Friday, January 13, 2012

Colin and the Stairwell

January 4, 2012

I joined the road crew of Columbus, Ohio’s pride & joy rock band, Watershed, sometime in February of 2005.   At that point the band consisted of Colin Gawel, lead vocals & lead guitar; Joe Oestreich, lead vocals & bass; Mark "Pooch" Borror, guitar & backing vocals; and Dave Masica, drums & backing vocals. Mike "Biggie" McDermott was the road manager, my boss, and was, and is, sometimes the brains of the outfit.

Colin and the Stairwell

When Watershed hit the road we stayed in a really nice chain of national hotels (which shall remain nameless) because we used to stay for only $35 a night, owing to a family connection to one of the band members (who shall remain nameless because I don’t want said family member to lose their job). Only two members of the band would actually register at the hotel, but all six of us would pile into one room to sleep and cadge the free hot breakfast buffet the next morning. The first four guys asleep shared the two beds, Dave always slept in a sleeping bag on the floor owing to a bad back, and whoever was the last to crash would just lay down on
whatever was left (room couch, two chairs pushed together, rolled up in a blanket on the floor, wherever).

One of those hazy nights somewhere in the South I awoke sometime before 6 am to find Colin standing over me in the dark saying, "Ummm, we might have to leave the hotel early." There was a hotel security guard standing in the doorway of the room, surveying the murky scene of five band and road crew members strewn around the room, and he didn’t look happy. (I don’t think the profusion of beer bottles and guitar cases lightened his mood either.) Colin told me that he got really drunk and disoriented, somehow left the room in the middle of the night, couldn’t find his way back, and wound up falling asleep in the stairwell of the hotel. He got kicked awake by the hotel security guard and against all odds remembered our room number, now we’re probably getting booted out.

I just kinda murmured, "Oh, Colin," rolled over and went back to sleep because I figured I could get at least twenty more minutes of rest before we were thrown out. Amazingly, either the security guard never reported us or the management of the hotel decided to give us a break because nobody ever came to kick us out. All six of us ate breakfast in the hotel dining room later that morning, I cadged my usual yogurt and banana for lunch in the van and we rolled out for the next gig. We were never blacklisted by the hotel chain and nothing ever came of the incident.

Thank you, Mr. Security Guard, wherever you are today.

© 2012 Ricki C.

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