Re: Worst Gig Experiences?
Not a bad gig experience but a bad gig related experience.
The year was 1983. The country rock band I was in had been in Cocoa Beach, Florida doing a 2 week engagement. The gig went great and we left to drive home. On the way home, a 22 hour drive, we had taken some illegal stimulants, and we had consumed a certain illegal herbal substance.
I get pulled over for doing 80 mph in my 66 Chevelle.
This was right after we consumed the herbal substance, so the odor was inescapable, no lying about this.
So I proceed to tell the officer the whole truth, we're musicians from Pennsylvania just going home after a 2 week stay in his fine state. I came right out and told him I was in possesion of about 14 grams of Mother Nature. He asked me to produce it, then made me drop it off the bridge, where he had pulled me over, into a Florida swamp. Then he writes me an 80 dollar speeding ticket and sends me on my way. Phew!
Well we had 21.5 hours left to drive and we were kinda jacked up, so after about 5 miles, I decide to turn around to retrieve what I had dropped off the bridge. Went back to the spot where I got pulled over, got out the flashlight (it was nighttime) and managed to spot it. I grab my fishing rod (never leave home without it) and a brand new roll of duct tape. Put the sticky side of the tape facing out and tied the whole roll to my line, to try and lower it down and hopefully stick it.
Well the roll of tape was too heavy and it broke the line in short order. Curses! What to do now? That's when I decided to get brave (read stupid) and said, "I'm going down there after it". So I walked to where the bridge met the land, hopped the guardrail, and started making my way down the embankment.
Meanwhile, the guys were still up on the bridge with the flashlight, shining it on my destination. So I get down the slope and start making my way through this Florida marsh at night. The further I go the deeper my legs are sinking in the marsh. The guys are saying, "Cmon, another 20 feet and you're there".
At this point, I'm literally up to the middle of my thighs in muck, with real water in between me and my destination. Then, I hear some sort of small life form make a noise near me and that's when it all hits me....Larry, you're not in Pennsylvania here, you're in Florida. THERE"S ALLIGATORS IN FLORIDA! (Not to mention water snakes) Headlines flashed through my mind..."Stupid Pennsylvanian gets eaten by alligator".
I got truly terrified and said (with real fear in my voice)...I'm...I'm....I'm gettin outta here! and moved myself as fast as I could back the way I came.
Got up to the road and said, F it let's get out of here! So I jump in the car and speed off, and wouldn't you know it, I get pulled over a 2nd time by the same cop that got me the first time. I get out of the car, mud up to my crotch, and the officer says, "Mr. Hinkel, what are you doing back here?" I made up some lame story that I must've dropped my drivers licence here and I came back to retrieve it. He never said a word about the mud on my thighs. He just wrote me a 2nd 80 dollar speeding ticket and let me go again.... I have no doubt in my mind that he's thinking what an idiot I am. No turnarounds this time, I got the hell outta Dodge.