In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the punk band, The Carolyn, shares one of their stories from being on the road. You can check out the story below:
I’m not sure if the following constitutes “crazy” by some of our peers, but it certainly was memorable for me. We had the pleasure of touring Europe for the first time in summer of 2022. Almost everything about the tour was perfect; each day was an adventure. We made countless friends, including our buddy Jeff Rowe who opened every show acoustic, and we all became closer as a band.
However, we had one minor snag about midway through the tour in the town of Siegen, Germany. Ostensibly, the clutch in our Sprinter van was going out. I never noticed an issue, but our TM insisted that something was terribly wrong. Thus, I called the rental company who then put me in touch with a mechanic able to take a look the following morning in the next city. We got up at 5am to make our 8am appointment time, which was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done after running on no sleep and Jameson for a week. When we arrived, the mechanic who spoke almost exclusively Russian, took the wheel and floored it around the block a few times. Afterward, he told us “clutch is fine, maybe change driver.” I thought this was hysterical, however I’m not sure our tour manager felt the same. Anyway, the mechanic invited us in his office for shots of vodka we aren’t able to get in the States, due to sanctions. For whatever reason this was one of the highlights of the tour.
After our interaction, I passed out in the van until about 3 in the afternoon. Shortly after waking up I received a call from the mechanic who asked “You have show tonight, room for one more?” I was stoked and humbled that he wanted to come check out our band. He showed up right before our set, clearly feeling pretty good. I have to assume he didn’t stop pounding that vodka since we last saw each other. In between each song I could hear him shout “Play Nirvana!” I was also amused at this.
After the set he gave us all hugs and was clearly happy to be spending the evening with us. However, he kept insisting that we play Nirvana. I handled the situation as best as possible without disappointing him too badly.
Toward the end of the evening, the bartender gave us a shot that entailed putting a bunch of orange powdered sugar in our hands, ingesting it, and then, of course, taking the shot. Kind of like a crushed-up-smarties-tequila shot, with no tequila. Before I could begin this process the mechanic noticed and shouted “NO!” He proceeded to smack what I assume he believed to be orange cocaine out of my hands, and put me in a headlock. Luckily our buddy Jeff was there to break up what was certainly a weird interaction.
By this point we were ready to get some rest, however the mechanic followed us to our van and seemed pretty determined to enter. I somehow was able to deescalate the situation, and it resulted in him providing me with his home address. Once I obtained this info, I shut the door and we immediately sped out of there.
Again, not the craziest interaction of all time, but certainly one I’ll never forget.