The band at that time consisted of John Duich on lead guitar, Terry Wathen on drums, and Pickles Piekarski
Bumped into Pickles
on the way back to our apartment at 132 Amstelstraat, drank with him, came back home.
John winded, had fallen behind, and Pickles
had been not far behind him in the terminal, he
said, so we laughed at the idea of Pickles
sitting alone down in Economy, wondering where we were.
We soon sent a flight attendant down to find him and let him know where we were at.He
wasn't on the plane.
Meanwhile, back in the airport, after we had checked in, things for Pickles
had moved at a little different pace.For one thing, apparently in all the bustle it hadn't occurred to him how late we were.For another thing, Pickles
may be one of the slowest shoppers on the planet - on the road, he
'll be standing inside the Amoco
meditating on which bag of chips to buy long after the rest of the band has gassed the van, cleaned the windows, gone to the bathroom, bought junk food, and belted in again - and, here's the problem: he was shopping.We had been so busy that most of the band had had very little time to pick up gifts for friends back home, and as he
passed the Duty Free shop Pickles
had bought nothing for his
parents or his
decided to get them something.He
name over the loudspeakers.He
dropped both bottles of perfume he
was deliberating over and came running.The plane had backed from the gate, but was sitting there.
The trip had been a huge success ... and every now and then someone would remember Pickles
is, of course, our band's resident gourmet chef, and he
spices with him.He's
also pretty disorganized, so the ziplock bags were opened and mixing with the dirty socks.It looked like a DEA agent's dream drug bust when he
...We started the show by telling stories of the trip, of Pickles missing the plane, why Tommy was there on bass.
had gone to the KLM counter to follow us on the next flight, but was told the next flight was the next day.He
began to panic.Then it turned out that in the rush checking in he
had been given John's ticket, which of course didn't match the name on his
was forced to purchase a ticket to New York, flying into JFK, and a ticket to Chicago out of LaGuardia.But there wasn't enough time between the two flights to get from one airport to the other.He
bought the tickets anyway.
Arriving at JFK, he
had OJ'ed through the airport, jumped into a cab and yelled, "My plane to Chicago leaves LaGuardia in 25 minutes!"The guy had jammed the pedal to the metal.Halfway between airports, as the cab driver on a personal mission from hell was driving down the shoulder of the highway at 85 miles an hour to pass a truck, Pickles
picked himself up from the floor of the cab and shouted, "I'll miss the plane - slow down, I'm going to be sick!"The cabbie said, "Don't worry, you are in no danger to be missing the plane," cut off the truck, swerved in front of another cab, and slashed through three lanes of traffic to make the entrance ramp to the airport.
The stage of the Elbo Room, as I mentioned, is in the basement.The stairway is on the opposite end of the room from the stage.As the band kicked into the first chords of "Trying Too Hard To Be A Gentleman," our first song, we saw Pickles
come walking down the steps.We lurched to a stop.There was a short silence, and the audience followed our stunned gaze back toward the stairs, then parted like the Red Sea to let Pickles
pass through to the stage.
...Pickles Piekarski: bass and vocal
Contemporary thanks to Sulena Tipitina, Jeff Crowell, Duane Fencl and the 1998 Bad Examples: Rob Newhouse, Pickles
Piekarski, John Richardson, and Steve Wozny.
Strange, but true: Rob Newhouse was having a beer at the Elbo Room when Pickles
walked down the stairs.