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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Journey to CMJ 2011: the true story of a band on the road: Part 1

What they tell you in books, what you see in the movies... those aren't the real stories. When the average person thinks of a band on tour, they imagine spacious tour buses, security guards, thousands of screaming fans awaiting them wherever they go, and massive drug-filled parties in ritzy hotel rooms that always seem to get trashed before the band leaves. That's just common knowledge, you know? For most fans of big name bands, it's hard to believe that there was ever a time before all of the autograph signings and dressing rooms, all the roadies and luxurious perks. I mean, all of this stuff just comes with the territory, right?

Well, unless that band embarked on their very first rock-filled journey under Disney's label or something similar, the untold stories of their road trips and tours are quite a bit different... and truly, just as interesting! This is a small taste of the true story of going on the road to the CMJ showcase in New York City with awesome local rockers, Misfortune500.

Hardcore as always, the band's plan was to do a straight-shot from Athens to Philadelphia in as little time as possible. In my cozy seat in the back surrounded by amps and luggage, I dozed off and on for thirteen hours between the road games and hilarious conversations that filled our trip. Until early evening, there really wasn't much of anything else to do besides watch the rows of trees speed past our windows and read the occasional road sign featuring names like Backlick and Dimwiddle. As the hours flew by, we knew once we reached our destination that we'd have a place to crash, but all the information we had was that we'd be staying with a man whom none of us had ever met, a man who called himself Bunny. Finally, right around 4 AM, while splitting headaches and an overwhelming sense of exhaustion engulfed us all, we arrived in the lovely Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and navigated our way to our host's house.

Now, Bunny's house was actually just as you'd expect a place owned by such a creatively named man to look like! Art exploded over every surface, and his adorable yet rather insane kitty leapt from statue to statue in the living room where we were to sleep. In the bathroom, a sprawling ceramic mural of a nude woman adorned the wall. Too tired to move, though, we hardly noticed these things as we curled up on the cold, wood floor of the living room beneath a towering nine-foot statue of a very pregnant Virgin Mary that watched us as we alternated between resting and pulling the cat off of our faces. You truly haven't lived until you've experienced a night like this one! And yet, every band who has spent time on the road has a tale to tell much like this one.

The next afternoon, after a short nap in a hard-to-find motel in New Jersey, we wound through the impossibly confusing streets, muddy fields, and toll roads that populated that state as we headed towards our ultimate destination, the NYC! Darkness had already fallen once again by the time we reached the city, but before entering through the Holland Tunnel, we caught glimpses of the Statue of Liberty shining in the distance. I have to admit I'm not normally a person impressed by iconic landmarks, but there was just something about seeing Lady Liberty for the very first time, even if just from afar, that left me a bit emotional and full of hope. I simply couldn't wait to see what the night had in store for us!

Stay tuned for the rest of the story as the band rocks CMJ and more!

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