An unfortunate sequence of events occurred in the hours before our show in Santa Fe, New Mexico:
1.) Catering served tacos for dinner.
2.) The plumbing at the entire Paolo Soleri amphitheater went down, rendering the bathrooms useless.
The worst part is that not only the Gusters, but all the John Mayer and John Butler Trio band members are pre-show poopers. You get pretty regular when you’re on a catered tour. With about an hour until set time, here was the situation:
* Paolo Soleri is in the middle of nowhere… dirt roads, etc. (there was nowhere else to shit)
* There were four toilets backstage, but none of them could flush.
* There was the regular civilian bathroom at the top of the amphitheater but those toilets were out of order too.
* There were three port-o-potties in the venue.
* The venue promoter said the plumbing would be restored within an hour.
I have a huge fear of port-o-potties, so my first instinct was to just crap in the backstage toilet and not flush it, leaving the stink there for every subsequent shit-maker to inhale. But I couldn’t do that. It’s wrong. It’s right next to the dressing rooms. Besides, the plumbing was supposed to be fixed momentarily. So I waited. And with twenty-five minutes to showtime, I thought about maybe just holding it and playing the gig weighed down. Then (comment dit-on en englais?) “it became apparent to me that this was no longer a valid option” and I decided I would just face the port-o-potty demons and get it over with. The sun was just beginning to set but I knew it would be dark down in The Hole. The Hole never sees the sun. It is always night in The Hole.
So I went into the crowd and walked up the steps to the back where the three port-o-potties were located and wouldn’t you know that there was a line of about fifty people waiting to get into those things. Of course there was — the bathrooms were out of order. Duh. Now what does one do? Show the kids in the front of your line your laminate and explain that you need to cut because you’re on stage in fifteen minutes? No. You go back to the backstage toilets and do your business and let someone else flush it once the plumbing comes back.
But when I got backstage, all four toilets were already filled with band turds. It smelled horrible. I blame Dave, John’s bass player, who shat in all four toilets. Anyway, now we have a whole new dilemma. Pile shit on top of shit?
You bet. But not before placing a wad of toilet paper on top of the water in the toilet so as to avoid the dreaded “splashback.” And I shat, and I wiped, and I felt light as a feather on stage, and when I got off the stage the plumbing was back, my turds were flushed, and New Mexico lived happily ever after.
Good God, I’ve just lost three quarters of my road journal audience.