If I asked to take you camping, would you go?

23 04 2009

…well, Jason would.

Almost three years ago, Priscilla and I met Jason Robert Nelson, who became the drummer for Maudlin.  He answered an add we put out, and we got together and started practicing and I set up the first show.  …I was still our booker at that point, and I kind of have this fascination with bizarre shows… I don’t think Priscilla or Jason do… but I do.

Sometimes my friends and I will go White Water Rafting in Wisconsin, and I thought, why not combine that with a show.  …So I contacted all the resorts until I found one that would have us play there.  Poor Jason didn’t really know any of us that well, and when we told him about my plan he went along with it.  …later I would learn he’s deathly afraid of water, but just didn’t want to say anything.

I began contacting friends I knew with bands- cause I didn’t want just us to play, I wanted a whole concert.  Naturally there were some goons in Winona who said they would do this.  Todd Hanson and We Are The Branches agreed to play, and they had a big van they were bring out with a bunch of people and gear.  We decided to split the load of gear, we would bring somethings, they would bring others, so that we didn’t all have to burden ourselves with so much crap.  This was all fine and good until… they all decided not to come.  …when we were already in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin on the way…  I was pretty pissed off.  Apparently I exaggerated how quick the ride would be, and when they all googled it they got cold feet.  But still, this was the day of and they were all planning on spending the weekend there.  Pansies.  Jason’s sister, and rap star Speshul K were dumb enough to come after a quorom of sane people decided against it.  That was nice of them.

At any rate, what ended up happening was Josh Lauer, who played with us at the time as an extra guitar, ended up driving out by himself, with all the gear we didn’t bring.  He drove four hours alone when he’d been up all night the night before… he was planning on sleeping on the way when someone else was driving.  Miraculously enough, he didn’t die.  So we got to the resort, went into the bar to set up.

There were like… five or six hill billies there, and the owners, who were kindly enough.  The “DJ” who brough the PA for us was spinning tunes and interjecting, “get ‘er done!” inbetween songs… and nothing else.  I wasn’t sure he knew any other words until we had to talk with him to get set up.

About this time we realized that Jason had no hi-hats.  …that’s not good. So he took his china and a crash and put them together.  -It was the worst sounding thing I’d ever heard.  Lauer opened up for us with some solo tunes by himself… the crowd wasn’t impress.  But, when Maudlin took the stage they must have been, cause the one hick got all rialed up and started to yell something about showing his penis.  I think it was a colloquialism of the area that we weren’t familiar with, but I’m sure it was a complement.  …So, basically, the show sucked balls.  Then came the part that would suck, but also try and kill us.

They call it the The Wolf River because it eats small children.  …actually I think it was the Peshtigo River… but they’re close to each other and the Wolf River sounds much more cool… No one knows how many people have died on the Peshtigo because no one can pronouce it well in enough to discribe where they are when bodies wash up.

Are convaences were Funyaks… which are like mini inflatable kayaks.  The water intructor guy was all like, “Ok, now on this first drop, you’re all going to get knocked out of your funyaks, so, what ever you do, don’t stand up.  That’s how you get your feet caught in rocks and die.  Just let the water carry you and float on.’  Then he did this odd acepella version of the Modest Mouse song.  It was weird.

Yes, we all fell out on the first drop.  …I also stood up after that and got yelled at.  But, the Wolf River was hungry that day, and wasn’t happy that even though we fell, no one died.  So it decided to call in an ARMY OF BEES!!

So, I’m floating along by myself, separated from the group, when this lone hornet looking thing lands on my boat.  It was huge. It was one of those dark ones the has kind of grey and black stripes.  This thing was out for blood.  I was terrified because I’m afraid of bees, and generally a wuss anyway.  So I started paddling to and trying to shew him away.  But then, another one landed on the boat.  And then another. Pretty soon they were all buzzing around my head and banging into me.  I could feel stings on my body and I started to panic.  I was swinging wildly at them trying to kill some, and paddling as hard as I could to get away.  The only thing I could think of was, ‘there’s so many of them, they must be swarming me.’  They just kept following me down the river, and I was freaking out hardcore.  I was ninja-ing my paddel at them ignoring the river, and my yak started going sideways.  I hit this giant rock slab and went flying out backwards and landed on my back.

Right about this time the intructor came paddling past and could see I was distrested.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m being attacked by giant bees!!”

“…those are horse flies.”

Oh. Ok. …well, I guess you usually don’t die from that sort of thing.  So I got back in my boat to continue on.  By this time, with all the flailing about, I had no strength left in me.  There was another big drop and the intructor guy was all like, “whatever you do on this one, stick to the right”  So I did.  …and I still wiped out. When I bobbed up at the bottom I saw Priscilla standing at the bottom of the left side of the fall, hyperventilating.  She was begging me to come over, but for the life of me, I was too tired.  (She still gives me crap about this… like, had she still been actually drowning, I would have.  Or if a bear had jumped in after her or something.  But she was clearly alive.)  She was pretty shaken up because she went under, and instead of floating back away from the fall, it pulled her under and sent her spinning underwater.  She used her oar to push off the bottom to get air.  The instructor later told us that that was the spot a lady got killed last year the same way.  So, Priscilla was terrified.  I was exhausted. And Jason who started horrified of water?  He had fallen out of his boat on every single rapid.

The entire thing was a total disaster and I haven’t actually gone back in the last three years, even though I used to go all the time.  To this day I still have no idea why Jason didn’t quit right there…

David

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4 responses

23 04 2009
Ashton Likes

That’s a fricken hilarious story!

4 05 2009
kdkd

yay stories!

10 07 2009
Three show weekends are always a hoot! …er. « Is My Band Cool? DOT com

[…] following  day we went back out on the river.  Given my track record with watercraft, you can guess that I nearly died.  Fortunately you have to hit something harder than water to […]

22 09 2010
Raiders of the Lost Rickenbacker « Is My Band Cool? DOT com

[…] the scariest bee I’ve ever seen.  If you can identify this thing then I owe you a beer.  Remember when I was getting attacked by horse flies that I thought were bees? This was like some sick joke by mother […]

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