In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the singer-songwriter, Ocean Pleasant, shares one of her crazy stories from being on tour. You can check out the feature and her newest single, “All or Nothing”, after the break.
For my first time on tour, I was working as a liaison for a media partnership. My presence there had absolutely nothing to do with me being a musician. It was a national U.S. tour with four major acts coming together for six weeks, so we had a fleet of four or five buses. I was sleeping on the production bus, living out of a suitcase, waking up in a new city every morning. My schedule was rigorous. Up at 7am, handle venue logistics for set up, and then represent the company I was working for until breakdown around 8pm, then goof off with the crew until bus call.
For the most part though, I kept to myself. I hadn’t touched my guitar since we left home, but I’d brought it along hoping there’d be a spare moment here or there to play. Over a month into the tour, I started to get an itch; twenty cities in and I still hadn’t found the time to practice.
It was after 2am in a deserted parking lot behind an oceanfront venue in Florida. Our bus call had been delayed due to debris on the roads from a storm earlier that day. A lot of people had gone to sleep, but there was one tent that hadn’t been broken down yet. I grabbed my guitar off the bus, sat down and started jamming. I had never gone that long without playing; it felt like being reunited with an old friend. I started writing a new song when a woman walked over and began listening. I was too absorbed in the music to pay much notice. About ten minutes later, she returned, followed by the lead singer of the headlining act. I turned around to the sound of him clapping, simultaneously recognizing her as his wife visiting him on tour. It seemed she had brought him off his bus to hear me sing. I was speechless.
On the spot, he asked if I wanted to sing with him the next night. After I managed to pick my jaw up off the floor, I nervously said yes. The next 24 hours felt like a surreal dreamscape.
By the time the show rolled around, my entire body was electrified with anticipation. I’d never sang for more than a few friends. I was scared and unsure. But the moment I heard my name and walked out on stage, it was like a light switched on. All the doubts and fears swirling around in my mind dissipated as I approached the mic. Afterward, my body went into a state of euphoric shock. “What had just happened?”
In the span of twenty-four hours, I went from singing in an abandoned parking lot to performing with one of my favorite bands for thousands of people. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life that I still can’t truly explain to this day. It was a serendipitous mixture of luck and timing and special people. After that show, he said, “Why don’t you just sing with me for the rest of tour?” It was a wild adventure that made me realize I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.