The Honest Heart Collective – CRAZY TOUR STORIES The Honest Heart Collective – CRAZY TOUR STORIES
In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the rock band, The Honest Heart Collective, talk about some of their crazy moments from touring. The Honest Heart Collective – CRAZY TOUR STORIES

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

The day before we headed out to London, Ontario to play with our brothers in Texas King for their CD release show, I noticed that the van was making an all-too-familiar grinding noise. So, I brought it to the ol’ Canadian Tire lounge to find out that part of the breaking system seized up and destroyed the rear brakes. They told me they wouldn’t be able to work on it until the morning, but that we should be on the road in time to leave. The next day, I got the van back around noon and went to pick up the rest of the band. It snowed that morning, and when we got to Conner’s place, the van got stuck. We blocked his whole street for about 20 minutes, and with the help of a neighbor and (quite literally) a school bus full of kids, we were free.

We were behind schedule once we got out of the city, but we’d still make it okay. We’d lost a ton of daylight and the roads were terrible; I tried my best to keep it slow and steady while driving on as much pavement as I could see. It was a pretty stressful drive, but being from Thunder Bay, we’ve seen and been through much worse. I drove for about 3 hours and switched out for some much-needed rest. It started getting dark around 5 o’clock that afternoon, and we decided to keep the van under the speed limit to be safe. I was sitting next to my brother in the first bench seat, playing a game on my phone while waiting for cell service to return. I felt the van fishtail, looked up, and the next thing I knew there was nothing but a sputtering engine and headlights on the trees.

When I realized what happened, I felt a wave of panic come over me. This was every band’s worst nightmare and it became a reality for us. After the countless times, we’ve driven that stretch of road in all weather conditions, we ended up in a ditch on the side of Highway 17, in the middle of nowhere. The van landed passenger side down, I could hear everyone groaning and swearing, but I couldn’t see or hear my brother. I started screaming his name and looking frantically around me. He wasn’t where he was when I last saw him, but I felt a hand touch mine and he finally said that he was okay. He’d gotten tossed above me and landed in the weird spot between the back bench and the side door. Kevin smashed the front window out, climbed up to the road, flagged down the first car he could, and called for help.

We had hit black ice and lost all control of the van. We slipped perpendicular to the road and we were in the oncoming lane. Derek was able to correct the van and regain control, but the trailer came swinging back across and pulled us over, causing us to barrel down the embankment. The trailer snapped off and flipped end over end, causing the gear to crush through the door and fly in every direction. Kevin’s Jazzmaster, in particular, flew right out of the trailer. The guitar shot out of the case and landed 50 feet into the forest. We later found out that the highway a few hours ahead of us had closed due to safety reasons, so we wouldn’t have made it anyways.

By some miracle, we all survived with nothing but cuts, bruises, and sore backs. I think this was due to some defensive driving tactics by our good friend Derek (thanks again, buddy). Standing on the side of the highway huddled in blankets, we looked at the wreckage while trying to determine what happened and how much was lost. We saw everything we had built scattered across this swampy ditch. Before long, paramedics arrived, and we all piled into the ambulance. The police took our statements and drove us to the hospital in a small town called Marathon. The doctor checked us out and we ended up in a small hotel booked for us by a local accident victim’s group. We spent the night drinking a few beers and celebrating the fact we’d survived.

It’s been a slow and hard rebuild, but thanks to our friends, family, and over 200 GoFundMe supporters, we were able to buy a new van, trailer, and replaced all the damaged equipment. This week, we’re on the road for the first time since the accident. We’re nervous but excited and anxious to get back out on tour.

Life happens and accidents happen, but we don’t plan to let it defeat us. Stay safe out there, friends.

— Ryan MacDonald

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Digital Tour Bus

The posts made by this account were created by past Digital Tour Bus writers, which include: Mariah Spiering, Paige Kochanski, Elexis Hipp, Hayley Hoyle, Alyssa Mount-Bycholski, Javi Perez, Anne-Marie Totah, Bri Born, Grayson Maslin, Christina Major, Emillie Marvel, Kimberly Lady, Lisa Perez, Sara Ruben, Natasha Nadiah, Marissa Linzey, Ashlee Hussey, Alana Ludwig, Katy Fleming, Erin Miller, Rachel Sappie, Jessica Armstrong, Yasha Castro, Jodi Bushnell-Aleman, Brittany Bohn, Christina Bennett, Emily Young, Lizzie Baumgartner, Stephanie Kompradith, Deona Ragsdale and Corey Kleinsasser.