TALES from the road: Beware of deer in leg warmers

We were having a laugh at the “beware of deer” signs

As my band sets off on a northern B.C. tour, I am thankful we are flying to our destinations. When we were younger we didn’t have that luxury and would usually drive all night between shows.

After one of our first gigs in Vancouver we were returning to our hometown of Kelowna on an all night drive. We were having a laugh at the “beware of deer” signs, joking that the deer on the signs looked like they were dancing and were wearing leg warmers.

Usually at some point on long drives we would get what I called the no-sleep giggles. Almost drunk due to being so exhausted. “Beware of the dancing deer! Ha ha ha!” I was driving at this point.

It must have been midnight and we were just past Penticton. The Okanagan lake was a sheer drop to our right and to our left were towering cliffs of clay. I was tired and in a daze when all of a sudden Kevin screamed, “look out!” Right in front of us in the middle of the road was a whole herd of deer – and they weren’t dancing.

I instinctively jammed on the brakes (supposedly the wrong thing to do) and we started sliding on the icy road. Soon we started veering right, towards the drop off of the cliff, and the moonlit lake below. And then we veered towards the cliff on the left. We were completely out of control.

We spun around until we finally stopped with the car facing the opposite direction in the middle of the highway. We were all very quiet. I got out of the driver’s seat and Kevin took over and we slowly made our way home.

Most times back then we didn’t get hotel rooms after shows. Our budget wouldn’t allow it, so we would drive to the next gig and as most Canadian bands know, usually it was at least six hours. I remember touring Europe with a Scottish band. They were all upset because they had to do a four hour drive between gigs. We started bragging about what Canadian bands had to do … four hours is a commute for Christ’s sake!

– Tom Hooper, Grapes of Wrath

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Jen Hodge conducts an online concert during the pandemic after returning to B.C. from New York City. Photo courtesy Claudia Nobauer
Canada Recovery Benefit won’t replace the magic of live performance, musicians say

Cash will help, but its the audience connection that most performers miss — and crave

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancouver Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

The iconic and well-loved live music venue Logan’s is permanently closing its doors due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Google Maps)
Victoria pub Logan’s permanently closing its doors

Live music venue unable to weather COVID-19 storm

A group gathers for a guided story walk at the Comox Valley Art Gallery plaza. Scott Stanfield photo
Comox Valley arts-based project takes honest look at overdose crisis

Walking tour aimed and raising awareness and sparking change

Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo releases his new single, Christine, on Oct. 30. (Photo courtesy Andrew Dodd)
Island bluesman David Gogo evokes return to good times with new single

Upcoming release ‘Christine’ among a dozen new songs written during pandemic

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann will play the same piano at the Port Theatre on Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy Best Days Ever Photography)
Piano duo perform on one piano in Nanaimo return to live performance

Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann present first live, in-person concert since March

Leaking Time by Oak Bay resident Ilka Bauer is the winning entry of the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Ilka Bauer Image)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

Can you spot all 12 Days of Christmas displays at the Butchart Gardens? Jen Blyth photo.
The magic of Christmas returns to the Butchart Gardens

Some events cancelled due to COVID-10 but 12 Days of Christmas will brighten the season

Gatineau artist Michèle Provost visits the Malaspina Galleries during her artist residency on Gabriola Island. (Photo supplied)
Gatineau artist the first to take part in new Gabriola Island artist residency

Michèle Provost to create art book reflecting on the positives of aging

Most Read