Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Travels with Simon

Ah... back in the day...

Three day weekends when the only food consumed was toasted bacon and egg sandwiches, whilst travelling 1,800km with 4 people and a tonne of gear in a van or car and trailer. Long days and even longer nights.
Conditions may have been cramped
but the views compensated for it
Regrets? None. Not to say that there weren't scary moments - like when the axle of the trailer broke at 100kmh at (well - near) Bollon on our way out to Eulo. All of a sudden the trailer had taken on a life of its own, and the trailer wheel was leading me down the road. Until that moment I was the only person in the car who was awake and as luck would have it - I was driving.

So there we were, miles from nowhere. After finding and retrieving the wheel we sat by the car, waiting for someone to along. I think we waited about 30 minutes for the first car, who gave the drummer and singer a lift to Bollon. When there, they organised the service station owner to drive out to us with a trailer while they phoned the person who had booked us to say we were delayed.

Typical: singer directs guitarist to find wheel while drummer rolls a dhurrie. Bass player documents action.
Once everything was loaded on the second trailer we travelled back to Bollon where we stored the broken trailer and waited in the pub (bad luck - pub was open) while the drummer's uncle drove out to collect us and the gear. He was in a one tonne truck, so a combination of that and our car we completed the trip in time, set up, played for 5 hours, then slept - not surprising, as by that stage we had loaded and unloaded the equipment 4 times in 12 hours.

The next moring we borrowed a trailer to return home only to find that the weight of the old trailer breaking had bent the tow bar of the car all out of shape. So we drove out to the uncle's farm to use his oxy gear. Straightening the tow bar was a long process, as it seemed no matter how much we played the oxy torch on it, it just wouldn't heat up enough for us to bend it. Imagine the conversation (but add more expletives than previously considered possible):

player 1: "hmmm. It isn't heating up"
Player 2: "gosh. why do you reckon that is?"
Player 1: "I don't know, but I am getting jolly bored"
Player 3: "what nozzle do you have?"
Player 1: "ah, would you believe, I have the cutting nozzle on"
Player 3: "oh dear. And what is that metal thing by your jolly old noggin"
Player 1: "you mean the fuel tank?"
All players (in unison): !

Caution: men at work
Once we had applied heat properly and the tow bar was straightened we drove back to Eulo, loaded everything on the borrowed trailer, then drove to Bollon where we unloaded everything, loaded the broken trailer on the borrowed trailer, reloaded all the gear, and drove home.

Fully loaded at at Bollon. The pub was open. Again.
This wasn't a typical weekend, because sometimes we didn't break anything. We did cover a lot of miles over the year, and always found something to laugh at. Do I miss it? Yup - although for the laughs and mateship rather than the loading and unloading of tonnes of speakers and amplifiers.

If I could get a roadie..... 

7 comments:

  1. "If I could get a roadie..... "...
    nahh! I'll shelve that thought...
    she's got your potager to look after...
    besides, she'd probably slaughter me if I suggested it!!

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    1. Wives with any sense do not get involved. Instead they look forward to weekends free to do what they want while their musician husbands enjoy themselves with their mates.

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  2. With 'stuff' being smaller these days it would probably go in the back of a small white van!!! Not much for your roadie to do then!!!

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  3. C&E You will never get a guitarist to relinquish a Marshall amp - nor a bassplayer to let go his skyscraper. And as for asking a drummer to leave even one of his drums at home? Forget it!. Besides - smaller stuff just means you can carry more stuff.

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    1. Good point...The $64,000 question is would the smaller stuff make pints of beer vibrate on the bar?? I don'y think so!!

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    2. my bass rig could vibrate a glass of beer OFF the bar. Much more impressive :)

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  4. I know someone who would make a good roadie... already got sound and lighting experience. That would give me the chance to get rid of some stuff while he's not looking! Pauline

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