Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stuck Turtle

On a cold day in the waning days of winter in 2005, we flew from Oslo to Trondheim. During the short flight I thought about the previous night. We had played a bizarre show at Café Mono in Oslo. The Oslo crowd stood in front of us with their arms crossed, examining us as if we were a strange specimen. We played hard and aggressive, we were tight, and played off of each other. I broke a beer bottle on my guitar, using it as a slide, at the end. I was already bleeding from my poor guitar technique, but as I cut myself with the beer bottle, more blood and shards splattered the floor in front of me and the sticky blood covered my pick-guard, strings, and knobs. I cranked up the volume more, and started pulling my strings off the guitar while they made crazy feedback. We gave all to that boring audience.

I was nervous. Our show in Trondheim would be attended by my husband’s school friends, and his parents. We were opening for a band that I really dug, the Mormones. When we got to Trondheim and to our hotel, and it was time to load in and sound check already. It took a while but we got everything adjusted to our liking and got a good sound check, and as is customary while touring anywhere in Europe, we were treated to a nice meal, and a nice spread backstage. I had a big bottle of vodka that I brought with me from the US (saved tons of $$ this way), and started to drink a bit earlier than normal to calm my nerves. I'm not a big fan of beer. By the time we got on stage, I was a lot tipsier than normal, but I guess from adrenaline and muscle memory, I played close to perfect throughout the set. I did shove my guitar into the borrowed amp that I was using causing the cabinet to be scratched. 

After the set, my memory is there, but it’s a big blur. I had more to drink, talked to a lot of people and got excited to watch the Mormones. The next thing I remember is hanging out with these super fun and friendly girls. We had our arms around each other and were watching the Mormones, jumping around. They kept giving me glasses of Scotch. I don’t drink Scotch, but apparently I did that night. We hugged and told each other we were best friends forever... we loved each other. At some point while we were jumping around in front of the stage, my cell phone must have dropped out of my pocket, and then we jumped up and down on it over and over, probably destroying it. I’ll never know because I could never find it again. I cried about my phone, and then I cried about getting paid (?). I stumbled up and sat on the couch backstage in between the Mormones, not seeing things too well. My husband found me and dragged me out. I had to say goodbye to his parents, and I had the decency to at least be embarrassed by my über drunken state. He was really annoyed with me, and looking back, I certainly don’t blame him. We had to catch a flight to Bergen in the morning at 7 a.m.  At the time, my immature reaction to him being irritated with me was for me to irritate him further. I tried to run away and apparently was adamant that I would be taking a taxi back to Kentucky. He couldn’t get me to stop running, so he had to sit on me. He said that as he sat on me, it was as if I was a turtle. He was sitting on my back and my head is extended out with arms and legs fully engaged and flailing as if trying to swim out from under him. Somehow he got me calmed down and into bed just two hours before we had to be up to get to the airport.

As we took the flybussen out to the airport that morning, I was all kinds of queasy, and upset about my lost cellphone. I was very apologetic to my sweet man, who puts up with me, and I was perhaps still a little bit drunk. I was in the habit of being very responsible at our shows and could manage a nice buzz and ride that, I guess everyone has their night.  A few evenings later my husband got to have his turn when we played in Graz, Austria as seen in the previous post (

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