March 21, 2012:
The phone rang, rousing me from my slumber and alerting me to the throbbing ache in my head and the dry stank at the back of my throat. It was Gorilla calling to get me to join him on a ride down the street to check on the Jam Van. It was eight-AM and when we pulled up to the EZ Auto and RV Repair we saw not a living soul around, yet a single light flickered behind the dust-fogged window panes, assuring us that the place was still functioning in some capacity. So it was back to the Texan Inn, back to sleep, we’d try again in a couple hours, this time calling before we went.
When the shop opened it’s doors, the lone proprietor, a man by the name of Charles, took our Jam Van keys and told us that he’d get around to checking it out within the hour. He was at the time working diligently on a lifted Chevy, and planned on finishing that task before moving on. By all accounts Charles seemed to be a trustworthy and amicable fellow, although ever the skeptic, my trust only extended so far in the state of Texas.
So again I returned to our Inn to nurse my hangover born by the hand of that Louisiana oil-man from the night prior. Returned to wondering if we were driving a Jam Van home or if we were in need of an alternative method of transportation, for both our persons and our equipment.
The call came around an hour or so later. I myself had just begun to find deep sleep.
Gorilla: “Charles just called, said that bitch needs a new engine…”
Me: “Yep, can’t say we didn’t know that was coming. What’s the damage?”
Gorilla: “He says it would probably take him a month to fix and cost around ten grand.”
Me: “Ha, pass.”
To be truthful, that is an abridged version of the dialogue, and while all along we knew that putting ten thousand dollars into a 1982 Winnebago that was almost certain to continue to experience internal problems was not an option, I would be loath to say that we didn’t try to spitball off scenarios that would allow us to return triumphant to Venice with our Jam Van in tow.
Alas, dreams are only built behind one’s eyes. What plays out in front of them isn’t always as you will it.
So we found a U-Haul (ed. note: when I say found, I mean found after calls to ten different places, and an hours drive, oh Texas), boxed up all of our memories, tore down each and every poster, put Big Mouth Billy Bass and Raw Clide in a box with all of our MXL Mics and cables, and our captain’s hat. We yanked out the inverters that Gorilla had toiled for the past months installing. We took our cushions, our patches, our bathroom scoreboard, and scrawled RIP on the wall where we’d just a week before hung art to be seen in the videos of 22 SXSW performers’.
When we’d all but loaded the boxes into the awaiting truck a sheriff pulled into the parking lot and sidled over to the Geologist. He said he’d heard over the CB that someone had broken down in an old RV and he was wondering if we were looking to sell it for cheap. He had a son that owned a scrap yard and was in need of a place for storage, for both stuff, and a family member whom he wanted to move off of his couch.
You must realize here, that where we were was the type of town minuscule enough that a police sheriff has nothing better to do with his time than to bird-dog the radio waves for broken down RV’s. I say this in hopes that you can sympathize with the fact that we were left with no real other options, Sheriff Manny Rodriguez new as much, and so the paltry sum offered to us in return for our, in return for, aah hell, they gave us jack-#@%# for something we worked damn hard on and really loved. It definitely stung. Still burns. Right down in the pits of our bellies, where that uncertainty gurgles. We left our dreams in a scrap yard in Fort Stockton, Texas, with an officer of the law and his dim-witted son Glenn. They said they’d send us a picture when they’d gotten the rig situated. I’m not holding my breath on wondering if either of them knows how to turn a camera on.
I wish I could say there was more to it, I wish I could give y’all some kind of surprise happy ending, but I can’t. Jonny had a court appearance at two-PM the following day in Tucson, a fact that he’d made ever apparent to us. So we had to hit the road, burn through the night, and let the feelings of loss subside behind haste and fatigue.
We left Jonny in Tucson, he’s now on his way to having a clean record.
We left the Geologist with a spoiled dove in Phoenix. There’s absolutely nothing clean about him.
Then it was just the Buddhaphest, the Gorilla, and myself. That’s pretty much how we started this, save for the hippie. It’s not how we plan on ending it.
So if you care about the types of things that dreams are made of, and where your mind wanders off to when it’s as it wants to be, then take a deep breath with us, close your eyes, and imagine how sweet our next beast is going to sing. Til then, you can find us somewhere between the suck and the dream, always searching, sometimes stalled.
Other Highlights: A kid came up to us in Ft. Stockton when we were clearing out the van and asked us what the Jam Van was. When we told him he got real excited and said that they never had any music around there. It was a nice moment. Then of course Officer Manny had to kill it…
Further… That’s where…