In this Tour Pranks segment, the blues rock band, Larkin Poe, shares the story of the prank they pulled while on tour with Elvis Costello. You can check out the story, after the break.
Of course you can probably imagine that all sorts of hijinks happen on the road; from sleep-deprived buffoonery to drunken escapades. But certainly, my favorite tour tomfoolery is a well-formed, good-natured prank. The best pranks are genius in their simplicity—Funny, but not at the total expense of the victim.
My best-loved memory of a tour prank took place when we were on tour with Elvis Costello. We were a part of his “Detour” tour that stretched from coast to coast in the U.S. We grew close with a lot of the great folks on EC’s team; but probably most of all with his assistant tour manager, who went by the moniker “Toast”— simply because he ate a lot of toast. He loved toast.
The toast was a quick, spirited guy and over the course of the months we were on the road together would pull little pranks on us sisters quite often; comical signs taped on our dressing room door, a saran-wrapped toilet, a well-intentioned prodding here and there. Towards the end of our time together it became clear: retribution must be served before it was too late.
Perhaps not so fittingly, our last show was at the mother church; the Ryman in Nashville TN. An iconically classy venue for a not-so-sophisticated piece of mischief. We had just enough time before soundcheck to secure the provisions—a quick trip to the grocery store was all it took. The purchase? All the white bread we could find. When the coast was clear, we snuck onto the tour bus and crept to Toast’s bunk. We filled his bunk to the brim with bread. We taped bread to the ceiling and sides of the bunk. With the bunk curtain closed, you couldn’t tell that anything was amiss, but once the veil was pulled back… Bread everywhere! Nothing but bread!
With our prank secured, we innocently returned to regular proceedings. The last “Detour“ show was brilliant and we had to make our bitter-sweet goodbyes to the tour, Elvis Costello, and the crew. We left with anticipation of our pranks coming to fruition. We received the phone call later that night after all the trucks and trailers were packed up and the crew was loading into the bus to head to the next destination. On the phone, Toast was an appropriate mix of appreciative and annoyed and proud. He never saw it coming… the prank was a total success.
He was sleeping on crumbs for a week.