A brief idea of what its like to be on the road with Whitey Morgan and the 78s


December 23rd, 2010 by Rami

Every once in a while, we get missives from the road.  Now, our bands do not travel in Gold-plated buses, or fly from show to show in planes with nekked ladies spray painted on them.  No, these are working musicians.  Emphasis on work.

Here, then, is one little tale from Jeremy, the bass player from Whitey Morgan and the 78s. Enjoy the harrowing glamour:

"This road trip has been the most trying, rewarding, exhausting and exciting one I’ve ever been on. One of the things that brings me consistent entertainment is travelling with Travis Harrett, our drummer. He’s a walking ball of hilarity.

We had a brief stint in Michigan.  Two shows, Grand Rapids and Ferndale—both great shows.   We’d been out for a few weeks, and we were all pleased to hit the great lakes state for a minute(it felt even shorter than that…)

We finished the Grand Rapids show, and split up—Whitey and Brett catching a ride up to Flint for the night, poor sober Tamineh driving the intoxicated rhythm section back to Detroit in the van.  Damn good times, singing off key in full voice—I’m quite sure Tam had a blast(okay, maybe not so much, but Travis and I were having a blast.)

We stopped at the 8 millionth gas station of the tour to fill up, and I went inside to pay.  As I came back out, Travis was practicing his David Lee Roth maneuvers, which I can only assume was in preparation for Halloween which was just a few weeks away—and what happened next, could not have been attempted—it only could’ve just happened, it was that random.

Travis was about 20 feet from the building, that was about 20 feet tall. As he kicked his leg out, his boot flew off his foot—and landed on top of the building. An impossible feat. I almost fell over laughing. Travis stood there defiantly and declared that we were not leaving without that boot.

So, we walked around the building looking for some sort of way to get up there—we found the propane tanks and the ice machine, and he climbed on one, I climbed up the other….Travis had the notion that he was gonna stand on my shoulders and pull himself up there.  We quickly decided that this was a bad idea. Who knew a rhythm section can think twice before doing something that could be a disaster—even on the booze?

I found a rolling ladder out behind the building, and we figured we best go inside and ask the attendant if he’d mind if we did this (Wow! Two wise decisions in five minutes—this one avoiding arrest.)

The attendant was enthused about the idea—and thankfully also a very large human(at least 6’6”, 320lbs.) He wanted to help…So, I stood on the ice machine and held the ladder in place, which of course, we put on top of the cage holding the propane tanks (genius!), but wouldn’t quite sit there straight because of the overhang.  Thankfully, our new large friend could reach easily from the ground, and held the ladder at an angle in place (paging OSHA.....)

Travis climbed to the top of the ladder, did a pull-up on the overhang and disappeared onto the roof…a moment later, the boot came flying through the air onto the ground.  Why he didn’t put it on??? You’d have to know Travis—most things defy explanation, but you’re having so much fun, it just doesn’t matter.

We successfully got Travis down, thanked our new large friend and got in the van, heading towards Detroit, laughing so hard it hurt.

This is just one example, every night its something different, every night, its something hilarious (and generally harmless.)  I can’t imagine what it would be like without Travis out here—he makes us all laugh, but I think he’s the one laughing the hardest.

JD Mackinder
Bass player, Whitey Morgan and the 78s"