Tag Archives: road stories

The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 15

I am currently home, just got done with another tour, and got a call from my good friend who was on this last run with me.  He immediately skipped the small talk (something I deeply appreciate in people. When a conversation begins with, “Hey! How are you? I am immediately uninterested) and began with, “so…. I have this girl over who is saying that she is possessed by a demon that she acquired in my house so she can’t leave, what should I do?”  First of all, WHAT?  Second of all, if she was possessed by a demon in your home, wouldn’t she want to leave?  That’s too rational however for the types of girls that he fraternizes with.

Now, let me give you some insight on my friend, who we will call 0069. No, I did not just make that pseudonym up. Him and I are so mature that we gave each other code names when we decided that playing spy at our age would be fun. If you’d like to donate some spy equipment, rearview glasses and walkie talkies would be greatly appreciated. I’ll forward you my address. Anyway, 0069 is one of my road family members along with the rest of the band and crew that I love working for the most. To describe 0069 as an “instigator” would be a severe understatement. I believe that he makes it his goal in life to be the number one most offensive and vulgar person in the world. With that being said, I have nothing but love for him.

It takes a lot to offend me.  I am offended by any form of prejudice, the word faggot, Bill O’Reilly and crocs.  That’s about it. Oh, and by couple’s who sit on the same side of the booth together at a restaurant when it’s only the two of them.  Point is, I can get down with the boys and be grossly inappropriate and degrading.  I regularly participate in rating girls on a scale from 1-10 with the guys, making jokes about cerebral palsy, laughing at dick and poop jokes and encouraging one-night-stands for the single dudes on the tour even when there most certainly will be an STD and/or a fat girl involved.  It gets dirty on tour and 0069 thrives on the filth. There have been only two times in my touring life, in which I was offended.  Offended might not be the right word, but there have been two occasions when the behavior taking place in front of me was so foul, that I had to walk away because I felt a.) slightly sick to my stomach and b.) too uncomfortable being associated with that level of abasement.  Of course, both times was when 0069 was in full effect.

The first instance was the first time that I was present for one of 0069’s “night calls.” Whatever you are thinking, that is exactly what it is times ten. A night call is when 0069 calls a girl and pretends to have phone sex with her while all of us are listening. Simply putting his phone on speaker phone would not be over the top enough, so he plugs his phone into the bus stereo system, so that we can hear these classy ladies orgasm in surround sound.  At first it was funny, and we were all sitting in the front lounge trying not to burst out in uncontrollable laughter as the guitar player started making that fast suction cup noise with his hands right up against the phone, making it sound like 0069 was jerking off… or fucking a duck (which is what I thought it sounded like).  I will admit, it was pretty damn entertaining, but once her groans and intense breathing started getting wildly intimate, as a fellow-female, I did start to feel bad for the girl who was currently being humiliated.  I had to walk off of the bus because even though this chick has to be a fucking idiot, I did feel like I shouldn’t be associated with that level of degradation.

The second instance was after I made a bet with Gus, wagering that J. Jackhammer (the guitar tech) could get action one night when we were at some terrible DJ dance party thing.  Obviously, that is not our typical scene, but I won’t get into why we were there because it’s not an interesting story.  Jackhammer got that nickname while we were all at dinner one night, and I was annoyed with the guys and disappointed that I had not yet seen a bear or a moose since being in Canada.

Wolfgang asked me, “Sex is enjoyable.  So why don’t all girls put out?”  To which I said, “Because it’s not always enjoyable.  A lot of the time guys are just jackhammering you.”  J. then said something which I’m sure was asinine, but that’s our language, and whatever it was that he said, Wolfgang called him, “The Jackhammer” and the nickname stuck.  Back to the night of the dance party, and Gus said that there was absolutely no way Jackhammer was going to get laid before bus call which was 2:00am and it was currently 1:30. I had faith. Let’s get real, guys on tour have an advantage because all they need to do is find a girl wearing a skirt and who is at least mildly drunk and say, “do you want to check out the tour bus?” Done. Panty dropper.

The entourage of us, which included some of my crew and the guys in one of the support bands who all look like H&M models, hit the dance floor and after performing my legit dance moves, I got in wing-girl gear to win this bet.  I had no time to waste, and literally pushed Jackhammer into this girl who looked promising and then she giggled. Bingo. I kind of did a fist pump/raise the roof move around them, to encourage dancing, and then Jackhammer took it from there.  I knew he’d have game.  I got distracted for a while by the H&M models and R-dizzle who was being high and hilarious, and twenty minutes later we all realize that Jackhammer is still dancing with the tween.  It looked like I was going to win the bet!  I won’t continue with the tedious details, the only important thing is that 0069 sabotaged my bet. However, I still believe that I won because in my world, fingering a girl on a dirty dance floor still constitutes as getting action.

0069 had to one up Jackhammer (or grotesquely up everyone) by bringing “beauty number’s one, two and three” onto our bus. I am positive that at no point did 0069 know one of their names. Of course, they were called, “beauties” upon their entrance, but of course after their departure, they were referred to by all of us as bitches one, two and three. It was like Dr. Suess gone Charlies Bukowski. Due to a brilliant coincidence, paired with 0069 always taking it to the extreme, Bitch #2 was the same girl who Jackhammer was with minutes before. Jackhammer hid, and the three bitches were in the front lounge with 0069 and playing what I can only call, “let’s make-out!”

0069 made-out with the largest girl of the three, (which of course the boys later described as a whale, though in her defense I would describe her more as a walrus), for no reason other than it was extremely offensive and vulgar, while the other two girls just sat there and watched. So awkward!  Me and R-dizzle, watched from the vent in the door. I was literally on my hands and knees, peeking through the vent, giggling and spying on 0069 and Bitches 1,2 and 3 like I was a character from Gossip Girl. I had a moment of clarity upon realizing that I was the only person who was stone cold sober, so why am I trying to hide? They probably won’t notice or care if I just blatantly watch instead of hiding in my own “house.”  So I just walked out into the front lounge and started filming the whole charade which turned out to be my cinematic masterpiece.  I majored in film in college, and created a lot of works, but I would credit this as my magnum opus. I feel I really encompassed the crudity of the moment. While I was getting good material, I had to leave.  It was foul and again, I didn’t want to be associated with this level of female humiliation even though these girls were gross and not exactly deserving of my moral conscience.

While I have absolutely gotten down on some gnarly behavior, it doesn’t even come close to what 0069 does when he is in full effect. Just feed him some whiskey “down his neck” (as the English-men would put it) and you’ll almost always have a story to tell the next morning. Due to this blog, people who don’t really know me, think that I am always a party. No. Most of the time on the road I am reading or counting t-shirts or trying not to bother everyone with the loud noises caused by me chomping on carrots and hummus. 0069 is the party, I’m just the collateral damage.

While he pisses me off sometimes, and while we haven’t known each other very long at all, I’d say that we are close. We just have an unspoken understanding and we like each others flaws. So, 0069 calls and asks my advice on what to do about this possessed girl, which I respond with, “put arsenic in her drink.”

He said, “unfortunately the corner store is all out of arsenic, wooden spoons, thick rope and stove foot spa combos.”

Me: “Hmmm, if you lived here in Florida you could just shoot her and get away with it due to the stand your ground law.”
He then went on to send me a picture of her to which I said, “she looks like she has TB.”

OF COURSE, (because it’s 0069), he said back, “Tight Box? Yes.”

Brilliant.

 

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 14

I am sitting in a dirty hotel room, on stained bed sheets, my teeth not brushed, my hair unwashed and on top of my head like a gypsy whore, crumbs stuck underneath my fingernails, a bloody knuckle, smeared eyeshadow and wearing an over-sized, wrinkly band t-shirt.  I have not done anything to change this situation because the last twelve hours were dirty, so I want to stew in the filth of last night so that I can properly account for the events that took place.  If I shower away the grime, I’ll shower away the grimy details.  There’s something about being shower fresh that makes last night’s memories seem cleaner.  No, I want the dirty truth.

Last night was roadie Friday, which just means that it is the night before a day off while on tour.  The day started as normal.  We did a show at The Gramercy Theatre in New York City.  Great venue, sold out show, and I got my New York bagel and cream cheese that I had been eagerly anticipating.  Coffee, found a book store, annoyed my tour manager, set up merch, sold merch.  Normal day except that it was the last show that the two other bands on the tour package would be playing with us.  These days are always a bummer because you almost always become friends with everyone, so the day the tour package breaks up is always characterized with heavy drinking, heavy hugging and hopes that paths will cross again.  One of the drummer’s and I started a cute, flirty tour courtship.  He was the only member of his band who had a beard, so OF COURSE he was the one I ended up getting the closest with.  My curse of the bearded boys.  Him and I would pass notes to each other during the show (because it’s always so loud, it’s difficult to talk), and try to steal a few minutes here and there throughout the day to have a real conversation and maybe take a hit from his pipe.  The point is, that it always feel like you are saying goodbye all too soon in this industry.

Back to the last twelve hours.  Things started going downhill when the lead singer of one of the bands hit on me.  Hard.  It wasn’t cute or flattering, it was demeaning, uncomfortable and dirty.  Him and I had got along great, and found ourselves in deep conversation on occasion, despite everyone telling me that he generally keeps to himself and doesn’t talk to anyone.  When we did speak, it’s always during the day, and I never saw him after the shows.  So last night, I made a point to find him to give him a hug and say goodbye before he went on stage because I knew I wouldn’t see him after.  He suggested that we exchange numbers.  Okay.  I’m fine with that.  He’s a cool guy and maybe we can work together again in the future, or at least send each other funny pictures of people we see at Walmart every once in a while.  I am so hopelessly naive because he then got weird.  He started speaking really low and saying things like, “I’m not going to pretend that I’m not attracted to you, and that I wouldn’t tear your shit up.”  I’m nice, and I don’t like embarrassing people or rejecting them, so I just tried to change the intent by making a joke about it and then saying I had to get back to merch.  That didn’t work, because he then grabbed me by the back of my hair and pulled it HARD, (the way you would to someone in bed) and brought my face into his chest so that his mouth was touching my ear and said, “I know you like that.  Don’t act like you don’t want it.” Um actually bro… no, I don’t want it.  He then went on to say that the next time he sees me he is going to “punish that shit,” as if I don’t have a choice in the matter.  The notion that I may not be into him didn’t even seem to be a thought in his mind.  Lead singer syndrome.  So that was shitty and was a bad last impression, and what started the grime of the night.

The second disaster happened a few hours later when the guitar player of the band I work for went Italian mafia on our driver.  It was epic and I was secretly hoping for blood to be spilled.  Very long story short, our driver pulled a little bitch, diva hissy fit and literally, huffed and puffed and slammed one of the inside bus doors, breaking the jam and essentially turning it into a swinging door.  If that wasn’t already bad enough, he continues slamming it over and over again, looking like a fucking idiot.  He failed at failing.  We were all just staring, open-mouthed trying to decide if we should laugh or yell or help or look the other way.

The guitar player stands up and is calm at first and says with his Italian accent, “what’s the problem, man?”  The driver explained, but that made it even worse because he was completely in the wrong.  Apparently, our guitar player had these same exact thoughts times a million because he lost his goddamn mind on our driver.  He was an inch away from his face, and screaming at the top of his lungs.  He then goes on to smash things and break things as well, yelling, “I’m mad now also because you disturbed me and my guest CAN I GO AND BREAK THE FUCKING BUS TOO YOU FUCKING BITCH?!!”  The “guest” was our guitar player’s flavor of the night, and I felt bad that she had to awkwardly sit through this ugly affair.  This went on for a good twenty minutes and spilled out onto the New York streets.  Our guitar player threatened to slit the driver’s throat if he ever disrespected him like that again, and the driver, just crumbled as he was being shoved and yelled at.  I felt like I was watching The Godfather.

The English Hooligan (our Tour Manager) came back to deal with the situation because what a TM really is, is an adult babysitter.  I regularly whine in a little girl voice at him.  Just two days ago he gave me a pair of his own socks because I was bitching that my feet were cold and my socks kept falling off of my ankle.  This took place only hours after I was claiming to be low maintenance.  Bus call was at 2:00am but obviously, we were not going anywhere at 2:00am as it was already 1:50am and there was a chance that our driver was going to be murdered in the next ten minutes. The English Hooligan basically ordered everyone to go to the pub and drink until 4:00am.  He had some problem solving to do, and was trying to make everyone happy again, so he handed me a 100 dollar bill and told me to buy everyone a round.  Word.  Between us crew, the band and their guests, we were an entourage of 14 people and we took over that bar until we managed to stumble back out onto the New York streets at 4:00 in the morning broken and better for it.

That would have been enough for one night for any sane person, but me, the Hooligan, 0069 and the Jackhammer are not sane.  We went on to have what we call, “a punk rock party.”  This title came to be LONG before I started working with the band.  I believe it got its’ name because the tour manager is from Liverpool and is a true punk rock hooligan at heart, and this side of him tends to come out when he’s drinking.  When we hear “London Calling” come on the bus stereo, everyone knows to run because a punk rock party is about to occur.  I didn’t run, and neither did 0069 or the Jackhammer, so we basically had a four man mosh pit at 5:00 in the morning while the bus was in route.  Twirling ninja kicks were involved and somehow I feel like I crowd surfed a couple of times with only four people.
This is what it looks like after a roadie Friday…

Hung over.

Hung over in a hotel.

I had fun during this punk rock party, and managed to get through it with only one cut and mild bruising.  However, things took a bad turn when Joe got a hold of my phone.  He knows my password to unlock my phone because I was stupid enough to tell it to him some other night, thinking a.) he won’t remember after this one time, b.) I don’t give a shit if he goes through my phone and c.) we are good friends and although he is out of his mind and known for playing practical jokes, I don’t think he would ever do anything with my phone that crossed the line.  I was wrong.

In the past, he has stolen my phone and done ridiculous things like pretended to be me while texting some boy, and then take a picture of his own ass, and sending it… that kind of thing.  Even though I have to do damage control after, it’s still a little bit funny and I usually don’t care.  This time though, he crossed the line.  The bearded drummer boy, who I mentioned earlier, and I were texting.  I made the mistake of telling 0069 that I kind of like this guy.  This is not something any of them are used to hearing.  They’re accustom to me having mild crushes on boys, but they know I’m an asshole and I usually just do it for my own personal entertainment because it makes the days slightly more amusing.  I typically find some shallow reason not to like someone after a few nights of flirting with a guy will say, “I don’t like him anymore because he pronounces library, libary,” or some reason equally as inane, and the Hooligan will roll his eyes, 0069 will exploit it, R-dizzle will say, “he seems like a nice guy,” (R-dizz is always the voice of reason) and Wolfgang will start singing show tunes.  So when I didn’t do that right away with this boy, I think it took 0069 off guard and he didn’t like it.  Like I’ve said before, I don’t do tour romances and Joe knows this.

He took my phone and started texting bearded drummer boy, pretending to be me, and he wrote some awful script.  After an inappropriate comment about “swallowing,” he then went on to text, “Listen, it was really nice to know you for a moment.  I don’t do tour hookups or after tour hookups.  Have a nice one.”  It went on.  When I saw this the next morning I was really upset, mostly because I was imagining poor drummer boy, who was nothing but nice to me, being humiliating by 0069.  If Joe hadn’t already crossed the line that night, he then crossed so far over that the line was not even in sight anymore…

Post punk rock party, while the four of us were just sitting now, beat up and drunk, Joe decided to bring up a lot of personal stuff that he is very well aware of that I don’t want to talk about because I have told him this on more than one occasion.  It annoys him that there are things he doesn’t know about me, so the interrogation ensued.  After Johnny and Joe made it to their bunks, the emotional onslaught that 0069 had blindsided me with caused me to have a crazy Caitlin spell, with the English Hooligan holding my shoulder telling me that, “everything’s all right, chuck.”  Chuck is a name he sometimes calls me.  Like I mentioned, he’s English, so he’s always using foreign words that I can only guess their meaning.  I assume that chuck is the equivalent to “sweetie” or something like that, but for all I know, chuck could be the equivalent to raging cunt.  Sometimes when I really can’t understand him I yell, “stop speaking British!”  This always pisses him off which always makes me giggle with delight.  One of my favorite things is listening to him and Wolfgang, our LD and also an English chap, go back and forth.  I call this, “British banter.”

I got myself together, patted Gus on the shoulder with a “thank you,” and passed the fuck out.  I woke up four hours later and walked out to the front, being welcomed by the morning light and the pure calamity of the front lounge.  It looked like five Cookie Monster’s on crack had come through during the night.  There was not one thing in the proper place, couch cushions were on the floor, coffee grinds spilled everywhere, and there was at least three bags worth of chips crushed up on the ground and everything was broken.  Tight.  Back to bed.

Now here we are, twelve hours later, and doing absolutely nothing except for dying in a hotel room.  Fucking roadie Friday’s.

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