Max Havoc – Heavy Metal Bar Band. Part 5.
1987 – Four guys and a crew playing Heavy Metal 6 nights a week in Top 40 bars throughout Western Canada. Making no money. Obviously.
Coming up with a band name is always difficult, and you can NEVER get everyone to agree. We managed to come up with 3 names but were deadlocked.
I sent all three to our booking agent, told him to pick one and have the first bar we were playing simply put it on their Marquee. Problem solved.
This was a great name for a heavy metal band, too bad half the places we were playing would rather listen to Top 40.
Sunday, Midnight till 8 AM.
Recap – January 1987, just north of Red Deer Alberta, driving from Edmonton.
Under normal circumstances, Red Deer is a 1.5 hour drive from Edmonton.
We were about 15 hours into what was supposed to be a 10 hour drive to Fernie BC.
The temperature inside the bus is about 30 below zero, plus (or is it minus) around 1000 degrees below outside (with the wind chill factor).
The bus heating system is broken, as is the fan belt, plus the bus had been rear ended and was now sitting dead on the side of the road, presumably about to be rear ended again.
The sound man and I decided to hitch-hike into town and send a taxi back, leaving strict instructions to stay put until help arrived. No cell phones in those days so we could easily become separated, and there was no way 8 of us were going to get a ride into town. We quickly got a ride and immediately sent a taxi back for the others. The cab returned; the bus was empty and no note was found.
Obviously one of us should have stayed back to ensure Dave or New Drummer were not making decisions for the group. Idiots – referring to me and the sound man of course.
The two of us stayed put in the warm truck stop restaurant and pondered where they might be and how to get in touch with them.
Kate! Dave and Kate may or may not have been together at that time but there was no way Dave would pass up an opportunity to see Kate since she lived right here in Red Deer. Not that she would be any help whatsoever getting the bus fixed. We caught up with them around 8 AM.
The bus was WARM! Dave had managed to get the bus into a shop, gotten it unfrozen again, had a new fan belt installed, tightened the heating system clamps; we were once again on our way!
We dropped off Kate at her place and while there I suggested Dave check the level on the cooling / heating system and top it up with anti-freeze since it was likely that an air pocket had worked it’s way through the system by this time. Great idea – we don’t want to get on the highway and have no heat again!
The hood on the bus had been problematic for some time; Dave, having consulted his bus maintenance schedule, decided not to fix it as was his standard practice. Why use the factory installed hood latch when a screwdriver worked, sort of?
Up to this point the screwdriver method had been irritating but functional; this time however things worked out differently.
I was in the drivers seat and Dave was attempting to open the hood when he was assaulted with a massive spray of anti-freeze, boiling water and steam. Seems he had punctured the radiator in three places. Not sure how he managed three.
Once again, no f’n heat. And no time to try and get a new radiator, if that was even possible. On the plus side it was getting light out and that meant the temperature would rise to a balmy minus 15 degrees, minus the minus 1000 degrees wind chill factor of course.
Did I mention we were somewhat cold?
More adventures with Max(imum) Havoc coming next week.