In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the punk rock band, The Flatliners, talk about some of their crazy moments from touring. You can check... The Flatliners – CRAZY TOUR STORIES

In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the punk rock band, The Flatliners, talk about some of their crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.

We’re gonna take it all the way back to the summer of 2005, and our first ever Western Canadian tour. A tour with more days off than actual shows, but hey – what a way for a 17-year-old kid to see the country! With nothing but time on our hands, it was easy to get into trouble. But none of us figured it was going to come in the form of what we found in Winnipeg that hot summer day. We were in town a day early for our last show of the tour, skateboarding to our friend’s house to spend the afternoon BBQ’ing, when a rogue deck went flying into the glass-pane back door of a convenience store after losing a battle with a crack in the sidewalk. We tried to run for it, but before we knew it we were surrounded by half a dozen guys in their mid to late twenties pushing us around and asking why we broke their door. We nervously explained it was an accident and that we were really sorry, but they just wanted our money. Something that a 17-year-old doesn’t have, to begin with, and especially when they’re on the road… Our friend Steve was on tour with us and was actually acting as our legal guardian on this particular tour since we were all underage, so he engaged them in a more adult kind of conversation. But in the end, he found himself in the middle of all the trouble, along with our guitarist Scott – who’s skateboard was the catalyst for the whole shebang.


The standing theory as far as the shop proprietors were concerned was to bring Scott and Steve into their shop, leave me, Paul and Jon outside wondering what the hell was going on, and close their shop for business until they extorted enough money out of our camp to pay for their door… When the whole ‘Casino’ scenario initially began, one of the shop guys took off in a Jeep, only to return a half-hour later with a giant mob-style goon of a human being in tow. The two guys eyed us up and down upon entering the shop and proceeded to move a bunch of food-stand displays in front the doors and windows so we couldn’t see what was going on inside. We figured the worst was happening like these guys had turned Scott and Steve into the Gimp from Pulp Fiction or something… So we called the police. On the inside, Steve – the level-headed adult – told the shop guys that their insurance should easily cover the damage to the door and that they had no grounds in holding them there. But Joe Pesci and the lot didn’t budge… When the cops finally arrived, they came in two cruisers. One was a couple of young cops – who ended up being buddies with the shop guys – and the other was a duo of older, toughened, by-the-book cops. Luckily, the older dogs had bite and didn’t give much of a shit about what their juniors had to contribute that day. It all seemed unreal, like a movie. Or a fucking prank show or something… I would have much rather been subjected to Ashton Kutcher’s goofy mug and a bunch of cameras rushing the scene than waiting another 5 minutes not knowing what was happening to our friends inside!


Somehow along the way, the shop guys got ahold of some credit card information from our guys inside, but failed to mention it to the police when they intervened. So once Murtaugh and Riggs called the insurance company to get the whole thing squared away, the shop guys got their revenge in the form of lining their pockets with some electronically extorted cash, and charged the card anyways – days later. After what seemed like an eternity, Scott and Steve were released back into the world seemingly unharmed, and we got the fuck out of there. But there was one more corner to turn in the story, and that was that the shop guys got wind that we were a band, learned our band’s name, and found the information for the show the following night. Reeling from living out a Pacino movie at the age of 17, we figured what was best was to call off the show and bust out of Winnipeg, admittedly with our proverbial tail between our legs. We were off on our 24-hour journey home much earlier than expected, and with a lot less money to make it possible. We didn’t play our first show in Winnipeg until sometime the next year, when trouble just seemed to continually find us…


Still to this day I believe that if it was only those two young cops that showed up, we would’ve had to pay an exorbitant amount of money just to get ourselves out of that situation. And we probably would have caught a beating too. But luckily over the years, Winnipeg embraced The Flatliners, and now we’re very fond of going there and playing shows. We just don’t skate anymore…

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(Photo credit: Mike Izzy) 

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