Vintage Vacation: Road Trips from Hell with Blast-Off Burlesque, Part 3: Barbilicious Gets Lost in Texas

Barbilicious performs with LUST. Photo courtesy of Barbilicious.

With Blast-Off Burlesque’s World Tour about to take off this weekend at 7 Stages (if you haven’t bought tickets yet, book ‘em here! Only two more shows on Sat at 7:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.), we asked those gorgeous gals and guys about their craziest real-life travel experiences. And did they have some stories to tell—from wicked weather to dodgy directions.

In the third of this three-part series, Barbilicious was having a great time on tour with her band LUST until she headed to a rather unusual gig in Canyon, Texas…

Road Trips with my band LUST have always brought surprises, victories, defeats, and just plain weirdness. We used to take an annual West Coast Tour and go from Atlanta to the West Coast and back. A big loop that rolls down to New Orleans, then up through TX, NM, AZ and CA. Texas is a HUGE state, so in between Houston, Dallas, Austin and our favorite El Paso, there are little entertainment-starved places like Canyon, TX.

Canyon is a beautiful place located in Central TX, and cold as hell in February. After a wonderful show in Lubbock, TX, where we played for a couple of Black Metal dudes and their girlfriends in a room in a house, and had a grand tour of Buddy Holly‘s high school gym, we are looking forward to what Canyon would bring. Of course, we are pretty much broke, gas is expensive, and we need to get to the next place, so anywhere to play is always going to be better than not playing, right?

Dickie Van Dyke & Barbilicious. Photo credit: Derek Jackson.

Where’s the gig? It’s a little ambiguous, but we do have a phone number. After some phone tagging and crackly connections, we get directions. This was before smart phones and Google maps, so we get to pull out the ole’ paper one. Why that seems to be right in the middle of a State Park. Another call, wait don’t go there, go here instead. Why, that seems to be another State Park. It’s getting dark, and really cold, it’s 28 degrees, and yes, we’re playing in a State Park. Illegally.

There is more confusion, what gazebo will we be playing at? We need one with an outlet. There are no lights, the park is closed, it’s fucking freezing. After winding around the park, we finally pull up to a gazebo, where our headlights catch glimpse of a young punker pacing back and forth, all bundled up, and waiting for us to arrive.

So yeah, we are playing….here. We begin to unload, he plugs a rickety PA and one mic, luckily we have a power strip, and he brought a lamp so people could see us. He assured us kids are coming. We set up, we have a little debate over costuming, as that’s our whole thing, but it’s too frigid’ cold, we layer up and throw on some XL LUST shirts over about 5 layers, and we wait.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, headlights appear over the hill, about 4-5 cars arrive with about 25 kids, ready to hear music, no drinking, no crazy partying, they just want to hear some music, and go nuts for a minute. We played for about 30 minutes, my fingers are numb, my guitar is out of tune, and I keep getting shocked by the mic. The kids are going nuts, they start a mini mosh pit under the gazebo, they scream for more. The show ends, they each purchase everything we have to sell; a CD, a t-shirt, a button and a sticker, and they all go home.

Barbilicious with her other current band, Burt and the Bandits.

So yeah, that was awesome, but now we need a place to stay. In the middle of no where, no hotel money, and by now 18 degrees, sleeping in the van is not an option. Our young friend arranges us lodging in his friend’s trailer. To make a long story shorter; we wind up huddled together in a heatless trailer, on a box spring in the middle of the “kitchen” along side some methed-out teens who won’t need to sleep this evening. There is a giant hole to watch out for on your way to use the toilet, and the fireplace gets a little out of control sometime in the middle of the night. Oh, and yeah, we might have to vacate really early, as the landlord is coming to evict them in the morning. Susanne and I huddle under a blanket with our drummer in between us, both on our cell phones to our boyfriends, crying.

As the sun rises on a frosty morning, we high-tail it out of Canyon for Amarillo. The joy of touring, and you know even though it kinda sucked at the time, it was an experience I’ll never forget.

Oh, and I think there was a blinding dust storm on our way to Amarillo that tripled our drive time, if I’m not mistaken.

Read Vintage Vacation:  Road Trips from Hell with Blast-Off Burlesque, Part 1: Blizzard in North Carolina here.

Read Vintage Vacation: Road Trips from Hell with Blast-Off Burlesque: World Tour Guest Star Jim Stacy Goes Fishing here.

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