So we had another out of town gig this past weekend, and it was eventful to say the least. We booked the Oil Can in Columbia, MO for the 4th of July weekend. We were pretty excited as we have heard that the Oil Can is quite the scene. It is right on the campus of Mizzou and is known to be quite packed on the weekends. In other words, this was going to be a great gig.
We had been practicing pretty hard in the weeks leading up to the gig and were even going to debut a few new songs. Greg had just purchased a new bass guitar and I had just purchased my dream guitar, the American Fender Stratocaster. I have wanted one of these babies for years and cannot believe how much better it sounds than that Mexican Strat I have been playing with forever. I went with Cherry Red and let me tell you something, this thing is beautiful. Now if I could only play the damn thing. Ha.
So we packed up the van Friday afternoon and started the 90 minute trip to Columbia. We figured we had plenty of time as the gig did not start until 8pm. We got as far as Chesterfield when the trouble began. We noticed a weird noise coming from the engine compartment of the van and soon smelled something burning. And wouldn’t you know it, black smoke began billowing out from underneath the hood. The giggin’ van was en fuego. We pullled over to the side of the highway and Greg hopped out with our fire extinguisher. Luckily, we were able to pop the hood and douse the flames before the thing got rolling. The gear was saved…and oh yeah, we were uninjured.
Needless to say, we needed a tow truck. We found a tow company on my smartphone and hoped and prayed they would not take forever to get there. Luckily, it was only about a half hour and the tow truck showed up. They quickly got our van loaded up and enroute back to Kirkwood where we unloaded everything. Time was beginning to become a factor and we needed to act quickly to find another ride. My friend Steve runs a rental company and thankfully, he had a van that we could use. He didn’t even charge us.
We had two and a half hours to get to Columbia and set up all of our gear. And we were going to have to deal with rush hour traffic now. Awesome! I have never driven so fast. By the grace of God, we didn’t get pulled over for speeding. Traffic was a bit heavy getting out of St. Louis, but then it was smooth sailing to Columbia. We got there with 30 minutes to go. The bar owner was a bit worried and anxious when we got there, but he quickly changed his tune when we told him what happened.
With the help of Greg’s son Josh and a couple of his fraternity brothers, we were able to get the van unloaded and everything set up on stage…5 minuted before our scheduled start. Whew! Our first two or three songs were a bit rough, mostly because we were all a bit frazzled from the events of the day and having to rush. But then we settled in to a nice groove and really lit the place on fire (no pun intended). The bar filled up nicely with a crowd of folks ranging from college kids to a few senior citizens. They all seemed to dig the show and a few of them even bought us drinks afterwards.
All in all it was a great gig. Despite losing our giggin’ van, we considered everything to be a large success and will hopefully play another gig at the Oil Can soon. Thanks for reading.