Tour Chicks

It’s a rainy saturday afternoon and I’ve done all the apartment cleaning one can possibly do within a 5 hour stretch; a good time for a trip down memory lane:

It was the summer of 99′, Bill Clinton’s library was but a faint idea, GWBush was on the 12-step program, Lionel Jospin was still popular in France, and one of the fastest rising NJ Ska bands of the third wave set off on the longest tour of their 3-year history. I remember it well:

I was entering the third year on my undergrad career, and One Cool Guy’s first EP was selling like hotcakes in the NY/NJ area. They never really told me the specifics about how much money was made or what was sold, all I know is that thousands of CD’s and a countless amounts of shirts had been sold. I myself couldn’t even get my hands on each of the different screenprints.

We set out from Jersey with one goal: to have a hell of alot of fun. OH yeah, and play music, promote the album, and reach new fans bla bla bla. And so we did, with the usual trials and tribulations: Being unable to find Athens, Georgia. Having a Gainesville, FL show moved to a Radical Bookstore, playing some sort of abandoned barn in whatevertown, Indiana. I can remember all 10 of us staying with some teenage fans house in south Florida. The mother made us brownies I think. I distinctly remember thinking “OK, nobody break any laws tonight.” Having found a corner to put my air-mattress, I was easing off to sleep, when a little girl stood over me smiling like I’m her new pet goldfish. “Goodnight” I said, pulling the blanket over my head. “Goodnight” she responded, I’m not sure how long she stood there watching me sleep. I awoke to find some other teenage girl with a backpack on, who greeted me with a cheery “goodmorning” as she went off to – i guess- summerschool.

But there were moments that still to this day leave me with a huge smile and sense of satisfaction: Arriving in Palm Beach (or something like that) and sitting on the dock of a canal with the horns, jamming like we own the state while the neighbors seemed to stop everything to listen. Or stopping along the highway to watch the Sunrise in Tennessee with Dan Skatalite, while the other guys slept in the back of Red Leader and Gold Dust, our legendary vans. I’ll never forget playing at a Laundromat in Cincinnati where my darling, Willie Nelson’s daughter, came to see us. And the best memory of all, returning home to NJ to a sold out crowd of enthusiastic fans at the Palace in BoundBrook.

Almost five years later, here I sit, trying to retrieve the memories from that cobwebby part of my mind. Scanning old photos. Making plans to see the boys when I’m in Jersey next month. Hell, I even got fanmail this week, ain’t that some shit?

I swear I meant to tell this story better, with more illustration, but in the end it’s one of those things that, well, you had to be there. And even then, you wouldn’t have believed it.

Today’s Sounds: Zero 7 – When it Falls