Monday, October 2, 2017

Off The Road Experience

We had no idea
In your youth you are invincible and strong willed but sometimes not very smart. This was one of those ‘not too smart’ off the road experiences.
In my youth, I was in a band. A bunch of kids would get together and make loud noises and we called it music. We would spend out weekends playing dances and parties and met some girls and didn’t make a lot of money but we had fun.
Well, as the story goes, we got this gig down at the beach. A little club we’d never heard of but it was an adventure. We loaded all the gear we could gather into two cars and started down the road. After a five hour tour we found one of the few buildings along the road was our destination.
We played a set but got kicked out because we didn’t make the age limit for working in a drinking establishment. Since it was getting dark, half the band loaded their gear and headed back home.
The singer/lead guitar player had hooked up with a couple of local girls so the rest of the band stayed. We loaded our car with our gear then mingled outside in the parking lot hoping for some action. Perhaps it was the free beer we had been paid with or the angry local boyfriends, but nothing ever happened.
Now it was late and dark and we were alone in a foreign town with no place to go. We put our fuzzy heads together and decided we would drive off the road and sleep on the beach.
What seemed like such a good idea turned out so bad. The massive car carried us onto the sand with ease. The windows were rolled down and we settled into an exhausted sleep. Then they came.
At first it was just a little nuisance of buzzing and slapping the mosquitoes. Then it became apparent THEY did not want US sleeping on THEIR beach. Not only were we tired and annoyed by the constant attack of these vampire bugs, we learned a sense of psychics. The over packed weighted car had sunk in the sand.
The next couple of hours in the dark were dedicated to unpacking guitars and amps and microphone stands and cords and wires and all kinds of stuff, then pushing the massive vehicle back and forth listening to the wheels spin. Somehow the gods were smiling on four guys who pushed and pulled our ride back to the asphalt road.
Repacking our vehicle and still no place to sleep we began to ride down the black ribbon of a road. Being teens we didn’t worry about running out of gas or getting lost or stopped by the local law enforcement.
Just when all seemed doomed, our driver remembered a family member who lived near by, so we had a new adventure ahead.
Of the four lads who ventured off the road, one has died and two other are off the radar. It was a brief bonding experience and a wonderful story to any musician who can immediately relate.
Sometimes just hearing ‘off the road’ can make you scratch and bring a smile to your face.

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