When my old band On the last Day broke up in 2009 I told myself I was going to write a book titled “Somewhere in America”. It was going to be a day by day, month by month, tour by tour story of my adventures touring and traveling the world in the band. Well, life got in the way and I ended up not getting too far. So, now that I have this great website I thought I would break my “book” up into a handful of blogs for your viewing pleasure. Without further adieu, I give you Vol. 1.
The air was cold and stale in the van and all I could see out the window was white. We we’re heading down I-90 leaving Missoula MT and heading towards Billings for our show that evening. I found myself staring out the window, wishing that the copies of our EP we sent out to labels would gain some interest. You see, at this point we were still 100% DIY. We paid for the recording, bought the van, put the gas in the van, printed our shirts, etc. We did it all. So daydreaming of someone coming along to help wasn’t uncommon at this point in my life. As I continued to stare off into space I heard from the back of the van a large crashing sound and before my eyes could believe what was in front of me I saw one of our trailer tires flying down the road racing the van. Well, we quickly pulled over to find our trailer missing a wheel! Wow, right? a whole wheel broke and came flying off the trailer. We waited for an hour or so for a tow truck to show up and eventually were towed back to Missoula. We decided it would be in our best interest to try and sell the trailer to friends of ours in another band for parts and buy a new one. This was the first tour we had done that we were able to do a little better than break even on. So we took some cash and bought ourselves a big, brand spankin’ new trailer from a dealer in Missoula. We signed some paperwork, handed over a big wad of T-shirt money and on our way we went. Back on the road to Billings will zero time to spare.
As the day went on it became more and more clear that we weren’t going to make it to our show that evening unless we did 80 the entire way, and even then we would only make it just as we we’re supposed to hit the stage. Eventually the sky became dark and it ever so slightly began to dust a little snow. Not a lot of snow, just a little. So we continued to power on, now into the night. Faster and faster we drove and the closer we got the worse the snow got. But at this point the roads were still drivable, there was still traction. I began to worry a bit, but figured since we spent any profits from the last tour on proper snow tires we would be fine. And right there, before I knew it the snow and ice went from bad to absolutelyfuckingawful! You literally couldn’t see anything out of the windows, and everything went black. The driver lost control and we began swerving back and forth, desperately trying to gain control. The problem was (on top of the white out we were speeding in) that the big, bad trailer we had just purchased weighed a ton, enough to force the van into a 180 turn on the freeway at 60 miles per hour. At this point, everything for me was slow motion. I knew we were now facing the other direction and the trailer was in front, van in back, speeding down the freeway. But I didn’t know what was to come of it. Would we crash and all die? Is this my last 15 seconds on earth? Will we hit anyone else? These were some of the thoughts that raced through my head as we spun in our van and trailer on the freeway and rolled our van into a ditch.
So we crashed. In a ditch in Montana. Fuck! Right? At this point everyone in the van was silent, and luckily no one was seriously hurt. A couple of cuts, some bruises, but nothing bad. Finally the silence was broken and from the back of the van I hear “good thing we bought snow tires” with a sarcastic touch. We were lucky. Too lucky. That accident should’ve have seriously injured one or all of us, yet everyone walked away.
The moral of this story is that snow tires won’t save you in a white out and don’t roll your van and trailer over in a snow storm hours after dropping a wad of cash on a new trailer.