Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Heathens and beloved Pig

A blog re-post from The Band of Heathens (linking to MySpace blogs is a pain). I'm always glad when people get home safe. Too bad they missed that Nashville gig though. That would have been a good'un with great exposure. Here's your soundtrack on the right.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Tankers on Fire

Last night we played a benefit in San Marcos for the youth shelter there. It was a good time and I think they raised a bunch of money for the children. Help for the little heathens. Always a good thing. We left by 11pm, giving us exactly 15 hours to drive through the night to Nashville, for a show at the CMA Festival on the big Chevy Stage outside the next afternoon. We figured 2 hours of slop time was enough for the 13 hour drive… Normally we'd leave earlier to give us more time, but we wanted to play both of these shows, so that's what it would have to be…

We were somewhere east of Greenville, Tx, about an hour from the Arkansas border around 4 or 5am when there was a loud explosion a couple hundred yards ahead of us. We roll up around the corner and there is a tanker truck engulfed in 100 foot flames laid out across the road before us, burning to a crisp. We come to a stop about 10 or 15 cars behind it as everybody gets out and gets as close as possible until we realize there is really nothing we can do. It's impossible to tell if anybody is inside, or if they all got out, or what was going on. One car turned around and came back towards us with it's whole front end charred and burned black. Must've been close when it happened. Fire trucks show up, 3 or 4 ambulances come and go, and we're in the pitch black early morning hours, wandering the streets of burning hell, wondering if and how anybody would have survived the mangled, burning heap of molten steel and rubber. Hopefully they all got out before it exploded. We're still not sure whether there was a collision with another car, or if it was just the truck, but either way, it was ugly.

Still in shock, somebody remembers the show we have in t-minus 8 hours, 550 miles away. I silently said a prayer for the early morning souls of I-30, and we press onward across the median to the feeder road and start backtracking to find some Deliverance back road and a pathway around the mess on the highway. Along the way we pass a couple horses spooked by the explosion milling around in the roads. They must've jumped their fences.

About an hour after the explosion occurred, we're back on the highway, farther down the line, on track to make it to Nashville with time to spare… until we hear another explosive sound coming from the engine of our Mighty White Pig, the Faithful Dodge Sprinter 2500. After a couple brief stops to bang on this, rattle that, and jiggle the fuel- combustible- injection- turbo- hose- something or other, we could not find the problem so we pressed on. At around 6 am (Saturday), 8 hours before our show, the Pig took her last breath and coasted to a silent stop in the parking lot in Mount Pleasant, Tx. Needless to say, there was nothing pleasant about this scene. We spent the day talking to mechanics, tow trucks drivers, rental car companies, and hecklers who thought it was funny to see the long haired hippies in their European looking Sprinter van with nowhere to go. There would be No repairman who knows this particular diesel engine until Monday, because he was at a funeral. There would be No rental companies from Dallas to Arkansas that have a single 15-18 passenger van to fit 6 of us and our gear. There would be No pleasant memories for the Heathens from Mount Pleasant, Tx. And most importantly, there would be No Heathens at the gig in Nashville at the CMA Festival this afternoon.

Although it sucks to start off our 12-day trek to the east coast by leaving our van with an auto repair shop in Mount Pleasant, Tx and by canceling our first show at the CMA Festival, we will not be denied. We found an econoline cargo van in the parking lot across the street from the mechanics shop and we're renting it for 2 weeks along with a 4-door sedan. We will caravan to the rest of our shows, bringing American Rock 'n' Roll to the people of this great nation, in rememberance of our Mighty White Pig, who we hope to reunite with in 2 weeks.

Since it's been 2 days without sleep, and we've got some miles ahead of us, I must go. I hope to see you in New York on Tuesday, New Jersey on Wednesday, Pennsylvania on Thursday, Arlington night... Blablablabla.



The Band of Heathens

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1 comment:

Utah Savage said...

I'm writing to you here because you might not be back to see me for a little while. And yes, it's been a cool spring in salt Lake. Yesterday when I worked in the garden it was mid sixties and sunny. Then the clouds rolled in and it started to rain--sounds like a Randy Newman song. anyway, it was 41 overnight and barely made it to 60 today. Low forties are forecast for tonight. This is freaky weather for June in Salt Lake. I know this weather is nothing to complain about, just that it's really strange all over. I mean Strange! Tomorrow is my birthday. If you can drop by, I'd love to see you. If not, maybe later.