In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the ska punk band, The Taj Motel Trio, talk about some of their crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
Over the years we’ve seen and been part of a lot of crazy stuff on tour, much of it we don’t want to have on paper. However, there are two stories that are pretty funny we can tell.
Being in a ska-punk band doesn’t exactly afford you the crazy hotel rooms (and hotel room stories) that some bands get on tour. We’ve always networked with a lot of local bands and typically find a way to either crash with them or friends we’ve met along the way.
Well, a number of years ago, we were on tour with another band – friends of ours. First, let me say that crazy stuff always happened when we were with them. During the tour, we stopped to play in Pittsburgh and we had all planned to crash with one of the opening bands of the show. So, after the show, we were to follow them to what we thought was their house. About 30 minutes into the ride, something didn’t feel right.
After what had become a 45-minute ride from the venue, we pulled into a fairly sketchy neighborhood and into the driveway of what looked like an abandoned house. We get out, walk up to the house and the door had obviously been kicked in. We walk in, there’s no power and no furniture. The house is completely empty minus a room upstairs full of ninja swords, nunchucks and throwing stars (still not sure why). The other band walks us through the house telling us we could crash here…no problem.
We head back downstairs and they say “ok, we’re headed out. Be safe on the way to Michigan in the morning,” and leave. While it would have been the punk rock thing to do, staying in a house that had been broken into, we didn’t stay there…we went and stayed in a hotel.
About 2 years later, also while on tour in New York, we somehow ended up on the bill with a metal band. They were one of those “Satanism is cool” kind-of bands, but really nice, and had offered to let us crash with them.
Following the show, we head out to their house. When we arrive, the house is covered in spray-painted upside-down crucifixes and pentagrams, even on the front door. On the front porch was a couch and a statue of Jesus, both of which had been chain-sawed in half. When you’re on tour, you can’t always be picky, so we thought it was fine – at least somewhere to sleep.
Most of the band members weren’t concerned, but our trombone player, who wasn’t all that religious, was totally freaked out. It was just too over the top. I think he was terrified. So, we leave and drive all night, back to New Jersey to our bass player’s aunt’s house. We got there just before the sun came up. She was still asleep, so we broke in through a window and caught a few hours of sleep.