It's 9:59 am and I am in the first bucket seat in Vanessa.  Luke is sleeping in the seat behind me, while merch girl Amanda blows smoke from her morning cigarette out the window to my right.  We have been in this van for the better part of the last 28 hours, with the original goal of making Nashville in one straight shot.  Like any great plan devised by a crew of people just crazy enough to stuff a van with $20,000 worth of equipment and drive across the country playing music for “two drink tickets, half off a meal”, it inevitably did not work as planned.   

After the monotony of endless pavement and rest area signs at unpredictable intervals, highlighted by brief stops for coffee at Shippensburg University (where Ship Happens!), and dinner in Lexington, VA at the Southern Inn (unbelievable food, and where our waitress stressed that VA did not vote for President Orange Meat Monster), we finally pulled up to our resting spot for the next five hours.  Motel 6 somewhere on I-81 -- 4 hours and change drive time in the morning to Nashville.  The plan was to rest for five hours, wake up and move again.  Luke slept in the brisk Virginia night, shielded by the van and a cheap sleeping bag.  I went into the hotel and did my best to haggle down the price of $66.79 to something more affordable for a crew of musicians.  I headed back to the van, handed off a key to Andy and Amanda, and schemed with them to follow after ten minutes or so.  This particular Motel 6 was set up with the finest surveillance cameras Big Brother had to offer, and the concierge looked like the kind of guy that take this job very seriously.  So, when the phone started ringing as soon as we were all safely in the room, we knew we had been caught.  We all panicked, but no one made a move for the receiver.  Minutes passed, and the rings were getting longer.  Briiiiiiiiinnnng! Brrrriiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnng!! Finally, it stopped.  And then…. 


So friends, I did what any good bandleader would do in our predicament.  I unplugged the phone and pretended that we did not make enemies with Baron Concierge of I-81, and we got the best four and half hours of sleep a band could ask for.   I guess Ship Does Happen after all.  

Chad GosselinComment