On music and automobiles


After months of discussing what we’ll do with our land-vehicle while on our “tour de sail,” we decided to sell the poor guy. And we’ve been putting so much effort into our new tour vehicle that we’ve neglected our trusty 4-wheeled steed “Roja,” a ’98 Jeep Cherokee. Given those two things, and of course the necessary injection of Murphy’s Law, I am “pleased’ to announce that for the first time in 20 years we broke down en route to Annapolis for a performance during the Annapolis Sailboat show. You see, cars have ears. And a soul. And they do NOT appreciate being put out to pasture when they’ve so reliably gotten your sorry arse from one gig to the next without so much as a whimper. Once Roja saw his opportunity to strike, the wheels were set in motion.
It seemed barely a day after making this decision that I get a call from Stell describing some hellacious noises coming from Roja’s underbelly. A knock? A tick? A tap? He still made it home, but within another 24 hours decided he’d like to have a new exhaust before leaving us as well. So much for a free lunch! This guy’s robbing food right out of the baby’s mouth! And after a blistering day en route to Annapolis from NYC, which included a quick stop in Cape May to purchase a used Radar for “Catherine” and a feverish ride to make the ferry with one minute to spare, all seemed so well with the world. We actually made it, could relax for a nice ride across the Delaware, and continue our jaunt to see some friends before making it to Annapolis for the show. “Not-a-so-much,” in the words of the great Borat. No sooner did we roll off the ferry ramp than I see the stomach-wrenching “Check Guages” light come about. Sheisse. No voltage.
Luckily for us we were visiting our adopted parents, also on vacay from Brooklyn – I figured we’d press on, make it as far as we could, and break out the celly to see how they were doing…So close yet so far meant a full conkout 10 miles shy of our destination topped off with a pickup and tow truck ride to farm we were all crashing upon. Can’t truly complain – Roja did make it nearly 50 miles with a dead alternator. Not easy to do with a V6. We luckily made it to the gig by borrowing our boys’ car, then gnabbed a new genny from the nearest auto parts spot. Did I mention the rain?
Oh, the rain. The never-ending rain. Don’t get me wrong, the previous few weeks were amazing. But of course, as soon as I’ve got to dive into a nice greasy engine compartment, the universe sees fit to cover that all in mud and dust. Good for the skin, I suppose. A few hours later, beyond the shouting of expletives at my trusty (and not working so well) ratchet and overall lack of proper tools, we managed to get the sucker in and fire Roja up once again. Even got a little fishing in on Reed creek before sundown…
In the end, a great trip filled to the gills with adventure. Nonetheless, I despise being mechanically competent. I could have had the thing towed to a garage and sipped a nice cold Bohemian while I waited…but I suppose the old liver was thankful for the break.