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One More for the Road

Local musicians regale us with more tales of woe, joy and debauchery

Yet another, this one from the Mighty Orq: "We did an overnight 12-hour haul for the gig the next afternoon. About six hours in (around 5:30 a.m.) we ran out of gas. I say 'we' but it was me. It was my shift, and everyone else was asleep. So we were stranded on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere. Finally the cops show up with a wrecker, but instead of ticketing us or even chastising us, they ask for autographed CDs. Then all the wrecker driver had was a tow line, so he pulls this one-ton van, like, ten miles at a pretty fast pace up and down hills and stuff to the gas station. It was a little nerve-wracking. We were early to the gig."

And then there was this romantic night of drinking by electrical-fire light: "The power went out at the club, but they wanted us to stay and play if possible. We ended up hanging out drinking, with the only light coming from the two transformers outside that were on fire. They never did get the power back on."

Satin Hooks: This band enjoys playing nontraditional venues, and thus their stories are a little outside of the mold. Here are a couple from singer-guitarist-turntablist Kerry: "We once played a show at the Polk Street Warehouse where a half-naked drunk older Salvadoran dude enjoyed our set so much that he came on stage with us and sang gibberish on the mike during and between a few songs."

Another was at an anime convention at a little college out in the country. "Everyone was dressed up as characters. Most of them weren't watching us, they were sword-fighting and pretending to be in one of those movies or a video game or something like that. They also paid us not money but with shitty-ass pasta."

Brian Gibbs from Kemo for Emo implies that improvisation can be your salvation on the road: "Our first show was with a bunch of metal bands, so the crowd wasn't too impressed by what we were playing -- until we played a cover of 'Eye of the Tiger.' Then everyone rushed in…I think no one can resist Rocky." Likewise Metallica. "We played a song a different way for the first time and our old drummer screwed it up so bad that Larry and I walked off stage (leaving him there alone) and started playing 'Enter Sandman.' The crowd had no idea we messed up, and they thought it was one of our jokes, so they screamed real loud."

But beware road food, he warns: "We were driving to Dallas to play a show and we were really hungry, so we stopped at Taco Bell on the way there. That was the worst mistake we've made so far."

Things get downright eerie when you talk to Gilbert Alfaro of Spain Colored Orange, who passes along this spooky tale worthy of Edgar Allan Poe. "This lady asked us to play a show on the 13th floor of some hotel downtown, and it was Friday the 13th of that month. Anyway, when we stepped on the elevator, there was no 13th floor. We asked the front desk to verify the lady's room number, and it turns out that she had died there two months earlier. But she really loved our band. So now there's this ghost groupie that goes to all our shows."

Chrome 44's David Nicholas remembers the Splash 2 Festival in Dickinson as being no fun at all. "The place was about as rough as they come. The entire venue held almost four teeth for the entire crowd, no a/c in the middle of summer, and we had to improv four songs because the owner demanded we play longer but we didn't have enough material and a brand-new guitar player." A gig in College Station with fellow locals Linus and Salting Job was more pleasurable. "Someone got ahold of some absinthe, and we had a huge crowd back at the Motel 6 and people just starting going crazy -- wet towel fights, cops showing up, security guard threatening to beat us all down, random people passed out on the floor and parking lot, and Brent managed to lose his keys and had to wake up a locksmith early Sunday morning to make him another set so he could get home. Also Joey from Salting Job invented Rockin' the Faucet. Ask him about it sometime."

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