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Monday, February 14, 2011

Spring Breakin' the Toilet

When they say that being in a band is like being a family, that is an understatement.  You can at least escape your family from time to time.  When you are on tour, you and your bandmates are attached at the hip 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The only privacy you get is when you train yourself to wake up an hour before anyone else so you can have an uninterrupted bowel movement while everyone else is still sleeping off the party from the night before.  On the road, I always insisted that we have 2 hotel rooms anytime we stayed anywhere.  One room was what I referred to as the "sleeping room" and the other I referred to as the "party room."  If you wanted some peace and quiet, you stayed in my room.  If you came to my room and bothered me or made a bunch of racket, that was your ass.  The reason being is because after about a week of being on the road you start to break off into sub-groups:  "Clancey" our rhythm guitarist and "Mickey" always hung out together because they had a long past being marines together.  It was not uncommon for in the early days of our going out on the road I would be awakened in the middle of the night to those two having gotten extremely drunk and started beating the absolute hell out of one another in the hotel room.  The melee wouldn't end until one knocked the other one out, or they both collapsed from exhaustion.  From that point on, I insisted on a separate room.

I remember a show that we had played at Club Lavilla in Florida on Spring Break in 2004.  It was the typical spring break, complete with MTV in town.  At the club there were skimpy bikini's, wet T-shirt contests and a few thousand "Situation" type douchebags all over the place.  The scent of bronzer and hair care products hung ever so gingerly in the evening air.  We had a great night after the show, people were partying in the backstage area and we felt like real rock stars.  Of course I went to sleep in the van around 2 in the morning because I tried to steal as much sleep whenever I could.  I awoke when we were on our way back to the posh hotel that Club Lavilla's management put us in for the night, and Lonnie was mysteriously absent from the van.  That was no big deal because it was not uncommon for bandmembers to find some groupie to hang out with and eventually have them bring them back to the hotel.  But this time he actually got left behind and had his own adventure making his way back to the hotel, which by the way, he could not remember the name of.  When we arrived, I made my way back to the "sleeping room" and curled up beneath the covers to enjoy being in a warm, comfy bed.

Somewhere around 5 in the morning I get awakened by frantic knocking on my hotel room door.  Brushing the crusties from my eyes I opened the door and was thrown backwards by Lonnie rushing into the room exclaiming "I had nothing to do with it!"  "I'm going to bed and no matter what they say, I had nothing to do with it!"  And with that he jumped into the other bed and immediately went to sleep.  Being no stranger to the usual drunk ramblings of my bandmates, I thought nothing of it.  I got woke up around 7 in the morning by our road manager grabbing me out of the bed and yelling at me to get my clothes on as fast as I can, no time for questions, we gotta go.

Once we got into the van and sped off like we just robbed a bank I finally found out what had happened.  Apparently, Clancey and Mickey met some girls who followed us to the hotel.  They were walking in the door of their hotel room when one of the girls said that she had to use the bathroom.  Clancey being the rowdy jackass that he was, tried to beat her to the toilet yelling that he was first and they both landed on the toilet seat.  The porcelain cracked like an eggshell right down the middle, flooding the bathroom.  They turned the water off and decided not to tell our road manager until the next morning, who then almost had a coronary.  Luckily, the manager of Club Lavilla liked us so much that he offered to pay the hotel for a new toilet.  Our home office at Export Records was still pretty pissed off nonetheless.  It pays to have friends in medium places.

To be continued....

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