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Funny "On Tour" Stories

HT from Mo

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One story at a time, and I think I stick to the reunion tour: First show just a short ride from rehearsal hall to HOB. Nothing funny or crazy except for the 2 scent machines we carried in the truck, the smell of Raspberries was on everything. Show 2, New Years Eve - smooth no problems or fun since we were so close to home. Show 3 Chicago; I think I have written about this eventful trip before but for those that have not seen the posts here goes. When we loaded out of Cleveland it was fairly warm and sunny, if I remember about 50 degrees.

The truck crew, Rusty riding shotgun and Goose sitting on the drum seat between Rusty and I hunched over (seat was to tall for the cab of the truck)left Cleveland around noon figuring to get to Chicago around 6pm. Once we got to Western Ohio it began to snow and the wind picked up (about 40 mph) which was making the drive somewhat interesting. First fuel stop near Toledo we find that there is something wrong with the fill tube on the truck and we can only fill the tank at about 1 penny at a time. The three of us took about 1 dollar shifts filling the tank (wind was blowing, snow was falling, temperature about 10 degrees F with wind chill of about 20 below). Finally got the tank full after 45 minutes. Time to eat and Rusty and I found out that Goose (all 100 lbs. of him) ate like we have never seen. How one person spends $15.00 at McDonald's just amazed us.

One more fuel stop before Chicago and of course same problem with filling the tank. Upon arriving at the HOB Chicago we found that we could not unload the now frozen equipment until the next morning and there was no way we were to leave the drum set and guitars in the truck overnight so we unloaded 30+ guitars and the drum kit at the hotel and had them put into my room (I drew the short straw)The rooms were not big and I banged my toes and knees more than once on equipment. An eventful day had come to an end. Saturday morning we take all the guitars and drum kit from my room and reload the truck which is colder than #*!$%# and drive around to the HOB loading dock which in fact is not a dock but an elevator located in an underground garage. The elevator was not that large and it took 5 or 6 trips to get everything to the stage. All the time the wind was unbelievable where we were unloading and it had to be 20 below.

The show was fantastic, Rusty called the truck rental company who sent someone over to fix the fill hose on the gas tank and it was time to load everything back up. We did not leave to go back to Cleveland until Sunday morning so the load out went the same as the load in. Cold, slow and once again my room full of equipment. We did leave early Sunday morning and beat the storm that hit Chicago mid-day which stranded the band with Jim, Barb, Denise and Al having to stay overnight (but that is their story). Looking forward to the trip home with the truck fixed we stopped to fuel up and low and behold SAME PROBLEM!! This turned the trip home into a long one. One other thing; I never mentioned Dugan, oh thats right he flew in from LA and then flew back to LA. I think he said something about 35 years on the road, he has paid his dues.

Just a note; the HOB crews in Cleveland and Chicago were fantastic.

More stories to come and some ar quite funny.


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ok roadie, now let's get to the meat of the matter: road stories from the *original* days - these guys had screaming & squawking girls as a major fan base, so which one of the guys in the band ended up being chased out of town by a furious, irate father &/or mother? ;-)

btw, who is 'baby sister'? does eric or one of the other guys have a kid sis' on board?

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Yes, Baby Sister is my younger sister and has always loved the band and wanted to help out. I told her she didn't know what she was getting into, long hours and really hard work. The first task we gave her was to paint the logos on the road cases and she did a great job. The only thing that she said that we all had a laugh over was when we were loading out the equipment and she yelled "be careful and don't scratch the paint on those cases" FAT CHANCE, thats why they are called road cases. I think Rusty and I saw a tear come to her eye as the cases were loaded into the truck and paint flecks fell to the floor of the truck. After working with us over the last 7 shows she has really become an asset to the crew and appreciated by the band. From RIT to RITWBT to learning the ins and outs of lighting. She has learned to produce detailed lighting schemes that have improved every show. I don't know what we would do without her. She has found the downside, that the equipment is heavy, the hours are long, sleep is a luxury and you should never leave the venue to go take a shower because you might miss the band/crew group picture.

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Ah, the old days. Yes at times it was wild. From the days of the small Econoline van to the custom designed Raspberries Red truck. However, we should finish the reunion tour stories. As far as the old days I will try to remember some of the more memorable tales and let everyone know. But back to 2005;

The 4th show was in Waukesha which developed into a strange trip for the crew. I was in Florida working and flew in the morning of the show. Dugan had a prior commitment and he was unavailable and Pete Keppler (FOH sound) developed an ear infection and could not travel or mix. We asked Ray Jesionoski an old friend of ours (ex secret roadie) if could help out and that took care of the Dugan spot.

We brought in Dennis "the fly" Ferrante (engineer for Raspberries albums) to mix sound. Rusty flew with the band and Ray and the Goose drove the truck. Apparently the ride was quite interesting and they almost died a couple of times and as I understand that one time when they stopped for fuel they got turned around and headed back towards Cleveland. Sunday morning of the show was a warm spectacular day and we headed from the hotel to the outdoor show. This was to change!! We got to the venue and had no problems with the set up and everything seemed to work as planned. Morning turned into afternoon as it usually does and the weather began to change. The temperature started dropping quickly, humidity started going crazy and the sky started to turn dark.

The weather played havoc on the guitars and keeping them in tune became virtually impossible. Other than me going crazy and Wally being very patient the show went off without a hitch. However, about half way through the show very black clouds began to roll in quickly. I wasn't sure we would get the complete set in but we beat the rain. As soon as the guy left the stage we began to tear down and got everything off the stage (about 25 ft above the ground). We all ran around putting equipment into road cases covering them with plastic and started pushing them under the stage. The sky opened up and it poured for 3 hours straight. Bowling for Soup, the closing act never got to play due to the thunderstorms. We finally were able to load out and headed back to the hotel where the guys were waiting for us to eat. A corporate decision was made and half the group headed out across the parking lot for the “Buttaburger†hamburger place, a true experience. To this day Jennifer is still looking for her next "Buttaburger."

As I understand the trip home was uneventful (I flew) and we started looking forward to the show in Denver. Just a short 25 hour drive from Cleveland.

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A quick story about the old days; We played at JB's in Kent quite often (the band was showcased here by Jimmy Inner and then signed by Capitol)This venue had the stage located in the lower level of the club and we had 2 choices for bringing the equipment in and out of the club. Either unload on street level and carry everything down 2 flights of stairs or drive around the back of the building and onto the railroad tracks and play hide and seek with trains while unloading. Being smarter than stronger we chose the railroad tracks. Many times we would have to move the truck in a hurry as not to be hit by a train (we never shut off the engine). The thought of carrying the piano down 2 flights of stairs made this crazy idea worth it. The trains ran on these tracks about every 15 minutes so it was always an interesting time. Ah, the old days!!!!

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Once, when I saw Eric Carmen in concert in Columbus, I had an interesting experience. I might have just saved the physical well being of Mr. Carmen and his band.

It happened that right after they played "Sunrise" a herd of ten 700lb pound Columbus chicks commenced a stampede toward the stage. Well, while all the others in attendance jumped to the side I thought fast (as usual). I took the hot dog I'd just bought and waved it out in front of the herding gals (kind of like a bullfighter) and they turned at a right angle (away from the band) and headed my way. Luckily for me I was near a hot dog stand so I just led them there and over the hot dog stand counter. It was pretty messy but I didn't stick around as "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" was coming on.

That's my story HT.


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