In this Tour Pranks segment, the country rock artist, Albert Cummings, chats about pranks that have happened on tour. You can check out the story, after the break.
One of my idols when I first started to play guitar was Joe Kubek. He was known as “Smokin Joe” and he lived up to every bit of that name. Sadly Joe has passed away and is sadly missed. He played a Fender Stratocaster with 13 gauge strings tuned straight. If you’re a guitar player you would know that this is not an easy thing to do. He was very powerful and he had played in Freddie King’s band as well as an internationally known guitarist on his own. I became very good friends with Joe and loved that he was an extremely funny guy.
One night I was playing a casino in Las Vegas. During sound check a man who I did not know approached me and handed me an envelope. When he handed it to me he said “you have been served. This is a lawsuit from your record label”. My jaw hit the floor and I couldn’t imagine what was in this envelope but nothing surprised me when it came to the music world. I put the envelope in my pocket and finished setting up my amps then I went off to the side to read what was in my new mystery envelope. I could feel that I was being watched while I opened it. Sure enough I opened the envelope and there was nothing in it but I observed the guy who gave it to me laughing with his friends. I walked over and while laughing he shook my hands and said I’m Joe Kubek’s brother he wanted to punk you. I was mostly relieved but I instantly started to think of how I could repay the punk debt. I realized that revenge is a dish best served cold. I waited and I waited and I would see Joe on the road from time to time and we would laugh about him pranking me. Then one day he texted me out of the blue asking me for Tommy Shannon’s cell number because he had a gig coming up in Austin Texas and he needed a bass player. I started to text back instantly then I stopped and I thought how I could use this to return the prank. So I looked up the suicide hotline in Austin and I texted Joe two numbers. One was for the hotline and the second was Tommy’s number. I told Joe to try the first number first and then if that didn’t work try the second one. I expected to hear right back from him within seconds but hours passed then days passed and about a week later he called to tell me he had received the return favor. What made it funny was he told me he never tried the second number. He kept calling the first one and asking if Tommy was there. Well it just so happened that there was a nurse named Tommy who worked at the center. So he kept calling and calling coincidentally missing Tommy (the nurse). Joe told me they kept asking him if he would like to speak with someone else but he only wanted Tommy to be his bass player so he would always say no I only want to speak with Tommy. I’m not sure how he finally figured it out but he eventually did. Because it took so long to try to reach Tommy he was able to find another bass player so he never reached Tommy the bass player or Tommy the nurse!