Spree of Destruction Tour Finals... with assorted disasters...
Friday, 23 November 2007 19:00


In January of 2006, I had the privilege of announcing a Pennsylvania High School Rodeo at the Farm Show (massive trade show) at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. The arena building seats over 9,000, and it was filled for the entire 9 hours (2 x 4.5 hour performances). After completing the big show, I made it a goal to return to the awesome venue again.

In January of 2007, I began booking with numerous producers, contractors, committees... and identified Dave Martin as one of the guys that would be a definite prospect... being so reknown and based in the North-East. In March, I booked his Finals at Harrisburg.

I even traveled to Harrisburg in April to watch one of his shows so that I'd be prepared to "his way" of doing shows...which is very unique.

Since booking the event, I've been counting down the days... all 240+ of them.

The weekend finally arrived, and Bobbi and I departed.

Arriving in PA late Friday night, things were good so far.

Saturday morning, I needed batteries for my wireless mics, and Bobbi needed Shampoo. After inquiring about the best place to obtain these items, the front desk recommended Walmart... 7 miles or 20 km away.

I slept in a lil', jacuzzi'd. F-booked. Atleast an hour had passed, and no Bobbi. I called.

"Ooh. I'm lost."

I proceeded to give her directions over the phone, courtesy of the computer.

Then, it was like Deja Vu. That sick feeling you get when someone drops the call...

"ok, I'm turning left"

screech... honk... smash... eeek... tone from a phone button.

"ummmm...? What happened?"

Car accident.

The next hour was filled with calls to almost everyone I know...and the event sent me a limo to pick me up...with one catch...3/4's of my gear is still in the trunk of the crashed car.

Bobbi showed up thanks to a ride from the Fire Chief... I grabbed the gear, and off I went.

The Limo Driver's brother was the Original Marlboro Man. Fun trip, great stories.

I got to the event, and sound checked. All good again.

Then, I plugged in "old faithful", or Laptop #2, the Stats and Sound Effects Computer.

"windows cannot find /system32/somestupidfile"... no dice.

Frantic call to my computer guru, and we determine that the laptop is toast.

Next, I call my friend from Maryland who's picking up Bobbi from the hotel.

"Hey guy, you've got some shopping to do".

They swing by the grounds, grab my ATM card, and head to a bank machine, then Best Buy. Back with the Laptop, I open it up. VISTA!!!!

We tried to recover the files with a $60 USD hard drive reader... no dice... that stupid sunglasses guy from the commercials decided he wanted to take a piss on my hard drive or something...

Now, it's like 3 hours before the show, and the project went as follows:

register programs/computer, set it up... then prep it for the show. Race, mess, stress. Got 'er done.

The show went off, and no one could tell that it was prolly the worst day of '07 so far...

The crowd was massive, and they turned away well over 600 people. So, 9,000 Pennsylvanians, approximately. There were empty seats, but, I guess pre-sales or something... idk.

Party, late night breakfast.

Wake up... oh, yeah. We don't have a car.

The only place that would rent cars in the State Capital on a Sunday was the airport. And the news was better...you can't drop it off in Canada.

So... $50 cab ride to the airport, pick-up the rental car, then go all the way back to near the hotel to get the stuff out of ol' smash-up. Plus a stop at a grocery store to get boxes.

The tow truck guys says that the car is definitely toast.

All the way to Buffalo we go. We drop the car and the girl takes the keys. We call our ride, Bobbi's dad, who's still over an hour away.

So, I ask to not return the car yet, as we rented it for 24 hours.

"No, we can't. We hit the button. We'd have to rent you the car all over again."

Seeing that about about to throw down, they try and find me a cart... they return... cartless.

"Sorry, sir. We couldn't find them. They rent them over there for $2."

The manager couldn't even shell out after their little mishap... I was a lil' more angry.

So, we piled up the $2 cart with: weekend luggage, rodeo sound equipment, a year's possessions from the car, and up to Arrivals we trekked.

Homeland security loved our vagabond look, but left us alone.

After din-dins at the Rainforest Cafe in Niagara Falls... we made 'er home, at 1:30am...

The trip was a mess...but atleast the show was solid, I guess!