Tour Stories #1: Me vs. RZA

The following is an entirely true story, and I consider this one of the best stories of my touring career. I posted this old blog post on June 23, 2008. I was on tour with Hayden at the time:

Wow. Just when tour couldn’t get any weirder.

Yesterday we had to drive all the way from San Francisco to Portland, which is about a 14 hour drive. I called ahead to confirm the hotel reservation, and all was well. We pulled into The Jupiter Hotel last night around 2:30 am. Immediately we recognized the Wu-Tang bus that we had spotted earlier on the tour in Tuscon – those hip-hop dudes love wrapping their bus, it’s all about branding. As I ended up finding out, it turns out it’s actually RZA on tour under the moniker Bobby Digital.

I went into the lobby to check in and here is the dialog that followed:

Brad: Hey, I’ve got 3 rooms reserved under Brad Ferguson.
Clerk: Are you serious?
Brad: Umm, yeah. I called ahead a couple of hours ago to make sure everything was cool.
Clerk: Oh, my god. Wu-Tang stole your rooms.
Brad: What?
Clerk: Yeah. They said they were you, and I gave them your rooms.
Brad: Ummm.. How did they say they were me?
Clerk: Well they said they had more rooms reserved, and I asked them if they called ahead and they said that they did.
Brad: Well I need these rooms
Clerk: Well you might have to go ask for them back. They’re drinking Hennessey.
Brad: Dude. I am not asking Wu-Tang for my rooms. Are you kidding me?
Clerk: Ok. Let me see what I can do.
Brad: Do you have any rooms with two beds left?
Clerk: No. But I have a lot of single queens left.
Brad: Ok, well you’re going to have to give me 6 rooms at $45 each, so it works out that I’m paying the same amount. Cool?
Clerk: Um, yes. It’s my screw up.

So, that was that.

There was a bunch of the RZA crew hanging around. The dude next to me was smoking so much hash last night that my room stank. I almost choked going into my room. Today, I woke up and I felt a little buzzed, believe it or not. There’s some windows at the top of the door into the room, and I left it open a crack to air out my room, but that was a bad idea.

I got dressed and decided to get the hell out of my room to get some fresh air, and as I left my room I bumped into the culprit hanging outside of his room, stinking up mine. “Hey man!”, he said with eyes so bloodshot I’m surprised he was able to open them. “Hey there, how’s it going?, I replied trying to be as friendly as possible, since I had no idea if I was actually talking to an artist, tour manager, or crew guy. I then glanced in his open hotel door and saw a woman passed out on the bed, half-naked. He noticed me glancing too as he gave me a good shit-eating grin. I wasn’t ready for what happened next though: “Hey man, you wanna buy a t-shirt?”

Of course, my neighbour was the merch guy on the tour! I immediately started laughing and excused myself as fast as possible, but not before getting an entire sales pitch. I eventually explained to him that he probably didn’t have any XS sized t-shirts to fit me properly. It worked.

Not to be out-done, I went down to the ground floor of the hotel, and saw an animated guy on his cell phone, and I couldn’t help but eavesdrop at this point. I put two and two together and figured out that he must have been the tour manager. After he got off the phone I promptly introduced myself to him. Not caring, I immediately called him on the hotel room snafu:

Brad: Hey man, did you snag some rooms that were under the name Brad Ferguson?
RZA TM: Yeah man.
Brad: Haha, those were my rooms.
RZA TM: Oh shit, that was you?
Brad: Hah! Yes, but it worked out for the better because we all got our own rooms. Thanks man!

He offered me guest list for the show, but we have our show tonight, so I declined. I can’t wait for the after-party at the hotel!

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