About The Site
This site contains tour diary entries written by Dean 'Clean' Sabatino of the band The Dead Milkmen. We stopped touring back in 1994, but through the magic of modern day computer technology I can tell these stories again.
The diaries begin with the band's first full tour in the summer of 1985. The Milkmen had done a little traveling in the surrounding Philadelphia area and one trip out to Chicago and Milwaukee by this time, but with the upcoming release of the group's first album (on vinyl - CD's weren't around yet), we decided to hit the road to support our debut record.
Bass player Dave Blood and I began calling folks listed in the scene reports in the back of Maximum Rock 'n Roll magazine. At the time, this was one of the only sources of gigs for an independent punk rock band. Many phone calls later (remember - email wasn't an option yet), we had the outline of a tour that would take us across the USA and back home over the course of about two months. We timed the tour to begin after the release of the record in hopes that people would have had heard the songs before we arrived in town. Needless to say, it wasn't until we got going and nearly finished the tour that Big Lizard and the song Bitchin' Camaro became popular on college rock music radio stations. We played to many confused and dumbstruck audiences who knew not a bit about us.
I was 23-24 years old when I wrote these diaries. I certainly wasn't planning on publishing them when I wrote them; so reading them now either makes me laugh, cry or cringe. I will not make any claims to being a gifted writer or diarist, but the aim here is to give the reader some sense of what it was like to tour across the USA in a van with a punk rock band in the mid to late 1980's. Some say this was the heyday of independent rock music and the college radio scene. I would bet we worked harder and played many more shows than many of today's 'alternative' rock bands will play in their short-lived careers.
About The Entries
Diary entries are in plain black text like this.
My current day annotations and comments are italic and inside a tan background like this. I hope that I can provide a little more detail as to what was going on with our lives back then.
The entries posted here have been edited to protect the innocent. I've removed irrelevant personal drivel and either changed some names or used initials when describing some people in certain situations.
Entries are post dated to the diary dates. The home page of this blog will show the 7 most recent posts.
Once in a while I may post a new article or story written about a specific event and not necessarily a diary entry.
Readers are encouraged to post comments and my hope is that Dave, Rodney and Joe from the band will participate. They will have other memories and experiences that I might have overlooked or forgotten. Comments should be relevant to the entry. If your comment isn't directly relevant to the page, please try the Dead Milkmen Free For All.
Dean - November 2003