If you ever get the chance to come to the West Coast, and California in particular, you won’t find a Hotel California, but if you travel up to Sonoma County to a little town called Sebastapol, you will find a D’s Diner. Its an actual place on Healdsburg Ave, and judging by the handwritten lyrics proudly posted by the door, Les Claypool has indeed been there.
“D’s Diner” is from Purple Onion, the only studio album from the Frog Brigade days. (The other two are live albums, one of which is a cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals in its entirety.). Purple Onion is full of Bay area regional references; along with the aforementioned “D’s Diner”, there’s a nod to the dangers of Green Hill Rd (also in Sebastapol) and Berekley’s “Barrington Hall” residence, where Primus played one of the early “wine dinners”. Its a fun listening experience, where Les pulls out most of not all of the stops on the weird music machine and just lets it all happen.
But back to “D’s Diner”. If you are lucky enough to catch one of Les’ non-Primus tours, this song usually hit the set list. Live, it becomes one of those great, but understandably odd audience participation experiences where responses to “Who wants to go to D’s Diner?” (I DO!) become louder and boisterous as the song progresses on. Its like being a school age kid again and someone asking you if you want to go to what is possibly your favorite food place on earth. And, despite some of the odder bass effects in the mix, it has a definite groove and yes, Dick Clark, you can indeed dance to it, as countless fans have proven again and again.
A few years back, Drummer guy and I went up to Laguintas Beer for a tour and took a side trip to Sebastapol. Being a rabid Primus/Claypool fan I dragged him to D’s. The food was really yummy and they probably make a fried egg sandwich to rival my Mom’s,which is no mean feat. So who want’s to go to D’s Diner? MEEEE!!!