August 22, 2004 01:25 AM
As I write this, I am aware of some serious sleep deprivation. Today as I was driving back from Whole Foods on Highway 19, I had that heavy sensation you get when you could fall asleep at the wheel. It reminded me of some long drives I did in Swans when the band was sleeping and I was at the wheel for 9 hours after a gig, utterly wasted and zombie eyed , pedal to the metal. The fun part was arriving at the venue to find that the dressing room was dirty and the motel was too far away to go to before the show and the sink was backed up at the venue and so you had to do the show sweaty from beyond exhausted – and unshowered. Welcome to ROCK, people. It is a glamorous life. So this is the way it was for a longtime. Things did actually improve…. I remember one drive all night coming into NYC back from a gig in Toronto and we hit a major snowstorm/blizzard. Yes, I was at the wheel. Yes, the band was asleep and had no idea that I was having a damn hard time keeping us on the icy road. Or that earlier I had fallen asleep at the wheel and was veering out of the lane under a huge truck when he hit his hydraulic brakes and woke me up abruptly just in time to yank the steering wheel back onto the lane. This particular occasion involved me taking the wheel at 3 A.M. after loading out after a gig and then driving us past Niagara Falls and down into New York state only to encounter flurries. Flurries that became a major snow bank – and inability to see the front of the vehicle , much less the road ..
I thought we would die in this blizzard. Miraculously, a huge 16 wheeler impossible to miss came in front of us from the side of the road and he led us to a small tavern for truckers where the band spent the entire blizzard drinking heavily.
Except for yours truly who gulped black coffee.