Are You Into Fitness?

Dave Freeman looks on as Josh Freese begins to regret his decision to sit in with the Yacht Rock Revue. On board the Carnival Destiny, January 22, 2012.

Dave Freeman looks on as Josh Freese begins to regret his decision to sit in with the Yacht Rock Revue. On board the Carnival Destiny, January 22, 2012.

I just got home from subbing for the Yacht Rock Revue’s drummer extraordinaire Mark Cobb during the birth of his twins. We were booked for the Weezer Cruise, from Miami to Cozumel. It was quite the adventure: I’ve never had to manage tempos and arrangements as the stage moved underneath me. Quite the challenge…

There were 17 bands on the boat, including Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Free Energy, The Waves, Ozma, and of course Weezer. They all sounded great, but our seats for the Weezer show we were able to attend were so far back that I couldn’t see they were swapping out drummers. Imagine my surprise when Josh Freese (NIN, Paramore, Sting, Devo, etc) walks into the photo shoot/meet n greet. Imagine Josh’s surprise when I asked “so what have you been up to?” He was polite yet nonplussed, a reaction I am familiar with. When he realized I was playing drums with YRR he said “I never do this, but do you guys play Steely Dan? Can I sit in?” Pretty amazeballs. Josh handled himself well on a chart he had admittedly never played. (Don’t worry Josh, the video will NEVER see the light of day).

Many lows of human behavior were observed throughout the cruise, but the highlight of depravity was Weezer’s unfortunate encounter with YRR guitarist Monkeyboy and his trigger word “fitness”. This word, combined with the victim’s assumed unfamiliarity with Monkey’s particular form of neurosis, will trigger the following scene, starring Monkey and Weezer and about 800 guests of the cruise during Weezer’s Q & A session:

Monkey: “ Hi I’m Monkeyboy from North America. Of the producers you’ve worked with, who was the one you ended up drinking with the most? Was it Butch Walker?” (back story: Monkey’s good friend, artist/producer Butch Walker, who just released his memoir Drinking With Strangers, produced Weezer’s last album)

Rivers: “No, he was into FITNESS.”

Monkey smiles “Do you mind if I tell a joke?”

Beyond this point, description is only relevant if you know Monkey’s favorite joke. The net result was horror and embarrassment, and many behind the scenes props for the unfortunate Monkey, for whom opportunity knocked, and he chose to slip her a rufinol. While this may have stunted an already short career, he earned the cruise MVP and possibly got us fired from every other Sixthman cruise ever. It was worth it.

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