On New Year's Eve a couple of my friends and I took leave of our senses and climbed into a 15 passenger with two bands and a sound guy and took off for Arizona.
Thankfully, the bands were wonderfully sweet and funny. I knew I was in trouble when I met In Dependence and within seconds I was laughing my head off. I told my family that my jaws were going to hurt after the trip. The group hails from Puerto Rico and because of the craziness of Texas weather they got to experience our cold snaps and missed the good weather. They came just in time for freezing temperatures and then left for Phoenix. While we were there Texas' weather was warm. On Saturday is was in the 80's. They got back in time for it to be in the 30's. They had never seen their breath before. It was really funny. And the drive across Texas, New Mexico, and into Arizona had to be the longest they were ever in a car.
We picked up The J. Walkers in Alvarado. The two bands didn't know each other, but they bonded in about half a second. This was The J. Walkers first road trip as a band and some of them (I won't name names) were whiny buckets before we even got to El Paso. We old timers slapped them around a little and they shaped up. They brought along a frisbee and at every stop jumped out and started a game of Ultimate Frisbee. Now, the boys of In Dependence are Ultimate Frisbee addicts. The J. Walkers are to blame for this.
You haven't truly lived until you've ridden for many, many hours with eight young men singing pop songs at the top of their lungs. I have it recorded. I'm saving it for blackmail material.
We ran into a drug infested gas station between Odessa and El Paso. That shook up everyone. In Sierra Blanca the curator of the town's museum asked for an autographed poster and cd.
Flying back early for a wedding removed me from the return van ride. Thank goodness! I've seen some of the video from The J. Walkers site.
It was hard to send In Dependence back to Puerto Rico. I do know they were excited to get home. Their New Year's Eve was spent driving around in El Paso - lost - with people they barely knew. They usually celebrate surrounded by family.
Both bands impressed me as musicians and as people.
Or, at least until I watched that video.