Three and a half inches of steel kept the front passenger side tire of Charlie’s Ford E-150 from falling off as we drove from Fort Worth to Austin. Because of an overly tightened bearing the rotor, spindle and a few other technical car terms that I’m not prepared to understand are completely shot. This is after a shop in Fort Worth had fixed our brake problem and told us that we were fine to drive, when clearly we were not. Along with considering ourselves lucky to be alive, we’re stuck in Austin until at least Friday for the parts that we need to be delivered.
Worse forms of tour purgatory exist. This is a rock ‘n’ roll city with a welcoming music scene. We’ve got caring friends here and places to stay. The auto shop that’s taking care of our van now has been sincere about taking care of the van’s problems and helping us on our way. All we can do now is sit tight and wait for this adventure to put itself back together.
On Day One of being stuck I spent seven hours in a great coffee lounge called Rio Rita’s, drinking delicious cold brew coffee and sipping on a Lonestar. Now, on Day Two, I’m sitting in another coffee lounge called Halcyon drinking a Thai Iced Coffee with soy milk, and it’s blowing my mind. I’m not sure where the rest of my band is. For some reason, when things fall apart with the van we scatter across town.
I’m excited to explore this city more. One of the most exhilarating times for me on the road is when I get to go off on my own to look at books, records and drink weird coffees. There’s a level of urgency when you’re driving over a few hours and playing a show every day. The adventure of going on tour flips a switch in your mind that activates both your most fundamental survival instincts and your body’s stored excitement. I’m relishing every second of independence I have here in downtown Austin, alone and highly caffeinated.
Most of the jokes that we’re making right now are about moving to Austin instead of Oakland. I don’t think that any of us believe in this being some sort of sign from a higher power, but having all of our things with us makes the situation pretty bizarre. Add to that the alarming amount of friendly, talented musicians here and you can imagine how wild we’re feeling. I think I'm going to have to get another coffee and maybe look at a river from the top of a mountain.
On the positive side, all of the shows we’ve played have been fantastic. We’ve caught up with old friends and made new ones. I hope that we continue the streak of good shows, good people and good times once we’re back on the road.
I think I speak for all of us when I say that Lance Stephenson leaving the Pacers is a welcome distraction for four dudes lost in Austin, wondering what exactly they’re doing.