Addison Road & The Tour Bus Fire
Singer Jenny Simmons explained on her blog that the band had rented an RV from a couple for a “ridiculously low price” to use as their tour bus on the trek. The band ran into problems right away with the vehicle. On March 1, the RV wouldn’t start. The next day it broke down twice but they manage to get the RV up and running to make it to the first show of the tour, a March 3 gig in Albuquerque, N.M.
On Thursday the band hit the road again and the RV “starts topping off at 40 mph and the world interior reeks of diesel fuel.” After stopping at a Cracker Barrel parking lot in Flagstaff, Ariz., to get the R.V. worked on, it turns out the vehicle isn’t really fixed as the RV stops running on the side of the road once again. Addison Road is forced to use rental cars to arrive at that night’s show in Chandler, Ariz.
In order to make it to their March 5 Las Vegas show on time, the band leaves the RV in Flagstaff for further repairs while they take the rental cars to Sin City. The band’s driver calls to say the RV is fixed and he is headed for Vegas. He then calls back with the news that the RV is on fire.
“The details continue to pour in,” Simmons writes. “This isn’t a grease fire. Not a small fire. This is huge. A huge fire. We get the call that everything is destroyed.”
The band lost much more than its rented RV. Simmons and her husband Ryan, who plays guitar and piano in the band, had loaded the RV with every single piece of clothing they owned as well as all of their infant daughter’s clothes, toys, DVDs and enough diapers and formula to last two months. They also lost everything in the attached trailer including 4,000 T-shirts and all of their new merch (which Simmons points out is “basically the only way we make money on the road”) as well as a sound board, suitcases, guitars and amps.
Simmons wrote that she was tempted to quit, tempted to call that night’s show her last.
“I am going to go home now. Really. Truly. Tonight will be my last show Lord. I will not live like this and put my daughter through this and my husband through this kind of living anymore.”
But after playing the Vegas show, Simmons didn’t leave the band.
“I did not quit. And you can’t quit either. You can make it. Whatever the blow is, you can make it,” Simmons said. “My stuff is gone … but my baby is safe. The miracle this week is that the RV practically forced us to get off of it before it caught fire.”
A representative for the band’s management, Brickhouse Entertainment, told Pollstar that Addison Road made it to Sunday’s show in Paso Robles, Calif., as well as Tuesday’s gig in Bakersfield, Calif., – and that the band has no plans to cancel a single date of the tour. Brickhouse Entertainment said that the band has a few leads on a new tour bus, but nothing concrete yet. In the meantime, Addison Road is continuing to use rental cars to get around.
Since the fire destroyed their tour bus, Addison Road has kept their spirits up and continuing touring because of the generosity of their fans. Family, friends, fans and blog readers have donated everything from their own babies’ clothes to brand new jeans to diapers, Cheerios and money. Fans have also offered up “their personal vehicles, guitars, homes, and free services like massages and insurance advice.”
The band is accepting PayPal donations through its Web site, AddisonRoad.com, with funds going towards purchasing a new tour bus, a new batch of merchandise as well and the cost of new gear and sound equipment.
Tomorrow Addison Road plays the Calvary Chapel Tri-Cities in Kennewick, Wash. The tour with Sanctus Real wraps up April 30 at Greenville College in Illinois. The band then has more dates booked through its Nov. 8-12 stint on The Music Boat Cruise on The Majesty Of The Seas. The cruise sets sail in Miami and then heads for the Bahamas.
Click here for Addison Road’s Web site.
Click here for Jenny Simmons’ blog, “Cupcakes, Sprinkles, and other Happy Things.”