Nature has wonderful ways of regularly dumping on us performers and mostly for good purpose.
That purpose, I think, is to help us keep our feet on the ground; to encourage us not to become swollen-headed because things are going well. It serves to keep us humble. A lot of entertainers need a regular dose of this.
Thankfully, for Ray, Kevin and I, the lessons seem to be inherently taught without personal harm and quite often with tasty hints of humor.
I’m now thinking about one particular occasion. We were doing a show at Bert Church Theatre in Airdrie, Alberta on October 11, 1999. Hopefully someone is saying, “Ah, I was there”. Things had gone so joyfully smooth all day. We had an easy load-in, uncomplicated sound check, nice supper, good merchandise sales and a sold out show. What more could you want? It was a wonderful start to a twelve day tour that would take us around Alberta with a couple of stops in Northern Ontario. We felt good.
After the show we loaded the instruments into the van and headed to Calgary airport where we intended to store them over night for an early morning flight. Jim, our agent at the time, was driving and Blackmore and I were carrying on with our usual foolishness which of course is the genesis of a lot of our show material. Ray, in usual form, was yawning and trying to ignore the lunacy; it was four minutes past his bedtime.
All of a sudden I experienced an intense taste on my lips and noticed a light brown substance forming on the windshield. It seemed we were driving into a peculiar mist. Jim turned to me and commented on the awful foul odor in the air, enough to turn your stomach. “What’s the smell, man?”
We quickly realized that we were driving behind a cattle truck and one mother of an animal had just let go a bladder load of urine which sprayed the entire van.
So, there we were, the rock stars in us expecting to be sprayed by champagne and what do we get? – a cow piss shower! Oh well, humbled again.