Friday, May 30, 2008
Karma DEPENDS On Adult Diapers
For the second time in its history as a touring steed Palestinian Bluetooth is wounded in battle, down but not quite out. The Black Hollies stop at a convenient store in an unknown small town in New Mexico in order for Nick to use the facilities. Wiley is behind the wheel. We notice a creepy elderly gentleman who resembles the Quaker Oats guy from This Old House begin to approach Bluetooth. The old creeper eventually makes his way to Wiley's driver side window and sticks his head in.
"Do you know me?" This Old House interrogates Wiley.
Wiley firmly responds, "No. We don't know who you are. We're from Jersey."
At this point, me and Morey straighten up and stand guard.
The old creeper then asks Wiley for change so that he can go to a store and buy a pair of Depends, adult diapers, without a doubt the weirdest pan handle I've ever witnessed first hand in my entire life.
"I'm sorry. We're on the road and we're broke. We don't have any change," says Wiley.
This Old House responds, "Well, I'm gonna go home and see if I can't get some money together to get someone to go out and buy them for me."
Ferrante is still inside the store. Me, Morey, and Wiley are stunned as we question each other asking if we're dead. I feel comfort in knowing that my friends hear the exact same words as me. This confirms the fact that I am indeed not dead but alive, not dreaming but awake, and not crazy but sane. The adult diaper pan handle attempt is extremely off-putting. We recount it immediately to Ferrante who is skeptical at first but then accepts it as truth when he ascertains the conviction in my voice as I explain the odd encounter. Wiley attempts to back out of the convenient store to get back on the road and Palestinian Bluetooth bizarrely stalls. It starts up again and we get back on the highway harboring an eerie feeling.
About ten minutes later the overdrive button on the gear shifter starts blinking, something that's never happened before. A loud grinding noise accompanies the loss of Wiley's power to accelerate. He immediately pulls Bluetooth over to the right shoulder. The band exits the van as our first inclination is that the engine is on fire. Smoke bellows. I open the hood to investigate, no fire. Wiley's initial explanation for the van's malfunction is karmic retribution for not contributing to the Depends adult diaper fund. The band thinks it over. The Black Hollie agrees that Karma doesn't boomerang that quickly and Bluetooth's fall is attributed to some other previously outstanding karmic debt. We wait patiently on the side of the road under a star spattered New Mexican sky.
Wiley confides in me that previous to the Depends incident while driving he notices a raven fly across Bluetooth's path. He silently ponders the symbolism of the black raven and makes it a point to look it up as soon as he gets the chance. He thinks about it a second time and then notices two black ravens cross the path of Bluetooth. Wiley ponders the symbolism a third time and shortly thereafter a group of three black ravens swoop across his field of vision. Wiley's fourth silent inquiry echos his spotting of a group of four black ravens crossing the path of Palestinian Bluetooth. Wiley wonders whether the first raven he sees is part of the final quartet he perceives.
The Black Hollies sit in darkness awaiting the arrival of a tow truck. The gentleman who shows up is named Lloyd, an incredibly personable and helpful father of three. The band squeezes into the cab of his tow truck. We share stories of being on the road. Lloyd listens as we explain the principles upon which the Black Hollies are founded, musicianship first and foremost, using the song as a grass roots way to communicate and reach out to all walks of life with the hope of bringing people together to forget about their everyday worries in order to have a good time. Lloyd mentions that the exact spot on Highway 10 where he retrieves us is somewhat of a cursed location. Without fail Lloyd always picks up the broken down from the very same location where Bluetooth falls. Lloyd transports Palestinian Bluetooth to his family's recovery yard on the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico, where the band has the chance to meet Walter, a half Bull Mastiff junk yard dog in the traditional sense, meaning that if Walter's not on a leash and one crosses his path one's ass gets torn the fuck up. Lloyd then drops us off at the nearest Hampton Inn in Las Cruces which is ironic because in our minds we picture ourselves being dropped off from a hard night of giggin' in a limousine. Pulling up to a hotel in a gigantic tow truck snaps the reality brackets of each Black Hollies member back into place with a sobering definitiveness.
Palestinian Bluetooth is on life support, under close watch, and suffers from a sever case of transmissionitis. The medical bill will run The Black Hollies somewhere upwards of $2500, a small price to pay in exchange for making it home safely. With the insane prices of gas and our sometimes guarantee of $200 we should be dug out of this hole by around 2010. By this time music will be administered to children through a cable that comes out of the wall and is fastened to the back of a child's neck, a musical straw so to speak. Touring in a van will be a lost art and far too expensive for any normal blue collar band with out the backing of General Electric.
"Oh that's really cool. You guys sell calendars!"
"Actually, those are LP records, vinyl."
The Black Hollies extend our sincerest apologies to anyone who is planning to come to the shows in Austin and Dallas, Texas. We are hoping to get out of Las Cruces by tomorrow night if we're lucky. We may be here until Monday. We promise to come back to Austin and Dallas as soon as possible. Please understand.