Guest cut his arm badly. Cohen's uncle died. Howell caught the flu. And Bradley stewed in jail for eight days, thanks to an irate judge in Municipal Court in Westminster who, Bradley says, sentenced him for missing payment on a $120 ticket incurred when he was caught riding a motorbike without a special motorcycle license.
"I don't think she liked the way I looked," Bradley said. "Next time, I know to go in with my attorney." Major label deal or no, he said, he was too broke to pay the fine on time (all four Water members have been living at their parents' homes).
Jail, a new experience for him, "was exactly like the movies," he said. "You have to watch your back at all times." He was careful about what he said to other inmates, and wound up suffering nothing worse than the milder indignities of incarceration; he also came down with the flu. "I wrote a poem about the whole experience on the last night (in jail), and a couple of lines got into one of our new songs."
The lesson of that difficult February, notes Howell, is that "free time's dangerous."
That won't be a problem much longer. Water is getting ready to offer its "Nipple" to the world. KROQ's new-music maven Rodney Bingenheimer already has given the single, "Spin," its first radio play. The plan calls for the band to spend some time rushing around the country introducing itself to radio programmers and listeners in acoustic on-air performances at various stations.
Then it will begin its touring campaign, starting very small--band members may be daydreaming about the Pond, but they feel it is prudent to gain exposure by playing clubs where they will be second-billed in each city to a hot-drawing local band.
If all goes well, radio will take to "Spin," MTV will follow suit for an as-yet-unmade video version of the song, and Water will rise from there.
The band members know that those are big "ifs" for any new band.
Their current motto is "Never tell me the odds," which, they say, is what a frantic Han Solo told Princess Leia as he was about to plunge his ship through an asteroid field.
In that light, Bradley noted dryly, maybe his recent incarceration can be taken as a hopeful sign:
"Going to jail on a (minor) ticket. \o7 I\f7 beat the odds."
Water, Vasoline Machine Gun and On play March 31 at the Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. $8. (714) 496-8930. \f7