It was September 1995 and two legendary country music stars were touring
together on a worldwide reunion tour, George P, a 60 year old idol of very many,
(but who also had a history and reputation for disappearing and not turning up
for shows), his 50 year old wife Nancy P, Tammy
W the 50 year old female star of
the show (and a close personal friend of mine) and her 50 year old husband
Richard. There were also James and Charlie, these were two good looking
musicians in the band, they were both in their mid 40s. Then there was my cousin
Jeff, he was 20 years older than me, but the only one in the family who I could
really say I got along with. Then there was myself, Debra.
We were all traveling from Florida to Nashville Tennessee, I was travelling along because I was a friend of Tammy's and regularly stayed over at their home. Jeff was with us because he was a reporter for a country music magazine and they wanted to cover the tour. Tammy and George P had been in the music business long enough to learn not to trust or talk to reporters, but they'd known Jeff long enough to know he was different.
"Everything's loaded you guys." said Don, the tour manager who was travelling separately with his own family, (as did the rest of the band members). This was the cue for George & Nancy P, Tammy, Richard, Charlie, James, Jeff and me, to pile into the big silver eagle touring bus which was fitted with a toilet and bedrooms etc, our driver, (also called Don) clambered in the driver's seat, "Now remember," yelled the manager, "there's no pee stops for any reason whatsoever on this trip, if George disappears on us again well be sued and you'll all be fired."
"Well, lock the damn door then!" Don yelled back, "I ain't taking responsibility for him this time and there's enough food and drink on board to last a month."
"OK, see y'all in Nashville then?" Don called back as he locked the silver eagle bus and walked to his car. None of us thought his action was extreme, everyone including George himself understood, he'd often have a laugh about it, but he didn't trust himself either. Don started the engine and off we set from Milton Florida to Nashville Tennessee - a 12 hour trip. Everyone was in high spirits, we sat around the table drinking cokes and lemonade, Charlie was strumming his guitar, Nancy fixed us all some cornbread and beans, then we settled in front of the TV to watch a movie, Jeff was trying to get an interview out of Tammy who was trying to co-write a song with me and James and Richard were having a friendly argument about some old ball game, so we were all having a real good time.
I began to notice Nancy P fidgeting a bit and I sensed she needed to use the toilet. George appeared to have noticed it too as a bit of a bulge appeared in his trousers, I smiled secretly to myself, but it also made me aware of my own bladder and the cokes I'd been drinking, but my need for the toilet wasn't urgent and my mind was distracted with the enjoyable atmosphere on board.
I had fancied Charlie secretly for years, but he never knew it, but every time he opened his mouth, that sexy Texan drawl made my knees quiver and as long as he had that guitar in his hand I wasn't going anywhere! So I finished off my coke and tried to divide my attention between Nancy's obvious need to pee, getting the song finished with Tammy and Charlie's hypnotic guitar playing.
Jeff had got his interview from Tammy (well as much as he was gonna get out of her for the moment,) then he started asking George P about why he had the reputation for not showing up, not been a direct country music fan, he hadn't heard the stories and the legends. I saw that he too had one eye on Nancy. Jeff and I exchanged knowing looks between us, then Nancy got up and headed for the bathroom, but couldn't get the door open, "Hey George," she called, "come and give us a hand with this toilet door will you please?"
"Yeah just a sec." he replied.
"No, now, I need to pee!" she called.
George got up and tried the door, "It's locked!" he cried, "and hell I need to pee too, where's the darn key?"
"We gave it to Don." I replied, trying very hard not to giggle at the predicament we were in. We still had about another 10 hours to go in a bus with no useable toilet that was locked, with 3 women and 6 men on board and several dozen empty coke and lemonade cans and growing bladders ...........
Click here for Part 2