In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the rock band, Royal Tusk, shares one of their stories from being on the road. You can check out the story below:
Although maybe not the craziest of our tour stories, this one always comes up in our camp, and is always good for a bit of a laugh. Here we go….
Several years back, Royal Tusk was invited to Austin, TX to be part of the SXSW festival. Having always read about the great bands who were part of it (past/present), we were beyond pumped to get our Canadian asses on down to Texas. First things first, was trying to nail down a place to stay. This is a task that’s almost virtually impossible, but if you are like us and waited until the last moment, you sort of get what you get. We settled on a hippy commune located in the middle of the city, and us and crew crammed into a vintage airstream trailer on the property. You’d think that the story was this, no, it was fine, we just had to deal with the blazing southern heat and many weirdos who were living on the property…..oh and me having to drunkenly get a tetanus shot for putting the dirtiest nail right through my boot….but this part of the story is for another time.
We played our showcase, and it went great. Somebody, who clearly seemed important, really dug it and we were cordially invited to a party at his “Mansion”. Hell yes, we were totally game. While rippin down our gear, a nice dreaded hippy gal wandered to the front of the stage and got our attention. She also loved our set, and with hands outstretched, was offering us a little tin foil wrapped gift. We opened it and saw the crumbly blackish brown cookie like pieces….amazing, she gifted us a little brick of hash. Just a reminder to those reading….Free drugs and alcohol for a touring band is about as welcome as an ice cold swimming pool in the desert.
We finished packing the trailer, and made our way to the party. When we arrived at the so-called “mansion”, there was a giant castle in its place. We parked and walked in, over the moat (I shit you not) and through the castle entrance. We were at the right place, cause as we entered the court yard, the party was in full swing. The owner came, who was the gentleman at our show, and welcomed us, and reminded us that it was an open bar and to feel free to partake in whatever we wanted. We quickly made friends with the bartender and we were off to the races. We wandered the grounds, and I know this sounds strange, and well, it is, there was a massive mirrored Obelisk (or is it a monolith, either way it was like the one in 2001:A Space Odyssy) right in the center of the grounds. A few feet away, rustling of the bushes, and there was a baby Vulture, because why wouldn’t there be one in the castle grounds, duh! We wandered into a massive garage where there seemed to be a ping pong tournament going down. All of a sudden somebody goes “yo, anybody got weed?” We froze, oh my god, that’s Toronto Blue Jay great, Kelly Gruber.
Quick backstory, Kelly Gruber was a born Texan who played 3rd base for the Toronto Blue Jays back in the early 90’s. Not only that, but he was part of the team that won the first ever World Series for a Canadian team. So to a sports fan, from Canada, was like meeting the messiah.
“Hey Mr.Gruber, we don’t got any weed, but after the show, this girl gave us some hash we’d be happy to smoke with ya!”
Next thing we were packing a bowl with a sports hero. Heated er up, and brought the bowl to our mouth. For the many times we’d smoked hash, for some strange reason, it wasn’t pulling properly, as hard as we tried.
Finally Kelly Gruber took matters into his hands. He hauled on the pipe, to no avail. He took the pipe and knocked the contents into his hands. We all stared at it for a bit….
Then in a perfect Texas accent….
“Mother fucker, y’all are smokin chocolate!”
In all our idiotness, we stupidly packed a pipe full of crusty old chocolate brownie. We all erupted in maniacal laughter. We all laughed so hard it hurt. As dumb as those 10 minutes were, we made a great new pal, whom we spent the remainder of the night laughing and drinking.
There is a perfect lesson to be learned here….Don’t think that every gift from a hippy is drugs and even if it looks like hash, double check, there is a good chance it is ancient brownie. Those wondering if by chance it was an edible….I personally checked and no, it was a crusty old pastry.
Thus concluded the night we smoked chocolate with Kelly Gruber.