This will be the first of (probably) many posts about things that have happened to me during my music career. They won’t be posted consecutively, you’ll just have to look for them as I go. This one, though, is quite comedic.
I was playing in my first ever country cover band called Huckleberry Blue. I was about 18 years old, at this point, with about one eighth of the gear I have now. (I’m 22 now… what does that tell you?) My parents were driving me to this particular show. (PS: my parents come to literally 99% of my shows and they always have. I love it because I love their support. Most people probably wouldn’t want their parents there. I’m not most people). (PPS: I used to be so scared I wasn’t doing well that I would look at my mom and if she wasn’t smiling, I was afraid I wasn’t doing something right based off of her facial expression. So, she started smiling the whole time just in case I looked at her).
ANYWAY, my dad was driving and my mom was in the front seat. Before we left, we had loaded up the truck with all of my equipment which was: 2 guitars; a small tool box to hold, like, 2 guitar cables, and a mic; and my acoustic Fishman amp. We were on some back road in the middle of nowhere on our way to a venue that was also in the middle of nowhere. I was super stoked to be playing at wherever we were going and we were talking about how we never thought I’d be doing this at 18.
All of a sudden, we see some railroad tracks up ahead but they looked like those flat ones, you know? Like, the ones that don’t bump that much when you drive over them. There are some where it’s like a mini mountain and you have to slow down. Well, these tracks were a mini mountain. We thought they were the flat ones. Do you think we slowed down for this? No. No, we did not. We hit that mini mountain going about 45mph or more.
“And it was like slooooow motion” (Taylor Swift lyric reference). But for real, all of a sudden, the car was in the air, I was in the air, my equipment was in the air and I kind of hit the ceiling. But so did everything else in the car. As we came down, all you heard was everything in the back falling back down. It literally sounded like 40lbs of bricks falling on hard plastic. (Thank Jesus for hard guitar cases). Once we realized what had happened, we slowed down and the first question that I asked was, “are my guitars okay?” I didn’t even take time to assess if I was okay, all that mattered was my equipment. But yes, all humans were okay too.
Once we realized that there were no dents on equipment or bruises on skin, we kept going and laughed so hard. It was kind of laugh where you feel like you’re getting an ab workout and you can’t breathe so your laugh goes quiet. It was the kind of situation that you tell over and over even 4 years later.
We got to the venue and the first thing we did was double check to make sure nothing got broken. Nothing music wise was broken. But there was actually a hole in the floor of the back of the truck. My Fishman had actually flown to the ceiling, fallen back down, and put a hole in the truck! You couldn’t see the ground but there was still a hole there. I remember because I could put my finger through it.
The moral of the story is: if you come to a mini mountain, slow down. And even if your amp puts a hole in your vehicle, keep playing.
(For all of those concerned, the lyric reference was from Taylor Swift’s “The Moment I Knew” from the Red Deluxe Album.)