Trailer Tales Vol. 1
The Moves Collective rented a trailer they felt was heaven-sent. Reality put them in check.
Asterisks represent lessons learned on the road.
It’s day one of terr! We are excited! We are on time! We are making it to our first gig!
Okay, pump the brakes there partner. The first two exclamations are truthful; the latter are pure falsehoods. Most of us have been hellishly busy getting ready for tour, so busy in fact that we never packed up the trailer until the day we were supposed to leave*. Should be easy right? Most definitely not. There are seven of us traveling together this tour, we’ve got no shortage of bags to pack and organize, from food to luggage to various musical gears.
Our ETD (estimated time of departure) from San Diego was 10 AM to pick up Isaac our bassist at 1 PM in LA. We may or may not have left San Diego at 2 PM. Our first gig in NorCal wasn’t an anchor date by any means, so cancelling it didn’t really bother us. That said, I do blame losing that gig on the trailer. Perhaps I should provide the specs….
We rented the trailer from a colleague of ours (who will remain unnamed) that we know through the festival scene around California. I’m still not sure about that scene to be honest. The illusion of trust is real…. Anyway, as you can see it's that tall and that long. Real fun to drive.
“Yeah the tires are brand new, I got them just a year or so ago” – Trailer Man
And what about the lights, we can probably figure those out easily too right?
“Yeah those work.” – Trailer Man
Right. So, did we take the trailer to anyone even semi pro to get an assessment? Yes and no; we stored the trailer before leaving tour at rabid fan Randini’s house. Randini is a jack of all trades landscaper with a lot of experience regarding life. He took a look at it and asked what the fuck we thought we were doing*.
We ignored Randini*.
Back to day one. We picked up Isaac from LA and have a place to stay in “Sack”. People in California call Sacramento “Sack”, which is just so unfortunate for that city. I’m driving Benjamin the Bus and we are looking at a midnight arrival if I recall correctly. Nothing seems to be wrong, it’s dark outside and we are just cruising right along at 65 on the 5 when –Whammy-Jammy-Whooshin-Swingin- It feels like the bus just got smashed by a huge gust of wind. Everyone says, “what was that?” followed immediately by, “pull over there are sparks flying out of the back of the trailer.”
Huck. Yeah. I pull ‘er over to the side of the road, conveniently a four-lane highway near Bakersfield. Remember those working trailer lights? Yeah, not working. Safe road practices for 500! I digress.
As you can see, this thing is shredded beef shredded. A Flat tire indicates fixable potential, exploded tire and you are just S.O.L.
If there is someone in the world worse than our guitarist at estimating what time they can get something done, I’d say its Triple A. This is a bold claim. AAA told me someone would be there to help us out in about 30 minutes. Why lie, AAA? Why not just tell me the truth?!
Our AAA mastermind shows up a bit under an hour later with some flatbed towing mechanism, scopes out our rim sitting on the ground, and immediately realizes he has to call someone else to help him tow the trailer. He also offers to let us drive ahead if we give him the address of where we are staying. After a quick call to the AAA Mastermind Headquarters and inquiring whether there is any liability on AAA if any of our shit gets robbed, we decide we aren’t going anywhere*. Our AAA mastermind’s AAA mastermind shows up about 40 minutes later, and they spend about that much time putting our spaceship on that flatbed.
While all this waiting is going on, I’ve somehow wrangled us a place to stay through a friend of mine in Houston. Big Ups to Kevin McDermott, AKA McLovin by his Hepper friends, for putting up all seven of us that night.
Eventually the original AAA mastermind is ready to follow us to Kevin’s place, rejoice! We get there around midnight and most of us flock right inside to avoid looking at the trailer and to drink some beers before passing out. A half hour of true chillage passes before we realize that Tim and Eric (our newfound lighting designer/jack of all trades) aren’t inside yet. I step outside to check on what’s good. Our towing guy, now without his towing guy, is having a lot of trouble getting our trailer off of his flatbed garbage truck. “We” (usually indicative of none of the girls) have to share the task of getting onto the flatbed and slowly lowering it down with these sketchy chain cable things, a task made nearly impossible by our still nonexistent tire. It’s a back and forth, sort of two inches down one inch back up type of situation. This takes a solid 30 minutes or so. Not that warm in Bakersfield this time of night either.
I got to bed between 1:30 and 2 AM, to wake up at 7 to handle our day one debacle*. After about three hours of using the wrong tools and a drive to the nearest tire store, we are ready to rock the rest of tour without any issues.
Stay tuned for episode two of the Trailer Tales!
*1-Pack your trailer waaay before you need to go out on the road, especially if it is your first time. Focus the weight on the axles.
*2-Randini is a wizard landscaper with mucho experience regarding anything handy and more. Always trust Randini.
*3-Never ignore Randini
*4-AAA is not responsible for damage to goods or goods stolen. So when our mechanic asked if we were cool to leave him with our trailer full of our collective live’s assets, all the red flags went off.
*5-The situation is always the boss.