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. Jay Says:

    Worster Dead ’85 – my whole psche was shattered. Had to rebuild myself from scratch. Could not talk, walk, nothing. Spent the whole show and then some rebuilding myself to a something that resembles a human being. Scary as hell and changed me forever. In the end a good thing but man, what an experience.

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    @SOAM!!! *no* one knows about that show! NICE!

    space into crazy fingers, amazing – one of the best CF ever played too – broken-open glowsticks painting hands with glow juice and splattered all over the floor and bodies – the kooky truckin – and then Comes a time

    the energy at that show was beyond description

    last small indoor venue show they played AFAIK.

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Jay – I did have that happen but was lucky to be with friends who could babysit. Shattered. You’re right, in the long run it’s a good thing but to say it’s no fun in the moment is an understatement.

    Last time that happened was in 88 when I foolishly took ayahuasca and went to a Santana show. Wasn’t treating it as a party drug, had the right mindset sorta, but that shit is to LSD as LSD is to a bong hit. Without friends I absolutely would have ended up naked in the psych ward, no doubt.

  4. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ ayahuasca at a show- now that’s ambitious!!

  5. Jay Says:

    @MrC – had friends with me as well who were pro’s and helped take care of me and made it a safe place. I was a pro as well so never completely paniced bu WOW! I am who I am today because of that one night. Jay 2.0!

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Miner – “ambitious” is the nicest adjective anyone has ever used to describe that decision. you’re too kind.

    @Jay2.0 – word

  7. snigglebeach Says:

    Just a a dumb travel story.

    For Oswego i had just acquired a full size camper (sleeps about 7-8). we were towing it with my friends monstrous Chevy. We had already pulled it from Maine to Mass. But we never had anything in it.

    We get all loaded up with crazy amounts of shit. Theres like ten of us, including seven 20 y/o college girls. Leave at about midnight on Thurs. morning, get about five miles and the camper comes off the truck and skids around the road luckily staying attached by 2 little chains. We had the wrong size Tow ball on the truck and amazingly never lost it before ( like on I95 in maine at 70mph.)

    Needless to say huge fiasco, which we just Jimmy-rigged and drove slow for 6 hours. Regardless, we showed up literally as they opeed the gate, drove right in, got awesome spot, and had the best festival experience ever. (prob because of the cute girls + excessive heat)..

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^^ nice work sniggle!

  9. snigglebeach Says:

    our spot was so good, The local Syracuse T.V. station came by and did a live interview with us (really just one of the cuter girls) that was on the 6 O’clock news. Asked us about Phish and how we were “beating the heat”.

    Pretty sure my bong was on live t.v. that weekend. would love to find that footage.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    lol @snig, nice

  11. whole tour! Says:

    sad day here. vape finally died! made in china, lasted one year.

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    @wt! – see sadtrombone.com

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @wt!
    go out to the hardware store and but a wallpaper heat gun with variable temp settings. shouldn’t cost more than $30-40. use with glass, set to medium temp, and you should be AOK…

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    “buy” not “but”

  15. whole tour! Says:

    best 90$ i ever spent. digital readout in wooden box, glass heating element on glass whip. the digi readout went dark today 🙁

  16. whole tour! Says:

    @type 3….might try that!

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I’ve had the heat gun for about five years (and it works for stripping wallpaper well too!). I use it with my two footer. Just keep it away from the rubber gaskets and you are in business…

  18. easo91 Says:

    http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2009/07/01/ticketmaster-fined-for-deceptive-practices-agrees-to-play-nice/?icid=main|main|dl4|link5|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.walletpop.com%2Fblog%2F2009%2F07%2F01%2Fticketmaster-fined-for-deceptive-practices-agrees-to-play-nice%2F

    Can I get a boo yah?

  19. oneshowatatime Says:

    @easo91 – BOO YIZITY!

  20. HarryHood Says:

    @ Type III, where are you from bro? I remember having the same conversation about using a heat gun with a friend of my brother’s before a Machine concert at Higher Ground………

  21. sumodie Says:

    Maze spooked the annoying guy that barged in front of me during the Asheville Ghost (argh!) to leave -thank you, phish.

    “Without graphic detail let’s just say a very overweight fellow had lost his clothing and was performing every possible bodily function simultaneously”

    Saw exact same thing at Big Cypress. Have seen a few situations at shows that have left permanent burn marks on my brain. As I see it, mixing one’s treats is usually the primary cause behind these nightmare events.

    Even sober I have to remind myself during Maze that it’s the song and not me…Maze-Bowie-Maze-Bowie, no it’s Maze! LOL.

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @HarryHood
    I live in Worcester right now but only moved to MA about six years ago. Was out in CO before that. Never lived up in B-town but visit frequently to see shows and hang with friends in the area. Juding from our mutual love of Nectar’s gravy fries I am guessing you are up there, right?

  23. whole tour! Says:

    i had friends at cypress who said they were next to the naked fat people for a brief moment.

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    nice link @ease01

    “Though the $50,000 fine is relatively small (perhaps convenience fees will triple it),” LOL

    @sumodie – sorry you had to share that trauma – agree, I also think it’s usually due to mixing

  25. SOAM Says:

    What’s up with that list of rumored fall dates and the festival at GA.??

    Georgia blows-flat-boring applebees shithole.–But it’s cheaper than So Cal to get to.
    A lot rat told me there would only be 25 kats at the west coast fest because no one has any money

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