After spending a day in the hospital and trudging through the last week recovering from an appendectomy, a bit of good news is definitely in order. August Premier officially has a release date for their new record and I cannot be more excited. “Happy Miserable” is slated to be released on March 27th. Go to www.facebook.com/augustpremier to check out some fun stuff about it. In honor of this wonderful news, I thought it would be fitting to relive one of my most favorite August Premier memories, if only in a few paragraphs….
Lawrence, Kansas is a fairly typical college town. Loud yet sleepy, rebellious yet conservative, and large but with a small town feel, it has a decently thriving music scene and is home to the well known rock venue, The Bottleneck. We were on the road with August Premier and Lucky Boys Confusion, churning up the south and midwest before landing at The Bottleneck for the night. The crowd was great, the show was a success, and the promoter was gracious enough to allow us unlimited access to the PBR tap behind the bar.
I was on stage tearing down my gear and packing some things away when I noticed a tall, disheveled looking kid frantically run inside the venue. He spotted me up on stage and ran over. “Hey did Allister already play?” he asked. I told him that the show had ended and he was about 20 minutes too late. “Damn!” he cried, “you guys are my favorite band! I can’t believe I missed it.” I asked him how he could possibly miss the show if we were indeed his “favorite” band. “Well, today is actually my 21st birthday and I’ve been partying all day on my bus,” he told me. “Your bus?” I asked. “Yeah, my bus,” he said. “I rented a party bus to celebrate my birthday and we’ve basically been driving around all day riding the bus and getting drunk.” “Sounds like a good time,” I told him.
All of sudden his eyes lit up and he got this huge grin on his face. “Hey, I know! Why don’t you guys come and hang out on my party bus? That would be the ultimate birthday present!” he said to me. I was a little leary but it sounded like it could potentially be a good time. “What would we have to do?” I asked him. “Nothing! All you have to do is get on the bus. We have at least three coolers stocked with beer and the bus stops for a few minutes at various local bars so we can go in, get beers, and move on to the next one,” he said. “You guys can drink all the beer you want on the bus and you don’t have to pay for anything.” Now, of course, I was hooked. “Ok, give me ten minutes to pack up my gear, gather the guys, and we’ll meet you out front,” I told him.
Nobody else from Allister was into the idea of spending the night on a party bus, so I grabbed the August Premier guys and we met the kid out in front of the venue. Sure enough, idling in front of us was a massive yellow school bus, stocked with coolers of beer and about 6 or 7 of the kid’s friends. Being the drunken, crass, loudmouths that we are, we immediately began guzzling beers from the cooler and yelling at people out the windows of the bus. We drained beer after beer until the first cooler was gone and we started in on the second. We were all getting good and drunk while seeing the sights of Lawrence. We stopped at the first bar and decided it would be a good idea to all order pints, slam them down, and then secretly take the pint glasses back to the bus as souvenir tokens of our time in Lawrence. We stopped at a few other bars, staying only long enough to slam a pint and take a piss.
We all finally got back on the bus and it quickly became clear that the kid’s friends were getting rather annoyed with us. They seemed to be part of the stereotypical fraternity/sorority crowd and weren’t digging the rock and roll antics. They were also getting pissed because we were drinking all of the beer for free while they each had to pay something like $50 each for the right to ride the bus and get drunk all day. The kid who had invited us wasn’t really sure what to do. Words were exchanged and things began to get a little heated. The next thing I remember is beer flying everywhere. Bottles and stolen pint glasses were getting tossed out the windows of the bus, shattering on the street as we made our way down the road. The fraternity/sorority group cowered in the back of the bus while we systematically destroyed it. We were yelling and throwing things out the window, drinking what was left of the beer, and hanging ourselves out the emergency back door, drunkenly yelling at the passing cars. It was a rowdy good time.
The party bus/bar crawl finally came full circle and ended up back at The Bottleneck. The kid politely asked us to get off the bus but the damage had been done. The beer was gone and the bus was a wreck. The kid’s friends were furious but we were elated. I haven’t been back to Lawrence since the night of the infamous party bus, but if I ever do make it back to The Bottleneck and another massive yellow party bus pulls up, you can be sure to count me in.
I’ve finally posted some of the new solo stuff I’ve been working on for the better part of the last year. It’s available for download at www.timrogner.bandcamp.com. I’m in the process of booking some shows so check back often, as I’ll post them once they’re confirmed. Hope you all had a lovely new year. I spent mine sitting on my couch drinking whiskey….