Hearsay: Wednesday, August 1, 2002
Road Warriors

L7 blasted on the truck stereo, rattling the dashboard and pleasing the brain, providing an ideal soundtrack for barreling down I-30 at 2 a.m. Saturday after a night of fun, fun, fun. Suddenly, heavy metal intruded on HearSay’s punk reverie. Not heavy metal music — real metal, lying in the frikkin’ road! Lightning-quick reflexes were AWOL, so tires hit metal, and metal won. Blowout at 70 mph. (“Blowout” indicates a loud pop, but HearSay can’t testify to that; full-tilt L7 can drown out an A-bomb, to say nothing of an exploding tire.) Anyhow, the truck started shaking and the right-front tire was a goner.

Pulled over, tossed half-full beer in the weeds of the median, fished out a cheap floor jack, which had lost its hydraulic fluid and didn’t work. Ouch — stuck on the highway, wearing flipflops that weren’t made for walking, no phone, certainly supportive of law enforcement officers but not wanting to talk to one at that particular time. Fifteen minutes passed, and then two vehicles slowly approached on the shoulder.

A thin guy with a shaved head and wearing a tight wife-beater came up and said something amazing: “Hey, you all right? Need some help? You hit something that fell off our truck. I’m in a band, and we just finished playing a gig at Ridglea Theater, and I thought we had all our equipment tied down good, but the wind musta blew the drum riser off the top. I’m really sorry. How can we help?” A dozen young men and women, all in their teens and early 20s, piled out of the two small vehicles, grabbed a jack, got busier than a NASCAR pit crew, and changed the tire. Shaved-head pulled out his wallet, which held two $20s, and offered both bills to cover damages.

Now, HearSay has interviewed hundreds of musicians, and most have been pretty cool save for the occasional jackass who believes interacting with a media representative is akin to dating a lawyer. Still, HearSay has never felt a warm, surging, soft-and-fuzzy feeling at how nice and helpful a regular joe with a guitar can be — until now.

There’s just one problem. The name of the guy’s band escaped the brain over the weekend. This is truly sad, since Hearsay would like to thank him and his cohorts from the bottom of its inkwell. Yeah, we could have done without the random piece of metal in the road, but accidents happen, and the band members accepted responsibility by stopping and offering aid when they could have just split.

HearSay won’t ever pump up a band without believing in the music and the people behind the music — the musicians. The people in this band are a classy bunch. Hopefully, their music also rocks. If not — oh well, they’re still nice guys and HearSay will go on the record as having compromised its journalistic credibility by giving the band some good props — whoever they are.

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