Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Watershed and The Strange Case of the Somnabulistic Stickman Streaker

It was the mid-2000's, I was on the road with Watershed somewhere in the South.  (Colin and I were recently discussing the fact that "Somewhere In The South" might not have been a bad back-up title or subtitle for the upcoming Watershed book, Hitless Wonder, penned by bassist and co-founder Joe Oestreich.)  (Wait a minute; now that I think about it I just remembered that we were always either somewhere in the South in the middle of the summer or in Marquette, Michigan, way the fuck up in the Upper Peninsula, north of some parts of Canada, in the winter.  Those Watershed boys just had no concept of temperate zones.)  As usual we were six to a room, everybody was asleep except Biggie, who was working away on the computer when I dozed off.  What seemed like only a few minutes later I woke up to some kind of ruckus in the room.  Biggie was dashing by the bed I was in towards the room door and I said, "What's wrong?  Is it the van?"  (I think I had just been dreaming the van was being broken into, a paranoid roadie-dream I used to have all the time on the road.)  "It's fine, go back to sleep," Biggie said over his shoulder as I heard him go out the door and into the hall, still running.

A couple of minutes later, before I could fall asleep again, Biggie led drummer Dave Masica back into the room and got him to lay down in his sleeping bag.  (Dave, owing to back problems, always slept in a sleeping bag on the floor of our Courtyard Marriott rooms.  See Colin and The Stairwell, January 2012 blog entry.)  This shepherding of the drummer by the road manager was unusual in and of itself, but was made even more unusual by two facts: 1) Drummer Masica was stark naked, and 2) Drummer Masica was still sound asleep.

It turned out that Biggie was computing away when Dave got up out of his sleeping bag and started looking around the hotel room.  "Is everything okay, Dave?" Biggie asked, but instead of replying Dave walked over and started hugging the television set.  Realizing that this was anything but a normal night on the road, Biggie nervously repeated, "Dave, you okay buddy?" as Dave started walking towards the bathroom.  (Biggie told me later that his main fear at that point was that Dave was gonna start pissing all over everything in the room.)

Instead of going into the bathroom, however, the next thing Biggie knew the door was closing behind Dave's bare buttocks as he exited the room.  That was the point at which Biggie woke me up dashing outside to retrieve Dave.  Once in the hall Biggie realized that Dave was sleepwalking and that he had to find a way to guide him back inside our room.  (I'd have paid money to see Biggie and Dave in that hallway, encountering some other late-night Marriott guests.)

None of the rest of the band woke up throughout the entire episode.  When we related the story to Dave the next morning he had no recollection of the hallway incident.  "Oh yeah, I do that sometimes," he said matter-of-factly of the sleepwalking, "just wake me up if it happens again."

Less than two months from now I will be back on the road with Watershed.  I will turn 60 years old in the course of that tour.  I am SO looking forward to the trip.

Watershed, somewhere in the South, summer 2005
left to right; Pooch, Biggie, Colin, Dave and Joe

ps.  Apropos of that June Watershed trip, there is a Kickstarter link to raise funds for tour support.  Click here and help us ruin our lives.

© 2012 Ricki C.

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