I recall a day early on in my Silver Laughter days where I was given the cool job of driving the van with the trailer. I was given instructions to follow Carl Frisch, the other sound and light man, who was in his van with Mick’s tan Chevrolet van pulling the equipment trailer. Now I can’t remember why but there were no other band members with us, just Carl and me. I can’t remember where we were, but as I headed out everything was cool.
Then just before I am to leave town I looked at my gas gauge and realized the van is on empty. I tried to flash my lights at Carl ahead of me to no avail. But I have to stop, so I pulled into a gas station on the edge of town and asked the attendant to put in $20. Now this is 1979 so we still had gas station attendants, but no cell phones! I looked up and Carl is nowhere to be seen.
The attendant approached my driver’s side window to ask for the gas cap key. I frantically looked through the key chain, no cap key. I nervously tried to explain to the attendant, “I don’t have the key, but there must be one in the glove box.”
Not so! Now I started tearing the van’s console, glove box, and anywhere else I could think of apart, but nothing. I looked up hoping maybe Carl noticed I wasn’t following him anymore, and had turned around. No! Well just when you think things couldn’t get any worse they did. One of the community’s finest (police officer) drove into the station and parked right in front of the van.
For just a fleeting second I thought to myself….all right… a policeman… maybe he can help. Now I am not making this up, his exact words to me when he approached was, “O.k. longhair, out of the car”. This officer was thorough, and he searched me, the van and would have searched the trailer… if I had the key!
Well here we go, I’m thinking to myself. I wonder how the food is in the county jail! One last time I looked again in the direction I had last seen the back end of Carl’s van but still no Carl. Then just as the officer was about to cuff and stuff me into his patrol car I see Carl turning into the station. Normally this would have been a really good thing… if Carl had a key to Mick’s gas cap… but he didn’t. So I think, at least I’ll have someone I know to share my cell with. Now Carl is suspected of being my accomplice! (Sorry Carl.)
As it turns out, Carl had to call Mick, I don’t know from where, or how but he did, and in rather short order Mick comes to the rescue with his gas cap key. From then on I never drove that van without knowing I had that key (or Mick) in the van. Just another memory I’ll never forget in my days with Silver Laughter. Something to laugh about,….now!