"Hell on Wheels"

A lighting designer for several of the biggest metal and hip hop acts of the '90s

"To start, there are some great drivers out there who really take pride in what they do. And then there are just guys who, dare I say, are hacks, and don’t seem to care about the bus or the crew that rides on said bus.

 

The driver started going through the DTs while he was in the middle of driving, and there were apparently spiders and snakes coming off of the steering wheel at him.

 

"We had this guy on a tour a long time ago who was just scary. Myself and a stage manager were sitting in the front lounge of this bus, going to a show in the middle of a corn field. It was about 4 in the morning. All of a sudden, the front curtain flies open and there's the driver, sweating and looking like he's just seen a dead relative. Well, we soon came to find out that he had started going through the DTs (Delirium Tremens, "the shakes") while he was in the middle of driving, and there were apparently spiders and snakes coming off of the steering wheel at him. He couldn’t drive and swing at them at the same time, and he thought one of us might need to come up and A) help him drive, or B) help him kill the creatures on the steering wheel. As you can imagine, we chose option A.

"I could write at least a day's worth of stuff about what a piece of work this guy was. I know that driving a bunch of pirates around the country is no easy task, and that for the most part we were a bunch of slobs. But that said, I would pay a little more attention to the front of my bus. Why? Unlike him, I might have noticed that there was a dildo suction-cupped to it."


"Shot Dead"

A former manager and concert promotion staffer

"In the late '60s, some friends of mine promoted the first NYC appearances of various famous (or soon-to-be famous) British bands and West Coast groups. No credit cards in those days: everyone paid cash at the box office. The friends had a partner, who fronted the performance fees and collected ticket sales at the box office. He sat in a cramped box with iron bars and dim lights and kept a gun at hand in case of emergency. My job: look over the crowd on line for suspicious characters. They all seemed suspicious to me. No incidents at the performance.

"Next day, friends and 'partner' were to divide the profits—cash proceeds—and were to meet in a Lower East Side bar to do so. He got there first. They got there late. When they arrived, there was a police car and several men in blue. A man had been sitting quietly at the bar, holding a brown bag. The partner? Shot dead. Bag gone. End of concerts. Apparently, the partner had a partner."

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