Episode 17: Bill See (33 Days, Divine Weeks)

May 17
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Divine Weeks

This week’s episode features Bill See of the band Divine Weeks.

At first glance, those names might not ring a bell. But you might have read Bill’s book — and if you haven’t read Bill’s book, you really should. It was five years ago this month that I got an email out of the blue from Bill, telling me about a book that he had written called “33 Days: Touring In A Van. Sleeping On Floors. Chasing A Dream.”

As a music fan, I knew I was going to have to read the book after I saw the title. Here’s the synopsis of the book that was in the email.

For 33 days in the summer of 1987, Los Angeles indie rock band Divine Weeks toured in a beat up old van, sleeping on strangers’ floors, never sure they’d make enough gas money to get them to the next town. No soundman, no roadies, all they have is their music and each other’s friendship. 33 Days captures the essence of what it is to be 22 and chase a dream, back to a time in life when dreams don’t have boundaries, when everything is possible. The tour is one of those now or never experiences. Take a shot at making the band work or leave it all behind and go your separate ways. Every one of us has that moment where we have to decide to either live our dreams or give up and regret it for the rest of our lives. 33 Days touches that part of us. The road is filled with yuppies, brothels, riots, sleeping on floors, spiked drinks, DJs with no pants, and battles with racism. They set out on the road to discovery to drink in all they could and maybe sell a few records. They grew up instead.

When I got the book from Bill, I finished it in about a day and a half and I think it was probably only the commitments of life that kept me from just sitting down and powering through the whole thing in a day. It’s an engaging read and when I got to the end of it, the only thing that I wished was that I could have been around to experience the band back then. I wished that I had the opportunity to go and see them play a show.

Sometimes those wishes do in fact come true. While they’re not playing a show here in my home base of Cleveland yet, Divine Weeks will be playing a show this week on Saturday night in the Los Angeles area.  The band will be taking the stage to celebrate the release of a brand new Divine Weeks album called See Those Landing Lights.

I enjoyed finally getting the opportunity to talk to Bill. We discuss the 33 Days book and how that helped to inspire this new album, which he considers the spiritual sequel to the book. It was a good conversation and I urge you to grab both the album and the book and spend some good time with them — and if you’re in the Los Angeles area, go out and check out the Divine Weeks show this weekend.

And if you’re new to this podcast, you can check out the Lost Together website for a complete archive of all of the shows – and you can subscribe using iTunes or RSS via that website. We’re also on Twitter and Facebook. Email me at losttogetherpod@gmail.com.

Here’s today’s interview — thanks for listening — I hope you enjoy it.