A Bus Tale.
on tour with david in 1990, a stadium full of wild people
would be screaming their eyeballs out (not a pretty image, is it?)
at the end of our encores,
not knowing we were already leaving the building in our comfy bus.
the tour bus becomes the social apex of everyone's life.
a place where you get to know one another in cheerful conversations.
first everyone on the bus would choose his or her delight;
perhaps a fresh yogurt, or a slice of cake, maybe a bourbon and coke
with a microwaved popcorn.
and the fun would begin.
all bus environments are unique to its inhabitants*.
for a while on the bowie bus,
some of us made a habit of settling in at nights in the front lounge
to watch episodes of twin peaks the current tv series rage.
david was friends with david lynch and so had copies of the shows.
the day rides on the bus were equally entertaining.
david was a sparkling conversationalist who loved current affairs.
often he would know the person in the gossip column
"elton was recently photographed buying garter belts in..."
and I liked hearing the tales (and telling a few)
almost as much as our bus driver
hoot had driven for willie, waylon, and all the boys.
he wore a cowboy hat with curly white/gray locks down to his shoulders.
if you sat at the front he would tell you bus tales while he drove.
like the time he handcuffed a guy to the bus grill
so he could go get the police to arrest him.
or the time he let the air out of the tires
so they could barely make it beneath an underpass.
I witnessed my favorite of his bus tales.
we had just driven into chicago in thick mid-day traffic.
a nice sunny day.
we were staying at the Ambassador West Hotel,
site of an infamous movie scene between Cary Grant
and Eve Saint Marie in Hitchcock's north by northwest.
( a few years later they once gave me and martha
the Frank Sinatra Suite, a incredible penthouse on the top floor)
but anyway, we were all huddled at the front of the bus
waiting to disembark for the hotel and our day off.
the bus was slowly crossing the intersection
between ambassador east and ambassador west
at about 12 miles per hour.
hoot turned to us, his audience, and said,
"welp, congratulate me now, ya'll,
I've just become a member of the million mile club.
...one million miles without.."
he was about to say 'without an accident'
but he had just rear-ended a parked car in front of the valet stand!
it was the only time I saw him speechless.
*more on this later.