DON’T SHOOT!!!! (this really happened to H2O)
I was thinking back to 1997 the other day. Back when I was doing my first real touring with New York hardcore band H2O. For those who don’t know, my brother Toby is the singer and we toured the world several times, releasing 6 albums. Sometimes we would end a U.S. tour on the west coast and drive straight back to Manhattan in 3 days! Sometimes it was reversed.
On one particular trip we were driving through the vast nothing of Wyoming. Honestly couldn’t tell you in what direction. We were far from civilization with almost no other cars or humans in sight. I think we may have been listening to U2’s “Joshua Tree” which was perfect soundtrack for the scenery. (Toby thinks it was Suicidal Tendencies) Rusty (Pistachio) was driving when he looked in the rearview and saw we were being pulled over. After we had pulled over we heard the crackling sound of the officer trying to tell us something over his car megaphone, but it was so broken up that Rusty couldn’t understand it so he got out of the van and said “I can’t hear you!” Next thing we know was Rusty holding his hands in the air and telling us “he has his gun out!!”
From there it just got scarier. We were all asked to get out of the van one by one with our hands on our heads. I could hear more vehicles arriving and by the time it was my turn I stepped out to see at least five state troopers all with rifles pointed directly at me and the other guys. They had us kneel on the ground in a circle and we were surrounded. We saw a group of farm workers take off running in the distance leaving us completely alone. The things that went through my mind when this was happening are hard to put into words. If one of these officers accidentally pulled the trigger, there would be no witnesses. Is this where it all ends? What did we do? I’m pretty sure all five of us were muttering “DON’T SHOOT” frantically.
As it turns out someone had just robbed a bank and taken off in the same type of passenger van that we were in. After looking at our I.D.’s and searching the vehicle the troopers went from aggressive demands at gunpoint to cracking jokes with us! (Although they still shook us down to pay a “speeding ticket” in cash!) Now, here’s the thing. If this happened to me in 2019, now that I have my daughter and another on the way, I would probably have some kind of fear-based epiphany and decide it was time to stop touring! Honestly though, we just shook it off and headed to the next show. It’s funny how our thoughts on danger and death change as life goes on. With all the shootings happening lately I realize how fortunate we were, but it was still really scary!
For the most part, the songs on my record “Late Bloomer” have fun and feel good vibes. There are two tunes though, “Feels Like Drowning” and “Your Ghost” that deal with mortality. If you haven’t already, you can check them out here.
Let me know if you have had any similar experiences and to all my fellow travelers; BE SAFE OUT THERE!
Hope to hear from you soon!