90's Flashback

I usually fill this space with a short story of some random event that happen to me over the past month. However this time around I would like to share a story from my long time friend and Knockout Mouse drummer Mike Carlysle. Mike and I met back in 2001, and since then he has been an important mentor as well as a bandmate. Although I have been playing lots of solo shows these days, Mike still provides the punch for the full band shows with Knockout Mouse and even sits in on the occasional duo show.

Anyway, Mike has been playing in bands for his entire life, and was a full time drummer for more years than he cares to admit to! He was even the drummer for Phil Vassar long before Phil penned all those hits . He has more stories than my truck has dents (and thanks to several anonymous bad drivers,that’s a lot). So here you go - one of my favorite band stories of his:

Once upon a time (back in the 90’s), Mike was in a band called Station to Station. On a hot summer day, they travelled to Camp Springs, Maryland to play a local dive bar called The Hideaway. A week prior, a patron was shot and killed in the parking lot, and the joint was known as being a sketchy watering hole where no one but the locals were made to feel at home. The guys unloaded the van around the time happy hour was beginning. Bandmate Eddie got behind the wheel and was moving the old van to an open parking spot with Mike looking on from the sidewalk. The shagin-wagon was known for leaking oil, which was apparently the cause of the center of this story. Mike happened to notice smoke coming from the hood… followed by massive flames pouring out from under the hood. Eddie hops out and runs instantly inside the bar where he yells “FIRE! OUR VAN IS ON FIRE”. It was pure luck that a group of 15 (drunk) volunteer fire fighters happen to be belly up to the bar at the time. They grabbed a pile of fire extinguishers and ran outside. Within seconds, they pummeled the van with foam, only then looking at the onlooking and dumbfounded band to say “That’s it?”. They were apparently disappointed that it wasn’t a 5-alarm fire with screaming children stranded on fire escapes. The band went inside, got dressed, had dinner, hit the stage on schedule, and had their charred van towed home.

Ahhhhh, the life of a rock star.

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