From the deepest bowels of a white Chevy child molester van, The Dusty’s on tour with teen pop sensation The Bravery, bring you tales from the road- think Oregon Trail with eyeliner.
And now The Dustys….
Driving all night from east to west has one massive advantage: you get to see the sunrise behind you. It helps if your van keeps shutting off while you’re driving, pulling you off to the side of the road, then starting back up again as if nothing was ever wrong. You’re trying to make it to Denver where you have no idea what is waiting for you there.
When it comes up you may pull off the highway in Topeka Kansas. You take the car to a body shop where it looks like they haven’t had a customer in 6 months. There’s a wacky wailing arms flailing inflatable man on the thrift store roof next door, where you go and buy a silk hat that claims someone named the “Bama Band” “Kicks Ass.” Then across the street in a classic mid-west bar made of wood and stuffed animal skulls you can smoke and drink at 11am and the only other patrons are tough farm grandmas who eavesdrop and ask you the name of your band and cheers you and grin and you eat cheeseburgers.
According to the mechanic, nothing is wrong with the van. It just shuts off every few hours. You tape post-it notes all around to remind it and you not to break down: Don’t Break Down they say. So you drive to Denver where the mountains are incidental–nobody mentions them because they are slightly embarrassed about them, like beautiful goiters. You play a show in front of 500+ curious teenagers and lit soccer moms, then abscond with the headliners to a bar appropriately called Benders where insanely blind drunk bikers mumble the lyrics to Comfortably Numb on a karaoke stage and excited emo chicks with giant poofy greasy dos ask you to feel their haircuts and you run and hide in the back of the van.
You sleep in the only hotel you plan to get for six weeks, stealing towels, mouthwash, even the needle and thread. And then you drive to Minneapolis, pausing every few hours to break down and pray and study the sticky notes. Somewhere near the outskirts of Lincoln it hits you–what happened last night? You played a show? On a giant stage filled with other bands equipment? You looked into faces filling with joy or boredom or biting lips with sudden metal fury during the rock bits and danced a little and bought CDs and made noise when you asked them HOWUDOINGTONIGHT and it was rock and roll. It was rock and roll for real, and the sun goes down behind a massive sign, a prairie museum, a fully modern rest stop with plastic dinosaurs and you have 700 miles to drive tonight through America, and 6 more weeks of wandering, which is 42 sunsets and 42 sunrises on fields or mountains or streets jabbed with trash. Get some sleep, you have work to do tomorrow.