Thursday, October 13, 2011

My first night with Cowboy Mouth

In 2003, Cowboy Mouth was playing a show in Jackson Mississippi. I had made "Angel" for John Thomas Griffith a few years before so I drove to Jackson to say hello.

When I got there, the guitar tech at that time said to me “Hey Dwight, you want a gig?”
He said they wanted to find someone for a few months. He said it would be easy..
I said sure, their people called my people and next thing I know I am driving to New Orleans to hop on a bus with a bunch of cartoon characters I didn’t know, except for Griff.

The other crew guys showed up first, of course. Others show up later and everyone is being nice but then Fred walks up shaking his head and said “You have no idea what you have gotten yourself into..” turned and got on the bus.
Feeling a little puzzled, I got on the bus and we started moving.
Everyone had gone to bed so I was sitting in the front lounge of the bus talking to someone on the phone. "Finding Nemo" was on the tv. (and by the way, it stayed on the tv for a month).

“Yeah, everyone seems to be nice. So far so good.” As I said that, the driver starts hitting the brakes really hard. Keep in mind, this is my first long trip on a tour bus.
Stuff starts sliding of the counter, drawers come open as we come to a very abrupt stop. I am still on the phone and said “ I haven't made a long trip on a tour bus before but I’m pretty sure this isn’t right.”

Will, the merch guy comes running past me and yanks the curtains open and we see giant flames burning and smoke all around us. Will turned around and screamed “We’re on fire!! Get your shoes!!”
As the bus starts backing up, I say into the phone “hey, can I call you back?” and put my shoes on.
James, the driver at the time had stopped right before we hit a 18 wheeler that had flipped over on its side and burst into flames. It had completely blocked a bridge, tires and fuel were exploding, it was a huge mess. James was also a sheriff deputy when we wasn’t driving the bus so he runs into the flaming pile of metal and rubber to check on the driver of that truck.

A few minutes later, James walks back with the other driver. The driver of the truck got thrown out when the truck flipped over but he was unharmed.

At this time I am standing in front of the bus with Paul Sanchez and we are just watching this truck burn.
As we are standing there I looked over at Paul and said with a straight face “ So Paul, Do all of the Cowboy Mouth tours start off like this?”

He didn’t crack a smile or even look away from the burning truck. He just said
“yeah, pretty much..”

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