner notes to their albums), but I didn't know if I was pushing it too far. But they never complained about a thing. Just recently I met Scott Kinsey and Kirk Covington for the first time. I guess Kirk could have beaten me up if he had really wanted to! But they're great guys, and it was a pleasure to spend time with them.

Now, if only they would come up and play San Francisco.