In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the metal band, QUOR’s Doug Smitty Smith, shares one of his band’s crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
For a fresh, creative, and independent rock act such as QUOR, great pride is taken in mastering the art of touring. Performing music while on tour may be the nightly tip of the iceberg and possibly the most important single event of each touring day, but it’s what lies before load-in, sound check, and after bus call that supports that icy 30-45 minute magical moment while the band performs. QUOR has spent years mastering the ability to independently travel safely from destination to destination and make friends and memories as many times as possible within the tour timeline and safely return home to our families.
QUOR defines a successful tour by the stories that are created along the way. An artist could go on tour forever, make all the money in the world, sell the most tickets, but if there are no stories to be told on the metaphorical front porch swing with grandbabies in tow, then what’s the fucking point? QUOR lives to write music and tell stories. The hard part is determining which one to tell you…
I could tell you a tale when QUOR traveled 1,700 miles in 3 days to participate in a good friend’s Navy retirement ceremony. We took the 2-lane desert road from El Centro to Vegas with a final destination of Ogden, UT. While transiting this moon-like region of SOCAL, we ran across a small border patrol checkpoint in the middle of nowhere. As we approached, it appeared to be manned by 7 border patrol officers. It was extremely hot and there was nothing for at least 40 miles in each direction. We felt like we are on the moon.
2 weeks prior, I had purchased an enclosed tandem axle cargo trailer to haul our gear. When I got the trailer home it smelled of marijuana. Upon closer inspection there were dried up pot leaves and nugs inside the trailer with weed dust caked in the corners. It was clearly used to dry, store, and/or transport the delicate plant. The smell was potent. Awesome.
One can imagine how I felt upon sight of this border patrol checkpoint followed by the drug and people-sniffing cute and cuddly German shepherd running around just looking for something to do. As the truck pulls under the inspection canopy, the dog starts doing his drug-sniffing thing and sure enough, the border patrol officer asks us to pull over. This is after we answered his questions about who we were and where we are going. Sir, “we are QUOR and we are going to Vegas!”
We were asked to step out of the truck. Brian and Snap were on the shotgun side of the truck and were asked to empty their pockets on the seat. They complied. As I get out of the truck the female dog handler starts asking me the standard questions of “Is this your truck and trailer?” “Are the contents inside of this trailer yours?” “Is there anything I should know about?” I felt like she was my mom for a moment. I replied with, “You probably have heard every story under the sun, but what I’m about to say is 100% true. I recently purchased this trailer for touring off of Craigslist and it appears to have been used to transport, dry, or house weed.” I didn’t expect her to believe a single thing I said but figured I’d tell her since she asked.
“Sir, can you please open the trailer and then take a few steps back.” I complied. Brian and Snap were standing on and around the metal staircase leading to the portable office building with 4 other BP officers carefully watching their deviant selves. The dog jumps into the trailer like there was a pack of cooked chicken and hotdogs waiting at the other end. Sniffing around and under our cabinets, merchandise, and around the red 10-gallon cooler perfectly stocked with a 30-pack of ice cold Coor’s Light.
You have to understand like motorcyclists have road demon bells gently hanging from their bikes to keep the bad vibes away while riding, QUOR keeps 3-shrunken heads in the trailer. These heads were used in the QUOR “Watching You Video” and represent the three of us.
As the drug dog continues to do his thing, the lady officer opens the cooler with the delicious cold Coor’s Lights that clearly had blue mountains. She slowly shakes her head and closes the lid. She then leans into the trailer on the other side and lifts the 3 shrunken heads from the inside wall of the trailer. She holds them up toward me and points with her hand as to say “what the hell are these?” I verbally replied, “3-shrunken heads.” As she again, shakes her head she asks me to go join my band mates over at the staircase.
Now, it’s July in the middle of the desert. It was at least 100 degrees while all this was going on. We were dressed just enough to be fit to function in society. After a prior stop about 20 minutes before the checkpoint to pee alongside the road and throw rocks a speeding freight train, Brian had switched into boards shorts. As we are standing around the staircase, a large border patrol agent with a clearly defined attitude built upon power tripping began asking Brian what was in his pockets. All 7 of us, band and border patrol agents looked kind of confused, especially since Brian and Snap had been told to remove everything out of their pockets. The lesson learned right now, is that there is always one asshole.
“Right there!” shouted the agent as he points to Brian’s pockets again. Brian looked down at this shorts and padded his pockets slightly stunned because there was nothing left in his pockets. He and everyone else looked back at the agent that was increasingly getting frustrated and louder in his commands takes one step closer and point right towards Brian’s groin area and says, “What is that right there?” All 7 of us standing around look at Brian’s groin where the agent was pointing. The Velcro from his shorts was making his shirt stick out a bit. Brian again looks down, pats his front and pockets and loudly states, “What? My peen?” There are no illegals in there sir.
Snap and I looked at each other and tried to hold our laughter in. The two other border patrol agents standing around also put their hands over their mouths to cover their smiles and the power tripping asshole backed down quietly, realizing his mistake. After some smirking and quiet chuckling, the female dog handler made her way back to the staircase where Brian’s peen was making grown men embarrassed. I politely asked the other 2 agents if this would be a good time to take a photo with them; they declined. I then gave them a few QUOR CDs as a memento to remember the good time we all spent in the 100-degree desert looking at Brian’s junk. They accepted.
After being told we were free to pass, we got back into the tour bus and laughed our asses off as we rolled on down the road. In QUOR camp, the border patrol will forever be referred to as “The Peen Patrol”.
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Joshua Weidling Owner/Founder
I'm the Founder & CEO of Digital Tour Bus. I started the company in my dorm room during my freshman year of college. I have a degree in Business Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Outside of music, I'm an avid watcher of South Park, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Community and Parks & Recreation.