Chapter 21 - THE BIG DRIVE
our horrendous drive from Biloxi to Houston, it was nice to
know that we had a relatively short distance to cover for
our next gig in Dallas, a mere 240 miles. So this became a
rather normal travel day. There would be enough time to get
settled in our hotel and we'd still have plenty of time to
get everything together at the sound check for the show that
evening. How refreshing!
point in the tour, 240 miles seemed like an afternoon drive
in the country. But it was the next drive, the one that was
coming up after our show in Dallas that would separate the
men from the boys or the sane from the crazy which ever was
greater. Yes, sir, this would be the Mother of all Drives,
only true road dogs and crazies would take this one on. And
of course, that ended up being Zoot and me.
right, when the going got tough the tough took an airplane!
Yep, Dan, Jean, Photoglo, McEntee and even Bernie, our trusted
tour manager, they all bailed on the big ride and decided
to fly commercially. And the two crazy road dogs? Well, since
we had two days to get there, Zoot and I decided, what the
hell, we could blow the money we saved on either a huge meal
and large bar tab or a large meal and a huge bar tab, which
ever came first, once we got to the halfway point in Tucson,
Arizona. The next day we would continue our journey to the
final destination of the two-day marathon drive, Redwood City
just south of San Francisco, a grand total of 1,793 miles!
a great show in Dallas and, being from Texas, Zoot's whole
family came to see the concert. The drag was that we had to
leave right after the show on our first leg of the Mother
of all Drives so Zoot didn't really have a chance to spend
any quality time with his relatives. It was an obvious disappointment
to him but by the time the land yacht was finally out on the
open highway and he'd downed one of his gourmet Martinis he
was feeling OK. Still, it reminded us of our own families
and how much we missed them.
by the hotel to drop everybody off so they could catch their
flights the next morning, and then we headed out of town in
the middle of the night like true road dogs, just three crazies
in a land yacht rolling through southwestern America -- Jeff
the Invincible with his mug of Starbucks bean drink, Zoot
with his perfect Martini and me with my Gin & Tonic. Okay,
so maybe we had a couple of drinks. But it's a long way to
Tucson and besides; we needed something to help knock us out
enough to get any sleep at all in those awful bouncing bunks.
yacht was well supplied for the trip. We had cold cuts, bread
and everything else we needed to make flat meat sandwiches;
there was a drawer full of chips, pretzels and other various
snacks. There was plenty of booze and I, of course, had The
Chair which provided me with a 70-millimeter, big
screen, panoramic view from the front of the bus. Yes, indeed,
we had just about everything we needed to have a ton of fun
on our journey and we did ........... At first.
2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, we were leaving west Texas and
heading into New Mexico. At this point 'Jeff the Invincible'
was just getting up to speed and was
ready for the drive ahead while Zoot and I started fading
fast and decided it was time to wrestle with the bouncing
bunks for a few hours of sleep.
it was a beautiful night in the desert and we were making
good time. And when I awoke, we were still making good time
but now it was a beautiful morning in the desert. But however
beautiful it may be, it was still the desert and we had a
whole lot more to cross before we would get to Tucson. I guess
what I'm trying to say is, "Enough with the desert already.
How much desert can a person take?" I know there are
some people who really love the desert but I'm convinced that
it's an acquired kind of thing, like acquiring the taste for
Scotch or Sushi.
our journey through the endless desert was punctuated with
a stop to refuel the land yacht and its occupants as well.
So while the bus was being topped up with fresh diesel, Zoot
and I went in to have an extended, sit down breakfast. This
also gave Jeff a chance to catch a few much-needed Z's before
the final leg into Tucson.
we finally pulled in to our hotel at around midday and had
driven over a thousand miles, most of it through the endless
desert. So of course the first order of the day was to go
back to bed. 'Jeff the Invincible' obviously needed plenty
of rest for the long drive ahead of us and Zoot and I needed
plenty of rest so we could go out and party that evening.
After all, it was a day off!