What's in Your Favorite Singer's Backseat?
About a month ago, John Popper, vocalist and harmonica player for jam band Blues Traveler, was driving his black Mercedes SUV when he was pulled over by the Washington State Patrol. The officers discovered a small amount of marijuana and enough weapons and armor to fuel a Sunni insurgency.
Popper was found with four rifles, nine handguns, a switchblade and a Taser (is his current tour coming through H-Town?). This was in addition to a siren, night vision goggles, a public-address system and emergency lights not unlike those on a police cruiser. Mr. Run Around's explanation? Well, in case of a natural or man-made disaster, he didn't want to be left behind. Apparently the world will need searing harmonica solos when the Apocalypse looms on the horizon. At least he wasn't wearing an adult diaper, right?
Popper isn't the only rocker that has gotten hassled by the fuzz while in his automobile. Police departments across the globe teach tactics on what to do if Snoop Dogg comes to town. Ditto poor George Michael, who seemingly can't go a week without falling asleep with a hash pipe in his car. Tour buses are also a virtual lock for at least some sort of pseudo-medicinal debauchery. To cops, these must seem like huge metal Easter eggs filled with contraband and publicity. But sometimes it's the items that can't be smoked, injected, eaten or snorted that are the most entertaining. Here's a list of what we found when we looked in the back of several backseats, from local artists to superstars just passing through.
Jonathan Welch (Million Year Dance, rickshaw) -- Jar of "otherworldliness," industrial-strength tube of "mysterious dread," yoga mat, 17 saris of varying color and design.
Chingo Bling (Houston rapper; custom painted taco truck) -- Chingo bobble heads, Chingo hot sauce, Rhinestone cowboy hats with built-in do-rag, Chingo spark plugs, Chingo scented candles, Chingo vinyl siding. (The first two are real items, the third is just a good idea and the rest are surely on the drawing board.)
Miss Leslie (Miss Leslie and Her Juke Jointers; 2006 Chevy Tahoe) -- a pile of autographed photos, an automatic signature machine, red lipstick, four half-eaten candy bars and two inflatable Juke Jointers.
Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips; 2003 Saturn Ion) -- Deflated clear bubble, gallon of stage blood, a dead Martian and a cosmic talisman able to send energy into a wormhole full of psychic love (also known as a tire iron).
John Evans (a 2005 Jeep Wrangler) -- Three pairs of size-17 cowboy boots, a "Kiss Me, I'm Not Irish" T-shirt, two cans of spaghetti sauce, an underwire bra and a case of jelly beans.
Daniel Johnston ( bipolar singer/songwriter; a stolen Mountain Dew delivery truck) -- 1,700 cases of Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew Code Red, Mountain Dew Baja Blast, a blond wig and a box of crayons.
Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy; 2007 VW Jetta) -- Fan mail from jailbait, black hair dye, Red Bull and Ashlee Simpson.
Gwen Stefani (2007 Range Rover) -- Gavin's testicles in the glove box, lyrics to 67 more songs about her relationship with Tony Kanal and prototype Harajuku style-bots with spare heads.
Amy Winehouse (2001 Mini Cooper) -- Six bottles of Stoli, handle of Old Granddad, jar of moonshine and drag-queen-grade mascara.
John Mayer (2005 Hummer H1) -- Fancy coloring books for Jessica, Rochester Big & Tall catalogs, Playgirl magazine (just for curiosity), hair mousse and B.B. King.
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