In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, Jeff Angell, of the hard rock band, Walking Papers, shares one of his stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
As a young man I was touring across America with 7 dates across Canada booked for our return.
Knowing we were approaching the border we began smoking the last of the weed on board and tossed any paraphernalia which consisted of a couple of glass pipes and some Ziplock baggies.
When we stopped at border patrol, they asked us the usual questions and unfortunately instructed us to pull over and head into the office. We sat around the depressing office in uncomfortable chairs waiting to be called to the desk.
Two of the members had DUIs and the officials decided to disregard our paperwork and deny us entry – a thousand miles from home. They also felt it necessary to have each of us endure a long-winded lecture on why they didn’t want us in their country and how drinking and driving were not tolerated, which was pretty rich considering their magistrate just received a DUI while vacationing in Hawaii. But rules are rules and of course driving while intoxicated is reckless.
By the time I got to the counter and after watching how the guy berated my friends, he started to lecture me even though I didn’t have a DUI. Knowing he had no intention of letting us in, I told him to save it, grabbed my license, and walked away.
We sulked back into our van and turned around to head back. Now approaching the U.S. border, we stopped at the kiosk of the U.S. Border Patrol. They told us to pull into a large garage.
Once inside they instructed us to get out of the vehicle, remove all of our clothes except for our pants, and put any money we had onto the table in a tiny room they had us waiting in.
They were searching the van for drugs and told us so.
After a few long minutes, an angry officer stormed into the room and threw a handful of change on the table and screamed, “I told you to put all the money on the table!” Without sympathy that one might have forgotten some change in their backpack or pants during the confusion.
The next guy came in holding up a zip lock bag with a purple liquid in it. He told us the van tested positive for drugs and that we need to tell him where we are hiding it.
One of my band members started to lose it, saying “I don’t smoke pot!”
I came to my buddy’s defense and confirmed to the officer that indeed he does not smoke pot and there was no weed in the van. I told him I smoked pot in that van every day this entire tour but wasn’t taking any chances trying to take drugs across any borders.
He said it was a zero-tolerance state and that he could scrape enough out of the ashtray and off the floor to convict us.
I called bullshit and told him if there was anything in there to smoke, we would have smoked it. But not the one guy, he didn’t partake.
He left the office and returned after a while to give us our clothes back and sent us in our way.
We weren’t a few miles down the road when one of the guys said I’m sure glad they didn’t find the cocaine I had duct-taped to the roof!
He was kidding, but with him… one never knew.