It was my first tour on a bus. Kelsey and the Chaos was going on the road (and sharing said bus) for a few weeks with a really cool band called, Just Surrender. We were also traveling alongside three other equally cool bands, Patent Pending, Pull The Pin (R.I.P) and Jesse Barrera from My American Heart. It was the middle of January. We would be touring the East Coast and most of the Midwest.
As per usual, I was the only girl on the tour (Here we go again). Like always, the shows were a blast and we were having a lot of fun. But like any tour, we had our share of ups and downs. The weather was frigid and abysmal which made driving conditions tricky and also a little dangerous. In addition to bad weather, a girl cornered me on the bus while trying to make out with me and if I recall correctly, someone may or may not have puked up chicken wings in the middle of the bunk hallway at 3 A.M. Gross. You win some you lose some.
About halfway through the tour, we stopped off in the “Windy City” (or Chicago, Illinois for those of you unfamiliar with that cute nickname) to do some radio interviews to promote our single, “Wrapped Around Your Finger” and play Reggie’s Rock Club on the South side of the city. I’m a big fan of Chicago as I grew up relatively next door in Indianapolis, Indiana. However, our bus was parked in a particularly unsavory part of town. Our lovely and extremely efficient tour manager, Josh, instructed us to keep the bus door locked at all times for good measure. Throughout the day, I noticed very interesting strangers kept knocking on our door with increasing frequency. (It’s kind of an unwritten rule of the road that you don’t knock on a tour bus door unsolicited.) I found it odd that complete weirdo strangers were knocking on our door. Little did I know that the real danger would come from WITHIN our own bus. (CUE CREEPY MUSIC)
Later that evening, I was warming up for the show in the green room. I had forgotten my microphone so I headed back to the bus to grab it before the show. I entered the back lounge only to find our bus driver, let’s call him “Cookie”, legitimately smoking crack. Not cigarettes. Not marijuana but CRACK. This guy was out of his mind. Those people knocking on our bus door at 3PM were drug dealers and this crack-pot (tee hee) was driving our tour bus. I didn’t even know people ACTUALLY smoked crack. We had only a few days left of the tour and were probably foolish to let this man continue to drive us but the show must go on in the name of ROCK N ROLL . Tour manager Josh was promoted to a new job for the remainder of our travels: “Crack Watch Duty”. He did a marvelous job. We finished out the tour without crashing or having our bus searched by police. This was a winner in my eyes.
Without a doubt, I’ve become weary of drivers when I head out on a tour. I always interrogate them and silently say prayers in my bunk for the safety of all those traveling. Can you blame me? They haven’t been all bad though. Last summer, I was fortunate to have a great driver on the Vans Warped Tour named Jens. (Pronounced YENZ). Jens was from Canada. He said “Eh” a lot and also enjoyed himself a good Canadian Club Whisky drink at 8AM but I personally believe that if the vibe is right, we can ALL get down with that.
Moral of the story, kids: Lay off the crack. Please.
Until next time, Ya’ll!