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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Morning folks. Since yesterday's story did'nt drive you to desertion, I'll try another. Keep in mind that those fleeing will be hunted down and, aww, you know the rest, (think posse!) The Ice trip happened in '73, this one in '78. While the first one took just a matter of weeks, this one lasted for almost a year. Out for 5 or 6 weeks, home for a week or so, then out on another tour. I was finally told by a certain person that if I went out again to take all of my clothes. Did'nt blame her a bit. Tough life on a family, myself included! This one I posted on Jan 29, this year.


Most people have a year they can think back to and remember something that changed their lives, even if only for a short time. Could have been a marriage, a birth, a death, a promotion, a new house, the list is endless. In my case, 1978 was a year that I had the opportunity to do something that was so different to what I had been doing that, yes, it certainly sticks in my memory. The early and middle 70s I had been hauling God knows how many loads of pipeline equipment to Alaska, but that project was near to completion and the loads were getting spotty. Thats when I was offered a job that at first sounded like a joke, but after not too much thought, decided, why the hell not, go for it! One of my better decisions. The job was hauling equipment for bands(mostly rock) when they are on tour. Was it different than running to Alaska at 40 below, let me answer this way, do fat dogs fart? What an education this ol' diesel cowboy got.

The first band I hauled for was Heart. The Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy. Big, bold, and oh so talented Ann and shy, quiet but equally talented Nancy. What a sweetheart she was. For some reason she liked me, and every sixth day, when the band was taking a night off, her and I would have dinner to-gether. Luckily I clean up real good, so I did'nt feel too out of place.

The company I worked for during this period was called Overdrive Trips. Think Bachman Turner Overdrive. To start the first 5 week tour I flew to San Francisco, picked up the truck and trailer, then off to Hollywood(weird) and load up sound equipment. Got that done, then hauled ass to the mid-west. Met up with the rest of the trucks, six in all, and the roadies buses at the first venue, and off we went. The band would play 5 nights in a row, usually 4 to 5 hundred miles between concerts, then take a day off. All that was expected of me was to show up at the end of each concert, fed, watered, rested and with a truck that was ready to run non-stop to the next venue. For that I was paid well and treated even better. For example, while in Memphis on a day off, the band hired a limo to take me to Graceland Mansion and told the driver that whatever I wanted he was to do. By now I'm getting into it, so I sat back and me the town. What a hoot! Also, met the Rolling Stones there, but that's another story.

At the finish of the 5 weeks we ended up playing at the Cotten Bowl in Dallas, the week-end of one of Willy Nelson's picnics. Instead of taking down the sound gear after Heart's show on Saturday, I was asked if I would stay over for the country show on Sunday. Would I? hell I would have paid money. On Sunday, here I am sitting at a big table, and being introduced to, Willy Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessie Coulter, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, and Charlie Daniels. They were all very nice to me, especially Waylon. If it sounds like I was a little star-struck, well guess what?..I was! That's enough nattering for now, next time I'll talk about doing two Grateful Dead tours. Instead of having dinner with Nancy, it was me and my new bud Jerry Garcia. Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous! Actually Jerry was a helluva nice guy. See you all(y'all) later.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 4:20 AM

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