In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the pop punk band, Calling All Captains, shares one of their stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
We have all kinds of crazy and funny tour stories, but we’re gonna switch it up a bit and tell one that’ll hit a little different.
So in 2019, we left home in Edmonton, Alberta to go on our first big tour – spanning 60 days across the continental US. We talked to lots of band friends to get tour tips beforehand and prepared for weeks, including 4/5 of the band members buying health insurance coverage for the US. The tour started out strong but on the 2nd date in Tacoma, WA the unthinkable happened… Our drummer (Tim) blew out his rotator cuff going too hard on an Alexisonfire cover we were performing at the time… and guess who was the only person to NOT get health insurance? Yup. We took him to the hospital at 2 am and he got Xrays, several medications, and an arm sling. Our next show was in Sacramento, California so we had to hit the road and the hospital said they’d mail us the bill. We heard horror stories about the US healthcare system and had no idea what the charges would be like, but the show had to go on.
Luckily for us, our singer used to be the drummer before Tim joined the band, so he was able to play and sing most songs and we got by with a little help from the other touring bands while Tim focused on healing. A week later we played in Odessa, TX and after the show, a big guy named Billy came up to our merch table after the set and told us how much he liked our music and enjoyed the show, and even offered to let us stay with him at his place that night. We were broke as hell and trying to save money, so we did this as much as we could on the tour. We followed Billy out to his home at 1 am and the road went from pavement to gravel, to dirt, to grass.. and when we finally pulled up to the house it looked like it had been going through a 15-year renovation, haha, but we went inside and there were already air mattresses laid out for everyone. A couple of minutes later Billy’s wife and daughter arrived with snacks for us and even said we could take what we didn’t finish for the drive tomorrow. The next morning Billy told us that he had recently sold one of his homes and was not currently working, and asked if he could follow us on tour for a bit. We said hell yeah brother and told him to meet us at the next show in Ohio, and sure enough, he did.
Billy and his family continued to follow us on tour for the next 10 shows across the US until we ended up in Jacksonville, FL and they decided that would be the last show before we parted ways. Coincidentally, that was also the day that Tim received news of his medical bill, which was about $3000 USD or about $4500 CAD at the time. Tim taught drum and piano lessons back home and lived very modestly, so he was quite distraught from the news – not knowing how he would ever be able to afford it. He was sitting outside the venue spiraling into a depression when Billy showed up and asked him what was wrong. Tim explained the situation and then told Billy he just needed some time alone to get his head straight. Billy understood and said hi to the rest of the band and then left the venue for a while, before returning about an hour later.. with an envelope full of cash. He handed it to Tim, stating that he had extra money right now anyway, and he wanted Tim to get better and enjoy the rest of the tour. Tim broke down into tears and thanked and hugged Billy, speechless that a person that was a complete stranger 10 days ago would do this for him. Throughout the rest of the tour we continued to be blown away by the kindness of strangers, but none quite like Billy. We’ve remained friends to this day and still keep in touch as much as we can.