Thursday, October 9, 2014


Stop me if I've told you this. It was 1965 and our band, the Raveons, was booked for a big show in Miami. First time we had ventured so far away from home. We were pretty cocky and fairly certain that fame and fortune lay some three hundred miles south of us.

We loaded all of the equipment that would fit into the back seat of my '61 Chevy and filled a small U-Haul that we hooked to Warren's '57 Thunderbird. I was way ahead of the T-Bird with our drummer, Don Smith in the front seat with me, by the time we approached Yeehaw junction, the halfway point of the journey. The explosion of that big 348 big block was dramatic. With a cloud of white smoke behind me, I coasted to the shoulder of the highway.

Don and I waited for what seemed like hours for Warren and Steve Newman, the other guitarist, to pass by us on the road. It was probably a long fifteen minutes. Well, we managed to cram everything into the trailer and all four of us piled into the one seat of the Thunderbird.

When we got to the Florida Turnpike we were turned away at the ticket station. It was illegal for the four of us to be on one seat. Of course the car only had one seat. We had to go back a few hundred feet, so as not to be detected, and rearrange. I crawled onto the top of the amps in the little U-Haul, flat on my back, with my nose mere inches from the ceiling. I rode in that position until we got off the turnpike forty five minutes later. The worst part was knowing that I would have to repeat the ordeal to get home.

Now, I'm not gonna try to convince you that this explains anything about what's wrong with me today. You figure it out.

I will tell you that I don't remember anything about the show. What I do remember is that once I got home to Tampa, I had to convince my pal, Larry Rardon, to drive me back to Yeehaw Junction in his Corvair to tow the big red Chevy home. It was on Easter Sunday. I'm here to tell you that Arlo Guthrie could have made a fortune with this stupid story.

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