I have been meaning to blog about this tour since the day we got back, but am just now getting around to it. We embarked on a 12 day tour to the East Coast in mid-August. Chicago was the first stop, followed by Cleveland, followed by Philadelphia, and then up to New York City. I will hopefully be able to piece together some video footage of these events occurring as they unfolded.
We played 3 shows in NYC and had a radio spot on our day off. The first show was August 16 at Pianos. We had heard a lot of good stuff about this place, but the show was pretty mediocre, i.e. no crowd. The next day, we played at The Annex. This place rules, really good sound, small and intimate setting, but still big enough to have a balcony area, solid wooden interior, and a stage that has no stairs and is literally 6 feet off the ground (you have to climb to get on it). We were slotted to play at 9, we would be the 3rd of 6 bands to play that night. About 5 minutes til 9, as we were getting ready to play, someone came running in from outside and said "Is that your blue van out front?!" This is a phrase that no one wants to hear when it's their vehicle. The follow up to it can only be bad, it will never be, "because it's awesome!" It will only ever be, "because its getting towed," or, "because someone just hit it." Ours was the latter.
Margaret Raven was the band playing after us. As they pulled into a parking spot out front, they hit the back drivers side of our van - doing some bumper damage, but most conveniently giving us a monumental flat tire. Back inside, it was the biggest crowd of the tour thus far, and in our time crunch to start playing, we told the band we would deal with everything after our set (very stupid). They assured us that since they were playing the show as well, they would be around all night and we would trade info and get it paid for, etc. We played our set, it went well, people danced, and all was fine. Then we went back outside to find them, and they were gone. Trevor had a phone number of one of the members who assured us again over the phone that they had just left momentarily, and that they would be back very soon. But they never came back.
The police were called, who were mostly unhelpful. They took a report, but since we had no license plate number or even last names, they couldn't do much. Around 2am, after the police had left, we called for a tow truck. While waiting for the tow, the Department of Sanitation strolled through and gave us a $65 ticket for being parked illegally after 2am. Thanks! Right after that, a very nice man walked by and offered to sell us valium, but we had to refuse.
At about 4 in the morning, we finally got the van to the nearest 24 hour garage, and they slapped a new tire on for the $100 we made that night at the show, and were on our way.
Our radio spot was the next day, and after sleeping in and strolling through central park, we headed back down to where we parked the night before.
We knew it before we could even see it, the tire was flat, again. It was 6 o'clock, we had to be at the radio studio at 630. We couldn't move our van = radio spot canceled. (In hindsight, we should have loaded as much gear as possible into a cab, gone to the radio station, and dealt with the tire afterward. God Dammit.) Call Triple A, another 2 hours of waiting for a tow truck.
Tow back to the garage. Garage says, "Do you have enemies? Because someone stabbed your tire."
We say, "No, that's ridiculous, please fix it."
Garage guy says, "I can patch the tire but it will be flat again in the morning."
We say, "replace the tire."
Garage dudes say, "No, it's not our fault. It went flat after you left the garage."
"But you gave us a bad tire, no one slashed it, the hole is too small for that."
"If you want another tire, you buy one."
"Then give us a receipt for the first one so we can give it to our insurance."
"No. The boss isn't here, come back tomorrow morning."
"What? Then you just write one for us, you're the guy who put it on our car yesterday anyway."
"Only boss can make receipt."
"Then just give us a new tire."
At this point, a thunderstorm blows through, and we sit in the car for about an hour trying to figure out what to do. Eventually, we decide to just buy another damn tire from these people, but when we go to do that, oddly enough, they don't have anymore.
They tell us to go to 29th St. and 10th Ave, basically on the other side of Manhattan, where there are two tire garages. We make the drive on our slowly leaking tire, and pull into a gravel lot with no lights and a sign that says TIRE.
At this point our luck changes. They have a used tire for us that they will put on our car for $35. "But we want a new tire," we say. They say, "No, only used." We say "OK."
So after about 30 hours of absolute stupidity, we had a tire that would, in the end, get us back to St. Louis. That night, we went up state to my girlfriends house and got drunk and skinny dipped, and forgot all about the tire story.
And that's the tire story.
Here is some video documentation of the tour... if anything, it proves that we actually did it. More to follow.