It was April 8th 2009 in Arlington, VA and we were in a short run through the great Northeast with Superdrag. The show at Champion Billiards was not with Superdrag, it was a show we got on the way up to New York to make a buck and eat up some ride time. We get to the place and it has a parking garage style lot below the club, conveniently enough equipped with an elevator to get folks and material upstairs quicker. After finding a primo parking spot about two spaces down from said elevator and confirming that it works from a bartender we proceed to load our gear aboard.
After the man said the elevator works good after the cold weather is over, due to the oil in the hydraulic system congealing, we put three guitar amps and an entire drum-set on the side upstairs. On top of all that gear we got all the guitars as well as myself, Robbie Trosper, and Jason Knight for the short seemingly simple ride. Two floors…don’t seem like much can go wrong does it, well it can before the hat hits the floor. We load on and start up; we probably don’t get halfway before we hear two loud pops and the elevator stops (so much for the working order of this musicians dumb-waiter). Here we are, Robbie, Jason, and I stuck on the elevator and the boys don’t care for it one bit, I can’t say as I do either, but what can we do at this point. We deal with it best we can.
After a brief standstill in a steel box I decide to break the ice. Robbie doesn’t like claustrophobic situations, and we were definitely in one at this point. Jason (a man of great stature) and Robbie were sweating profusely. Taking up the precious oxygen left in the “box” (haha) me being me, I offered some comfort to the guys. I says “If we fall, we can only fall about 8 or 9 feet, and that ain’t enough to kill us (maybe our gear, but not us)” to absolute silence inside the assumed coffin we were stuck in. My next attempt was much more realistic and cinematic, I grabbed a guitar case and told them worse come to worse; we’d leave like they do in the movies. To my surprise a panel opened up when I pressed the guitar case against the ceiling and said, “See, we can get out this way.”
All this time Mic and Vance are corresponding from the bottom to top floor concerning our whereabouts. After two trades on “Where are they?” and “They’re not here.” The alarm sounds on the elevator (compliments of Trosper) and they know where we are. Mic was upstairs, so I guess he went and got the man with the key to unlock the engine room to this horrid beast. When we heard two more loud pops we knew we were either going to drop the feared 8 or 9 feet or be saved from this give out situation. We landed safely.
Upon touchdown Robbie and Jason got the hell off that elevator and would not set foot back on it. I told them I would try to ride back up with the gear (since I knew the way out) and it got stuck again. We already had the combination of the man with the key and the stairs as a backup, so we couldn’t lose. Third try that crazy elevator decided to take the gear to its’ respected destination. And I’ll have to admit I jumped off like one of the Mercury astronauts what had the right stuff. Sometime later during that same road trip Robbie told me “I love you man…but I’m not sure I’ll ever get in an elevator with you again,” after that said ordeal in Arlington VA. Even after I proved to the both of them that we could leave through the roof, just like in the movies. Hell, in my book you just can’t beat experiences like that.
I can’t anyway.