Max Havoc – Heavy Metal Bar Band Part 2
1987 – Seven guys, an assortment of girlfriends, sometimes their pets (more on this later – there was a boa constrictor at 1 point), bumbling around Western Canada playing Heavy Metal in bars where people wanted to hear Top 40.
Dave’s complete lack of bus maintenance eventually caught up with him and more importantly, the rest of us.
Scene: Edmonton Alberta in January. 15 degrees below zero is a typical daily HIGH temperature for that time of year. 30 below zero when the sun goes down is “normal”, and it is dark for about 16 hours a day.
“Why do you people live here”?
~ Craig Ferguson, upon arrival in Edmonton.
The rest of this story all takes place within a 24 hour period.
Sunday 10 AM till 9 PM
Sunday morning we were to leave Edmonton and of course the bus would not start because the engine was frozen solid due to it having no anti-freeze in the cooling / heating system.
Had Dave checked the anti-freeze level in the radiator? Of course not, even though this had been mentioned to him a few weeks earlier, and again earlier that week, plus anti-freeze is a well known concept in Canada generally. We had even provided him the tool with which to do the testing. Simple and cheap to deal with, you just have to do it.
Since I did the band’s books, I can confirm he received his weekly rent money for the bus, a portion of which was of course, supposed to be used for routine maintenance.
For those of you in southern climates, anti-freeze is exactly what it sounds like – it prevents the motor from freezing.
The difference is in school busses, the same heating / cooling system that keeps the motor running properly is also used to heat the bus interior. Pipes and small radiators with fans are located inside the passenger area to provide all the heat.
The entourage spent the day sitting in the hotel lobby while Dave and New Drummer worked on un-freezing the bus, which when the temperature is minus 15 degrees outside, is apparently quite difficult. Thankfully it only took them about nine hours. Nine hours sitting in a hotel lobby, waiting to begin a 12 hour drive to the next gig.
Yay! They did it… sort of. The bus was running, and we were on our way except for one thing – no heat inside the bus. It was already dark and quickly getting colder, hard to believe if you have never been to Northern Alberta.
Eventually the bus heating system completely un-froze and we had HEAT!, a welcome welcome change.
It was around 9 PM or so when the next in a series of unfortunate incidences happened. The heat it turns out did not last long.
And it was cold – did I mention the cold? 30 below outside plus the wind chill. Since we were travelling down the highway at 60 MPH, there was a substantial wind chill. Minus a thousand degrees or thereabouts.
Stay tuned for more Adventures with Max Havoc, Heavy Metal Morons.