We’re Pregnant and Need To Get Albany!

Jones Beach (W.Rogell)

Jones Beach (W.Rogell)

One of the best things about Phish tour are the inevitable fiascoes that go down on your mission to get from show to show.  The combination of psychedelics, many miles on the road, little sleep, and a constant whirlwind of cities consistently results in absurd tales that survive the test of time.  Whether you’ve escaped a police search with goodies stashed, gotten horribly lost leaving a show while barely thinking about where you were driving, been evacuated from a hotel for a fire alarm, or stumbled upon exactly what you were looking for when it was the furthest thing from possible, everyone has had their own tour adventures and obstacles.  This was one of those hurdles.

Atlantic Beach, NY

Atlantic Beach, NY

We were all set for the Jones Beach run.  One of my friends had hooked up his uncle’s beach house in Atlantic Beach- 20 minutes from the venue- for the entire week.  We didn’t need to worry about city traffic or blocking out a quarter of our day in order to get to the show; we could relax and go about our business.  But after a scathing late-night verbal assault that came through the  bushes separating the neighbor’s property, my friend wanted to flee the scene.  Without any real explanation, we needed to leave, and before we knew it we found ourselves back in New York City.  Fortunately we had a place to stay, but we had to brave outbound traffic for the next two shows- ugh.  For those unfamiliar with the math here, Jones Beach is a 35 mile drive from the city, but can easily take upwards of two or three hours if you leave at the wrong time.  Luckily, my friend and ultimate navigator, Greg, refuses to wait in traffic- but that is a whole ‘nother story.

Times Square, NYC

Times Square, NYC

As we got to the city on the afternoon of June 3rd- a day off- we unloaded the car and Greg went to park it in a garage.  Little did I know that he found a street spot- which doesn’t always turn out so well in New York City.  That night we went out to Mike Gordon’s birthday bash downtown, and upon getting home, Greg went out to smoke a cigarette.  Showing up at least an hour later, he said he got a phone call and had taken a walk.  Fair enough.  After I went to sleep, Greg, unbeknownst to me, snuck out for another “cigarette” which I’m sure he smoked many of, as he walked miles of city blocks looking for our missing mini-van we had rented only days before.  Little did I know, sleeping soundly in bed, Greg searched for quite a while before giving up and calling it a night.

Upper East Side, NYC

Upper East Side, NYC

When I woke up, Greg had already been out in the concrete jungle, pounding the pavement to no avail.  He explained to me, visibly stressed, that the car was missing!  He had looked for hours, and had called the impound- it hadn’t been towed.  Hmmm. What the fuck was he talking about?  He had parked in a garage across the street, or so I thought.  I was sure, given the circumstances, he had drank too much tequila the night before and the car was right where he left it.  No dice.  It was starting to get on in the day; we didn’t exactly get up early.  To make matters more complex, we didn’t have the identifying rental key chain, since we had cut the wire in order to all have keys to the car.  Ok, this is impossible I thought. I was calling Thrifty back.

Impound Lot On the West Side Hwy

Impound Lot On the West Side Hwy

We quickly uncovered the missing link to the mystery.  Early that morning, the agent had misspoke our plate number to Greg, going as far as to say “E as in Edward,” mistaking an “C” for an “E.”  He never had the right license plate to begin with when he had called the city’s tow yard.  Immediately redialing the impound, we found out that our car was towed, and was now located at a lot along the West Side Highway- the opposite of where we needed to go- and it was about 4 pm.  We thought about hopping a train, but that would have sucked after the show, so we decided to just go for it.  Taking a cab to the docks along the water, we hopped out and ran inside, only to find a room full of people sitting patiently, waiting in front of us.  The reality of city bureaucracy slapped us in the face, as we imagined being there forever.  Had we fucked up and made the wrong decision?  I sure thought so.

As we went to the window to give them our information, our paper work was put in line with everyone else’s- a bad omen.  As we were leaving the window to await our fate, Greg- one of the smoothest talkers around- began to speak.  Stressed about getting to the show on time, he channelled his stress into an absurd story.  He politely, but urgently, asked the woman behind the counter- babiesthat archetypal city employee moving slower than molasses- how long it would be before we got our car. He needed to know because his wife had just gone into labor in Albany, and if we weren’t going to get our car in time, we needed to leave and rent one immediately!  I turned with a look that must have come close to blowing his cover, as he has no wife, but I chilled and went with it.  After some back and forth, the woman asked what he was possibly doing three hours from his wife at this point, and without thinking, he responded, “She’s two weeks early!  This wasn’t supposed to happen.”  Balancing his politeness with a desperate tone, the woman was clearly buying Greg’s tale.  She told us she’d do what she could, and to have a seat.

We went to the back of the small room, sitting and laughing covertly at his improvised yarn.  Watching the clock, minutes moved slowly as we kept our hopes alive that things would be fine.  About ten minutes later, ahead of many people who had been there when we arrived, my name was called.  A different woman, with a smile, asked us who the daddy was as she processed our paperwork.  We dove, head first, into a conversation about her son, my son, and Greg’s son-to-be, and the urgency of the situation at hand.  She wished us good luck as she gave us our receipt and claim check, and within ten more minutes we were on our way.  We couldn’t have been there more than a half an hour.  We forced ourselves to keep a straight face on our way out, but, nonetheless, out we went!

"Garmini"

"Garmini"

Greg’s super-human driving and navigation skills, with the help of “Garmini” (our affectionately named Garmin GPS), made our way through the madness of Queens and onto Long Island back roads, never stopping for a lick of traffic the entire time.  Keeping in touch with our friends on lot- and stuck on the expressway- most sat in hours of highway gridlock.  We realized that we were we were going to make the show, but as we continued, Garmini’s ETA continued to decrease.  By the time all was said and done, we pulled into the lot from the opposite side of traffic, arriving a solid hour before showtime.  What started out as a nightmare, turned into a hilarious adventure- par for the course when navigating the madness of Phish tour; things usually work out.  As we locked the doors, Greg turned to me and confidently said- just as Hannibal proclaimed on Tuesday nights of our youth- “I love it when a plan comes together.”

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

5.31.09 Fenway Park, Boston, MA < MEGAUPLOAD

5.31.09 Fenway Park, Boston, MA < TORRENT

phishfenway1

Official Fenway Poster

Play Ball!  Phish’s summer tour opener was a spectacle as the band stepped onstage in a stadium for the first time in their career.  Stepping to the plate, Phish rapped a solid one, featuring three debuts and a some classic jam vehicles.  “Tweezer > Light” was the improvisational highlight, while the band surprised everyone with Skynyrd’s “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” for the first time since August ’93.  A unique night that will always be remembered in Phish history.

I: Star Spangled Banner^, Sample in a Jar, Moma Dance, Chalk Dust Torture, Ocelot*, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Poor Heart, Limb by Limb, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Down with Disease, Destiny Unbound, Character Zero

II: Tweezer > Light*, Bathtub Gin, David Bowie, Time Turns Elastic*, Free, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, You Enjoy Myself

E: Cavern, Good Times Bad Times, Tweezer Reprise

^ from the pitcher’s mound   * debut

Source: Schoeps mk41 > kc5 > cmc6 > Sonosax SX-M2 > Sound Devices 722 (@ 24 bit / 48 kHz) – Taper: Dave Flaschner

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170 Responses to “We’re Pregnant and Need To Get Albany!”

  1. nonoyolker Says:

    Great story Miner. I love those tales from the road that start out “So we left the venue and we could NOT find the car. Next thing I know, I snap out of a blackout at the wheel of a stolen el camino, covered in deer blood, driving 120 mph through the desert with Skynyrd playing at full blast. Good times…”

  2. Mitch Says:

    ^T Leo
    Are you from Jersey? Dude next to me and I were talking before the show. He had a tab in his beer and was downing a 5 Hour Energy. I told him how those things made me feel to speedy and not in a good way. They just make your heart race.
    Show begins and hes starting to lose his marbles. Going on about how hes tripping too hard and everything is too fast. I try and talk him down and tell him to just enjoy the Phish and its gonna be fine, he just needs to ride out the craziness a bit. He then accuses me of patronizing him which then takes more talking down. (mind you, I’m still jamming cause c’mon, were at a show here. but still trying to help him out) He finally says “I can’t take this, I’m going home” I say “But dude, you’re from Jersey” He says “I know, I’m going home, I cant take this” That was during Melt I believe.

    Then the rain comes and the storm and I was thinking about how bad it must be sucking to be that spun without your friends around and probably thinking the world is ending. If that was you, I’m glad you’re alive.

  3. Mitch Says:

    ^smegma (first off, gross name)
    Secondly, I’ve setup a few trades on here and haven’t been burned yet. Sometimes ya gotta have a little faith. If you wanna make sure the money comes, you could setup an online payment like paypal or something where you have the money right away. Obviously its easier if you meet up in person but if you cant just trust that they will get theirs if they screw you. Karma is a bitch sometimes.

  4. T. Leo Says:

    @Mitch – No I am from Cleveland. The craziest thing was I only had a few beers and no psychedelics. I know I smoked a bit, but I have never blacked out from that, until then I guess.

    In hind sight, I probably did look, and sound like that guy from Jersey. But my only explanation for leaving is that I think my friend left first. His brother had to carry him out as he was pounding Grey Goose before the show and couldn’t stand up any longer. I guess I felt like I had to follow him. Only, he found a cab and I did not. I don’t know those as facts, just what was told to me.

  5. Mitch Says:

    That’s nuts tho. I wonder if someone slipped you something. I can’t imagine you’d black out from 4 beers and smoking. Did you feel normal when you snapped back? I bet you were freaking drenched after 3 hours in that madness.

  6. getfresh Says:

    Completely unrelated but I am hearing that the festival is to be in GA where Echo Project was.

    10/28/09 The Tonight Show, Universal Studios, Universal City, CA
    10/30/09 Save the Date, Bouckaert Farm, Fairburn, GA
    10/31/09 Save the Date, Bouckaert Farm, Fairburn, GA
    11/1/09 Save the Date, Bouckaert Farm, Fairburn, GA
    11/4/09 Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
    11/5/09 Austin Music Hall, Austin, TX
    11/6/09 Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
    11/7/09 Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
    11/10/09 N Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, SC
    11/11/09 BI-LO Center, Greenville SC
    11/13/09 Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
    11/14/09 Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
    11/15/09 Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
    11/18/09 Times Union Center, Albany, NY
    11/21/09 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
    11/22/09 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

  7. HarryHood Says:

    “Man, I just had the craziest dream……”.

    “You realize that you are driving, right?”

  8. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    @Mitch – 15 minutes in that madness was enough to get anyone drenched.

  9. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    @ duderino

    How does one go about getting an invite to demoniod? Do you have to know a member? Do members have unlimited invites to pass out?

  10. halcyon Says:

    @ Smegs…both of you can set up a paypal account, and then secure the funds that way, and all you would have to do is mail out the tix.

    Just a thought.

  11. HarryHood Says:

    Paypal is the safest way, but I’d say that most people on here are trustworthy. I sold two Chicago’s to a guy on here via the paypal route and it went real smooth. Actually met up at GW and had a few beers…..

  12. JMelby Says:

    Sounds like you picked the right tour partner. I ran into Mr. Phelps at Alpine and he told me part of the story, but I sure didn’t get the whole story. I’ve known him since ’95 and my wife was so happy to see him at Alpine also. Love the strange and magical things that happen to us on the road.

  13. Frankie Says:

    The Camden matrix is also up on piratebay.org and it is sweet! Loud Mike finally!

    Thanks for the story Mr. Miner! Glad things worked out well in the end…

    Regarding tour stories, i have this book called Run Like An Antelope that i want to get rid of, it’s a journalist for some rock magazine who did the summer ’99 tour and he’s telling his stories about life on the road, the fans… it’s not that good of a book because he doesn’t seem to be a fan and doesn’t talk that much about the music but if someone’s curious about it, the first person to write me there fbeaud@gmail.com gets it, postage paid, to their house… Have a good day ya’ll!

  14. smegma Says:

    thanks for the advice everyone.
    @mitch hahaha didn’t know that word meant that! i’m just going to choose to forget that information!

  15. nonoyolker Says:

    @ smeg – didn’t know your name meant “dick cheese”? HA! Hope you haven’t been going by that name off of this board and I certainly hope it wasn’t a nickname that was donned upon you…

  16. whole tour! Says:

    i enjoyed the tour tale, miner! i’ve had similar verbal exchanges with pissed off, faceless neighbors myself, so i can relate. i’ve discovered that a GPS is essential in this modern life. i have a garmin and i never drive without it. i even put it to the test on a solo drive through SanFran 2 years ago. i would have been very lost without it.

  17. SOAM Says:

    Miner-I would not have expected a tour vet to leave his ride on the street in NYC-they’ll fuck you 6 ways to sunday on the streets of ny.-every time -good thing you didn’t leave your holy nuggage in there or there would have been major ass problems-it’s one thing to be late-although your passion for phish and pavillion seats leaves me to believe if you missed an opener you might be scarred for life…..but with out some kg’s it’s just plain brutal.

  18. Frankie Says:

    Ahhahaha! 🙂

    Here’s the amazon link to the book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Run-Like-Antelope-Road-Phish/dp/0312263309/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246545129&sr=1-1

  19. Mike M Says:

    I love tour stories, but I get really disturbed by the ones where folks get too “spun” or whatever and do unthinkable things (like leave a show). I still think of the kid that got heavily dosed at the SCI show in Hawaii and is still missing. Scary stuff.

    I’m certainly not anti-drug. Call me a retiree, I guess. But at every show I went to on the first leg of the tour I witnessed at least a dozen folks freaking out, being hauled out by friends, passed out by the first set, etc. At Alpine, I saw a grown man crying and screaming uncontrollably at setbreak. It just sucks that someone can put something in their body that turns a Phish Concert into an awful (sometimes terrifying) experience. I realize most of us know how to handle our substances, and I certainly hope these folks learn their lessons. I’m all about doing whatever you need to do to make the experience as perfect as possible. Just remember to know your limit and save the experimentation for a more suitable environment. And always keep a friend nearby. Phish on.

  20. Comrade Says:

    Well said Mike M.

  21. RobAins Says:

    Frankie:
    I have that book. And it really does suck! I had to force my way through it. It’s been a while, but I remember thinking to myself that the author was trying (unsuccessfully) to emulate Hunter Thomson.

  22. verno329 Says:

    Exactly Mike M, exactly

  23. SOAM Says:

    Thah book choked donkey dick.
    and every one has too much, too fast once in a while-and usually you learn form your mistakes.
    That grown man crying was miner because alpine was the end of tour.

  24. whole tour! Says:

    one time i was about to lose it before a show, and my buddy told me something that still resounds with me. He told me, ”the worst that will happen is phish is going to come out and play.” IT was releiving.

    i could never fathom leaving a show, no matter what i have to let it ride.

  25. Mr.Miner Says:

    by the way- Greg has no wife. Not even a finacee…

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