Road Rash Tour Story: Keith Wampler

Earlier this year, only two weeks into our album release tour for “Monument Of Misery”, we had been doing well financially. The turn outs from the shows had been great and we had just finished up a killer show at Rockhouse Bar & Grill in El Paso, TX. We were heading to Austin, TX for the next show the following day. Early in the morning most of the band woke up to the bus pulling over to the side of the road and our driver yelling “Fuck” over and over again. We get out of the bus to see about 200 yards worth of oil all over the road that had come from our bus and oil and water were just dumping from the engine. We were just outside of Ozona, TX also known as the middle of nowhere still 4 hours from Austin with a blown engine. I called Skylar of Reign who we were on tour with since he was the promoter for that night’s show to let him know what had happened and that we were more than likely not gonna make it. He told me they weren’t far behind us and they showed up about 20 minutes later to help. We ended up all cramming into Reign’s van and leaving our drummer Charles with the bus, we dropped Ron and Katie off at a Uhaul Store to rent a box truck and the rest of us rode with Reign all the way to Austin and waited at the venue. Charles, Ron, and Katie loaded everything from the bus (personal items, gear, merch, etc.) into the back of the box truck and drove to Austin to meet us at the club where we had to unload right away to get set up before doors opened. The bus, our home for the past several years had to be abandoned on the side of the road since there was nowhere within 70 miles to even scrap it. After playing Come and Take It Live in Austin that night we all crammed into the back of the box truck and rode with the gear to a nearby hotel where we stayed for the night. Katie had spoken with a dealership the day before about selling us a van first thing the next morning because we had to make it for an early load in at Purge Fest in Houston, TX the following day. Skylar had agreed to rent us his spare trailer to use for the remainder of the tour. Katie and I took an uber to the dealership in the morning and the box truck dropped off a few more of the guys there with us and left to get to Houston on time for the festival load in. After waiting 5 hours at this dealership doing all the paperwork and even putting down a deposit the van breaks down in the parking lot and they tell us it’s unsafe for them to sell it in this condition and in addition they wouldn’t be able to refund our deposit for 5 business days. We flipped out screaming inside the dealership at the salesman, manager, and owner and after scaring everyone in the building we got our refund as well as a ride to the Austin airport to rent a car and drive 100mph all the way to Houston showing up just in time to paint up and go on stage. Another killer show and we drove both vehicles to Dallas for our next show. After the show in Dallas we got a hotel again and our show the following day in New Orleans was cancelled due to flooding which bought us a little time to figure this out. We end up finding and buying a van in Dallas which had to be driven to Austin to pick up the rental trailer. Had to return the box truck to Austin because if it was returned in Dallas, they were going to charge an extra $600 fee, and the rental car had to be returned to the Austin airport. Once all of that was done, everything was loaded in the van and trailer and we hit the road. It was too late to make it to our next show in Knoxville, TN so we basically ended up having to make a drive from Austin, TX straight to Youngstown, OH to meet back up with our own tour. We were able to finish the remaining 36 dates of the “Monument Of Misery” tour successfully and in the end it all worked out somehow. That was just proof of where there’s a will there’s a way and no matter how shitty things look there is a way to make them better and continue. – Keith Wampler (The Convalescence – Vocals)

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