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Backstage with Baldy

Mansfield – August 14th

Usually, our dauntless tour manager Chuck & I have a runner from the venue pick us up and bring us to the gig in the morning.
This morning however, we ended up having to use the hotel courtesy van.
Here are two things you take for granted when you jump in a hotel courtesy van;
The driver is going to speak English, and the driver is going to know where they’re going.
We were 0 for 2 on that front, but we didn’t find out about either hindrance until we were well on our way.
About a mile or so into the trip, the driver passed a street and began to mumble under her breath. I don’t speak Spanish, but I do speak fluent confusion, and I could tell straightaway we were in trouble. Then in halting, broken English she explained that she didn’t know where the Comcast Amphitheater was, and she began to slow down considerably.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m getting lost, especially on a highway, I like to do it nice and slow.
Fortunately after another mile or two we saw a sign for the amphitheater, but then the road forked and somehow with each firm declaration of the word “left” by Chuck and me, she managed to slow down more and continue to stay to the right.
With words not working, we busted out the hand gestures and pointing.
Chuck was basically doing everything but pulling out those orange flashlights they use at the airport to guide planes into the terminal, I was still screaming “LEFT!!!” In the backseat, and she was somehow managing to still slow down and stay right.
Finally she figured it out and made her way over to the left lane, and we eventually found the parking lot of the venue.
Then this 7 layer cake of frustration got layer number 8 added to it as we pointed her towards a security guard stationed along the road into the parking lot.
She slowed to a stop about 20 feet from the guy, and Chuck pointed to him and indicated that she should pull up to get instructions on where we needed to go from there.
So she pulled up 10 feet.
Chuck repeated the directive.
And she pulled up another 5 feet.
One last directive and another 5 feet later, we arrived at the security guard.
Then we had to explain that she needed to roll down her window, and the layer cake moved into double digits.

He pointed us in the right direction, and we were pretty damn close to our destination when another right/left option presented itself.
For some reason taking a left seemed to be an ongoing problem for her, so as she was hesitating, we spotted the head of festival security driving by on a golf cart.
We waved him down and jumped out of the van like it was the Titanic, and with that, our morning anguish was over.
And although we nearly popped aneurysms during the ordeal, Chuck, the ever benevolent soul that he is, still tipped her.

Once we were safely within the bus parking area of the Comcast Amphitheater, I turned to Chuck, and with glazed over eyes and a voice hoarse from screaming “LEFT!!!”, said, “Today’s blog just wrote itself.”
And it did.

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