Chapter One - I Was A Roadie - Page 3
By the end of the night we would be in some fluoro-lit fibro motel room with a ceiling fan and a breakfast hatch on the wall, keeping the rest of the place awake with booze and girls, yelling and smoking. Sometimes an enraged father would arrive with a couple of uncles, looking for Darlene, Debbie or Donna. Sometimes we would get run out of town by the police.
Some of the bigger bands played extremely hot gigs packed with thousands of punters. There were no controls on venues, no noise laws, and no reason to cool down a hot crowd who would drink more. Press reports had some rock stars needing oxygen side-stage. We carried a tank alright, but it wasn’t oxygen, it was nitrous oxide. You could buy it anywhere they sold industrial gas, no questions asked. We bought CO2 gas for our Genie foggers and pneumatic lighting stands. So adding on a cylinder of nitrous was easy. If they asked, we said it was for the caterer, since they used it to whip cream. Sucking a face full of that stuff gave you a rush, but it also knocked you out. I had a balloon full one night after a gig and woke up after hitting the floor. I was being tenderly ministered by a girl—her care extended beyond a bandaid.
Some girls respond well to blood, it seems.
We were primitive. But the conditions were too. Air conditioning wasn't common. Deodorant was Uncle Sam, or Brut 33. The truck was petrol-engined with four on the floor. Power brakes were a luxury, power steering very optional. The truck cabin had a vinyl bench seat, no heater, no radio, and no air vents.
Phones were made of Bakelite and phone numbers had six digits. To call interstate or overseas you needed an operator. Air tickets were crazy expensive, and exactly the same price on TAA or Ansett. Even the flights left at the same time—Australia had a two-airlines system that was totally regulated. Two competing DC9s would take off from somewhere ridiculous, like Proserpine, and land at the same time in Brisbane.