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On roadie status, Squire drove with the bands from Oakland to L.A. to Phoenix to Houston. But he never played with them. "I was officially asked to join the bands," he said, "and I was on tour with the bands, and I learned the bands' songs, but it was fucking chaos, but we never played nor practiced. Yet we were on tour. And the tour fell apart before I even got to play a show."

Fang's vocalist Sammy had gone to Austin, saying he'd come back to Houston to pick up Squire. He never showed. Late in August, Squire moved on to New Orleans and was just getting comfortable in his new city when he heard the warnings about Hurricane Katrina.

He fled the city ahead of the storm and arrived in Phoenix a couple of weeks later. He settled in and landed a job helping out with sound at the Clubhouse, a large all-age club in Tempe.

Having grown up surrounded by stacks of amplifiers and musical gear, Squire was perfect for the job. He trained for three weeks under the main soundman, learning to wire and run the mixing board. Things were looking good until the main soundman took time off to attend a funeral.

"I had to do sound on my own, whether I was ready or not," Squire said. "My first night doing sound by myself was a hip-hop show. There was a gunfight, and a bullet was shot through the window and zoomed past my ear."

But the real trouble came the next night, when '80s thrash metal band Overkill headlined.

According to Squire, the band's roadies showed up for sound check at 3:00 p.m. the day of the show and reconfigured the sound system without letting him know.

"So that night when Overkill was playing, nothing worked right," he said. "None of the controls went to the right speakers. It was a nightmare."

Overkill vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth screamed at Squire from the stage, and the roadies bitched at him in the sound booth. Squire blew up.

"I lost my temper," Squire said. "The roadie kept coming back there and yelling at me. I went and told the owner of the club, 'Look, if this guy steps one foot closer to me, I'm gonna knock his fucking block off.' The owner decided at that point that I was too much of a loose cannon and he let me go."

On the Road Again

Now without a job, Squire moved on. Of all places, he packed up for New Hampshire, where writer Lisa Carver lived. While in Phoenix, Squire had corresponded with her, which led to the two becoming an item.

Long before blogs and online diaries, Carver had built a following writing about the intimate details of her life, first in her fanzine Rollerderby and later in books and magazine columns. Part of her public life included her relationship with Boyd Rice, a former San Diegan noise music pioneer who performs under the moniker NON.

Despite being 3000 miles away, Squire knew his problems in San Diego would catch up. Toward the end of 2005, he got a phone call.

"I'm in New Hampshire, and my mom called me up and said, 'These warrants showed up in the mail for you.' Fuck it, I'm not going back to California."

Carver was involved in a custody battle, and Squire moved out, finding a room on craigslist that was across the state line in Maine. He moved in with a couple in a rockabilly band. The woman, he later discovered, was porn star Isabella Soprano.

He considered his time in Maine temporary while he tried to decide his next move. His way out was another band calling for a fill-in musician.

This time it was electrosynth punk band Digital Leather from Phoenix, who needed a drummer.

In May 2006, Digital Leather flew Squire to Arizona, and they hit the road. Squire said part of the deal was a guarantee that the tour would be profitable. He should have known better. Even midlevel bands with a nightly guarantee are lucky to break even.

"This was all on the promise that they were going to make some money on tour and buy me a plane ticket to New Hampshire when the tour was over," Squire said. "What happened was they didn't make money. They ended up borrowing money from me and burning through all of that." The tour's last show was in San Diego at Scolari's Office on May 27.

"I had the choice of going with them back to Phoenix or staying in San Diego. Either way, it was going to be with no money and no plane ticket home. I didn't want to end up back in Phoenix, so I ended up staying in San Diego, which everyone had been warning me not to do. My friends were telling me, 'Don't go back to San Diego. You're gonna get arrested.' "

You Have the Right to Remain Silent...

Despite his network of friends in San Diego, Squire quickly fell on hard times.

"I was basically homeless, with no job and no money, so I had to hustle. I did what I knew how to do and started selling drugs. I got thrown into the mix real quick."

Squire had gone from selling weed to his friends to selling crystal meth to an assortment of shady characters. He was using regularly. By selling, he could both keep himself supplied and make money.

By now, he looked and acted like a tweaker, riding his bike around Imperial Beach and San Diego -- Loma Portal, Clairemont Mesa, Hillcrest, North Park, South Park, and downtown -- making deliveries at all hours of the night.

Most of Monday, August 14, 2006, was spent dropping off dope at prearranged spots.

"I remember I spent most of the night just waiting around to pick up drugs," he said. "I was just floating around. Sometimes I had money, sometimes I had drugs, sometimes I had both. But I was just rolling around San Diego waiting to turn drugs and money into more money. It was a really long night. I spent a lot of time on the trolley or running around throwing my bike into people's cars, getting rides to places, and then getting back on the trolley. All the way, I was just counting down to the time where I was either going to make a lot of money or I was going to go to jail.

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Comments

Clive July 28, 2008 @ 10:31 a.m.

"By Various Authors" ??? I have the original printed issue that clearly says "By Larry Harmon" Why was he so eager to take his name off of the story?

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Russ Lewis July 28, 2008 @ 10:43 a.m.

I'm not sure where you see "Various Authors," Clive. Larry Harmon's name appears at the top and the bottom of this file.

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