That night half the band met a "record producer" in jail

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Esteban Garcia, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile, ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    I don't know what made me think of this, but thank you for your indulgence in this longish tale of band hijinks of yore. The story takes place in the late summer and early autumn in a Midwest college town, circa 1989. Names are changed to protect the guilty and their enablers.

    After loading out from a successful gig, Bob the rhythm guitarist and Serge the drummer departed in my girlfriend Linda's Buick station wagon, and promptly ran into a phone pole in the alley behind the club. The cop shop was about a block away, and Officer Friendly soon showed up and hauled Bob in for DUI and Serge for possession (he was holding a little weed). Linda's car got a little banged up and was towed to the impound lot.

    Linda was not pleased, but she's the one who had agreed to loan her car to Bob in the first place. I was not held responsible, but Linda had words with Bob.

    A day or two later, we were hosting a party at the band house out in the country. Bob and Serge had been released on their own recognizance, and they invited a friend they'd met in the hoosegow.

    Shawn Stanton was the scion of an oat roasting executive in neighboring Oat City, well known for the cloying odor of burnt oats that sometimes wafted as far south as University City. He showed up early with several sacks of groceries for the party. Also showing up early was our number one groupie Beth-Anne, who was excited to make us all stir fry with the supplies Shawn brought. Bob later wrote a song about Beth-Anne and her penchant for making us all stir fry and sitting in on band meetings and giving Serge advice on how to not get kicked out of the band.

    Bob excitedly told the rest of the band how he and Serge had met Shawn in jail, how they got to talking about the band, and that Shawn wanted to produce us and sign us to a recording contract.

    The lead guitarist Mike and I raised our eyebrows at this.

    "You want to produce us, and you haven't even heard us?" said Mike. "Sounds fishy."

    "I'm offended that you don't trust in my ability to describe the band and sell us!" said Bob.

    "You want it in writing? Get me a pen and something to write on!" said Shawn, also offended at our lack of faith. At some point he produced one of those business-style check books that's a three-ring binder, as if to show us he was serious. Between that and the 70 bucks he dropped on food for us, who wouldn't take him seriously as a record producer?

    Anyway, much big talk was made about flying us to New York to re-record the album we'd just recorded but not pressed, yada yada yada. We all got drunk and high on weed and shrooms and god only knows what else, and everybody had a good time eating Shawn's food and drinking cheap Midwest beer from a keg.

    When the keg ran out, I headed up a mission to drive to town to get another. On the way out, we ran into Ray, who was drinking alone in his van on the road at the end of the driveway.

    "What are you doing up here alone, Ray?" I asked.

    "Drinkin a beer," he said. "Where you headed?"

    "Into town to get more beer," I said.

    "You want a beer?" He pulled a can of Bud from a cooler by his seat and offered it to me.

    "No Ray, I gotta go get a keg for the party."

    "Too bad," he said, pulling the beer back and putting it back in the cooler.

    I didn't know what to say, so I just kind of stood there gawping.

    "Ya know there's bad spirits by the river," said Ray after a bit. "You gotta do something about that."

    "What am I supposed to do, Ray?"

    "When you get to the bridge, you gotta stop the car, and you gotta stomp out a cigarette on the side of the road," he said.

    "I don't smoke," I said.

    "Take one of mine." Ray was dead serious, so I took a smoke from the pack or Marlboro Reds he handed me.

    "Do I have to smoke it?" I asked, handing him back the pack.

    "You gotta light it, and you gotta stomp it out," he said.

    "OK," I said. Ray was not messing around.

    I got back into Margot's car. Margot was Mike's girlfriend, and she must have been the most sober person at the party who had a car. I explained what I'd agreed to do.

    "OK," she said. "Let's do it." She didn't even hesitate. Margot was always game.

    We stopped at the bridge, and I got out of the car, lit the cig, tossed it onto the gravel shoulder and stomped it out. No spirits were observed at that time, but I admit to having been a little spooked. And a little nauseated from the drag I took lighting the cigarette.

    When we returned with a fresh keg form the Kum & Go, Ray was still drinking alone in his van. Shawn was gone. The party was raging and went long into the night. Nobody signed any record contracts, but we had a good time dancing and singing and howling at the full moon.

    A few weeks later, Serge was working a dinner shift at his job as a dishwasher in a restaurant owned by Fern, who also owned a crystal shop and practiced the kind of meditation that supposedly can lead to levitation.

    Serge had forgotten to show up to court for his possession rap, and Officer Friendly showed up at his workplace to arrest him on a bench warrant.

    Fern was not pleased by this, of course. The restaurant had an open kitchen, and Serge's arrest was quite public.

    When Serge got out, Fern told him he was fired from his job as a dishwasher. But not because he was arrested during his shift.

    Fern told Serge he was fired because his seventh chakra was flaring.

    The band didn't fire Serge, chakra's be damned. We all kind of liked him, and he had more friends who came to our gigs than anybody else. Maybe that flaring chakra made him play a little busy at times, but it all seemed to fit. All the bohemian college kids and townies danced and danced.

    Shawn Stanton disappeared into the riff raff; maybe he went back to Oat City. We never heard from him again. Since we didn't get that record contract, we went back to plan A, which was to move to the west coast, where we played a few gigs before breaking up and going our separate ways.

    Serge got a job laying tile, and he's still hitting the skins last I heard. Bob still writes good songs. We did some long-distance collabs a few years ago. Mike and I see each other ever few years. Everybody but me went through some form of rehab or went sober at one time or another, and I don't think anybody ended up doing hard time (unlike the drummer from the band I played with in high school).

    Anyway, thanks for your indulgence if you got this far. Bob and Serge, if you find this and remember any of it differently, you're entitled to your own versions of history. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
    Sailfish, Beejky, mjbing and 81 others like this.
  2. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    ROCK ON! That was a great story Arlo. -- You can't make up stuff like that...
    Mr_Moo, MobileHolmes, MCF and 2 others like this.
  3. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Guest

    Nov 22, 2017
    Reading this was the best use of my time since I got here. Thanks!
    Mr_Moo, pcake, Vinny_G and 3 others like this.
  4. Mike Whitfield

    Mike Whitfield Guest

    Apr 10, 2019
    Any story which includes the phrase “scion of a oat roasting executive” is automatically awesome, but this one is particularly awesome. If I ever write a novel - which will have nothing to do with bands or music - I want this exact story for that thing what goes in the front of other people’s books.
  5. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile, ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    The funny thing is, my stepbrother married the daughter of an oat roasting executive. It's funny when you put it that way; I never thought much of it when I was younger, but the burnt Cheerios smell was pretty gross when the wind blew south.
    Microbass and Mike Whitfield like this.
  6. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Great read. Thanks for the smiles, chuckles and laughs. :)
    Esteban Garcia likes this.
  7. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Excellent tale!
    But...whatever happened to Ray?
    pcake and Esteban Garcia like this.
  8. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile, ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    I wish I knew. Ray was peripheral on the scene, mostly kept to himself. I think he had a pretty serious drinking problem TBH. :(
  9. Hi @Esteban Garcia,

    I enjoyed that glimpse into your experiences. It reminds me of some of the silly fun I had back in the day. I wish I could remember more of it. ;)

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Nevada Pete and Esteban Garcia like this.
  10. thank you for the entertaining tale . I enjoy your writing style. cheers !!
    Esteban Garcia likes this.
  11. IamGroot

    IamGroot Inactive

    Jan 18, 2018
    Wonderful story.

    I was almost expecting hitch hiking chicks with huge thumbs.
    Esteban Garcia likes this.
  12. Ahh....gotta be Battle Creek, MI. There’s a lot of oat roasting going on there at any given time, courtesy of Kellogg’s, and the smell can make you wanna toss your Wheatlies.
    Jim Burkland and Esteban Garcia like this.
  13. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile, ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
  14. grillman


    Dec 15, 2014
    I’d like to think he’s still somewhere giving out cigarettes and protecting people from bad spirits.
    Diamond_Dave, pcake, Yonni and 4 others like this.
  15. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    Most excellent!
    Esteban Garcia likes this.
  16. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Kum & Go? Upper midwest...
    Esteban Garcia likes this.
  17. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Legend has it that this is going to be the plot to the new Star Wars movie.
  18. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    I want to know what happened to Serge's chakra! :hyper:
    And did Fern manage to levitate? All this suspense is so unbearable .. :nailbiting:
    Groove Doctor and Esteban Garcia like this.
  19. huwnyc


    Feb 19, 2019
    Nice story I am sure. You have more
    Esteban Garcia likes this.
  20. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie

    Aug 21, 2013
    That was hands-down, the best post I've seen on here in a good, long while. Well done... Thanks! :thumbsup: