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The dBs had by then been on the road since the beginning of September and were exhausted from traveling in a too-small vehicle (not to mention for the past month driving distances booked with tour buses in mind). Peter and Will also determined that they were unhappy with their choice of Harold Kelt, who had to be let go.
After a week off, rehearsals were scheduled, again in New Orleans, to work in new guitarist Eric Peterson. Eric was another Winston-Salem native whose place in the Wygals Gene had taken when Eric moved back to North Carolina, and had been the first preference to replace Gene all along, though the timing had not been right earlier. (The dBs and the Wygals had now in effect traded guitarists.) Now, in December 1987, Eric quickly learned a set of dBs material for a short West Coast swing before Christmas, and the band was somewhat rejuvenated by Erics more appropriate style and cartoon-character personality. A short holiday break followed.
January of 1988 saw the band undertaking their first thorough European tour, which began on the 8th in London at the Mean Fiddler, followed by a month of gigs on the continent in a total of eight different countries. Alex Chilton shared the bill on two shows in France. Sunshine was in short supply: it rained or snowed almost every single day of the trip.
The band was much improved musically with Eric, but tour burnout was setting in. Shows in such places as Barfleur, France and Zug, Switzerland were pointless, poorly attended, and dispiriting. There were high points the Netherlands has always been a stronghold of music lovers in general, and fans of pop-rock in particular but even London, where The dBs had years before established something of a following, was a bit of a letdown. A few dates back in England ended the tour.
Back in the States, a quick eight-track demo session of new songs was done in Brooklyn (several tracks of which later appeared on Paris Avenue). Some much needed time off followed, and the band dispersed (now to four different states).
More midwest shows were followed by a short late-winter tour opening for Squeeze, which went from Toronto down the East Coast, ending in Florida. A few club shows were shoehorned around the opening slots. This proved to be the last time The dBs actually toured.
In May, a benefit for the homeless in Charlotte NC, dubbed Gimme Shelter, saw the Chris/Peter/Gene/Will lineup reunited onstage for the first time since 1982 (and the last time to date). Somewhat ironically, since The dBs were still a functioning group with a different lineup, the act was billed by all four individual names rather than the band name. Even more ironically, while the show proceeded smoothly and joyously, during the last song "Amplifier" union stagehands cut off power to the PA and amps because the curfew had passed, and the show came to an ignominious halt.
In July The dBs convened in New Orleans to prepare demos of songs for the next album. Most of these tracks appeared on Paris Avenue. A couple of shows in New Orleans and Biloxi were booked to offset expenses, and the show in Biloxi, on the waterfront deck of a seafood restaurant, stands as the rather inglorious last show by The dBs.
By this point, the handwriting was on the wall. Living so far apart; disappointment with sales of their first US release on a label willing to promote it; years of time invested with little to show for it; a recent spate of lineup changes, and other difficulties all created an atmosphere of exhaustion and resignation. The final decision to call it quits for The dBs was made in October. Will had just become a father and wanted to be home anyway, and he and Peter agreed that time had run out. Peter subsequently was hired by R.E.M. to play additional instruments on their Green tour.