I’m in my Justin Bieber-y kinda sorta bowl cut phase, wearing a bright blue sweater, H&M scarf and truck stop sunglasses indoors. It’s 2012, at the Flamingo Hotel on the Vegas Strip, and I’m being filmed literally singing the praises of our former keyboardist, who’s passed out in the hallway. Our singer, who passed out like a champ at 7pm, has puked and rallied and is ready for anything. Anything, in this case, involves impromptu attempted cloth lines, giggling fits and solo missions for vodka Red Bulls.
It’s our first time in Vegas as a band, and we’re excited. The gig’s officially full time (we’re really doing it, Mom!) and we’re given permission to fire up the van and GO. Show after show, one off after one off, obliterated truck stop restroom after obliterated truck stop restroom.
There’s no way of appreciating the fatigue and homesickness this kind of schedule invites until you’re fully in it. Later that summer, I'd experience my first “oh shit oh shit what’s going on” moment. There was, of course, no processing time before the road gobbled us back up, and I absent-mindedly drifted away from my previous life and the people in it. The dust would settle 300+ shows later and I’d find myself somewhere, well, different.
Our former keyboardist's now rallied and we’re puffing on cigars, exuberantly annoying fellow Strip stumblers. He splits off in search of a strip club and I’m left on my own. Under a somber moon, the noisy street washed in neon, I’m just a kid in an ill-fitting sweater with a lousy haircut, about as invincible as paper in a fire.