This crazy story from the road was written by the singer songwriter, Chris Joyner. You can check out his story, after the break.
My name is Chris Joyner and I’m a professional musician. I have been touring for more than half of my life. I spent just under a decade traveling across the U.S. in an Econoline van. I’ve taken cars, private jets, trains, tour buses and a zip line to a gig… okay, I didn’t take the zip line but I could have. (I opted for the raft. True story!) I’ve been kicked off of tours, left at truck stops, played in all 50 states and over 35 countries. I’ve dabbled in the random nefarious substances, found myself struggling to fashion a weapon from a pencil after a shoddy gig in Bend, jammed with movie stars, rocked with royalty and had my band literally chased out of town by a band called Bingo Night. I’ve definitely had some crazy shows.
The most memorable text-book “crazy” one was with my old band, The Freewheelers (DGC). We played on a small crap stage in some no name town in Minnesota. The beer was sold by the bucket and the stage was shielded with chicken wire. The chicken wire was to protect us from the audience.
I’m grateful to say there have also been a handful of positive, crazy-memorable ones, like being a Los Angeles native and playing the Hollywood Bowl with Jason Mraz, knowing my folks were in the audience. Or there was that one Earth Day festival which took place on The Mall in Washington, DC. The same lawn where the US Presidential inauguration takes place. I was playing with Natalie Merchant in front of approximately 100,000 people. It was insane, nerve-racking and so much fun.
But I think my favorite crazy gig was a show I played with Tom Morello. Tom is a ferocious guitar player best known for his work with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. He’s a talent, an incredibly smart dude and a philanthropic spirit. He and Serg Tankian (System of a Down) founded a charity called Axis of Justice and they would hold benefit concerts in random venues across Los Angeles. One of these shows was at the Troubadour in West Hollywood some years back and the band line-up was as follows: Stewart Copland on drums, Flea on bass, Slash on guitar, Tom Morello on guitar, Steve Vai on guitar, Perry Ferry on vocals, and me on keys. Crazy.