When the road takes its toll, music hurts.


It wasn’t too long ago that you could read headlines like this one:

“Three People Dead In Van Crash Involving Heavy Metal Bands KHAOTIKA, WORMREICH”
(Read more here)

or like this one:

“THE GHOST INSIDE Members In Critical Condition After Fatal Bus Crash”
(Read more here)

Today my heart is hurting because I read another horrible story like the ones reported above and I’m feeling uneasy. Metal In Italy, among many others, reported the news about a car accident happened last night on an Italian highway, where 4 musicians lost their lives: a truck, out of control, invaded the opposite lane crushing the van they were traveling in (News in Italian here).

I am extremely touched by this not only because I’ve always been literally scared to death of going around on the road, especially at night and on small vehicles, but also because I recently found myself in a terribly dangerous situation and I can’t help thinking that things could have gone differently and end horribly for me too. I could be overreacting, but I honestly feel like survivor.

After the amazing night Ancient Bards had in Milan (at LT’s Rhapsody’s last show of the tour), we got in the car at 1:00 heading back home. Needless to say we were tired but in full condition for driving (we wouldn’t take the risk of driving when too exhausted). So, long story short, we were quietly driving south when all of a sudden we (thank god!) noticed that in front of us, instead of the red lights of the back of the cars driving in our same direction, there were two frightening white lights! Some stupid woman, drunk as f**k, had taken the highway in the wrong direction. That means that we avoided a frontal crash at 120 km/h. It took me some time to let what happened sink in, because it was so absurd and unexpected that I couldn’t realize that it had actually happened. And when it finally hit me I was shocked.

It takes so little to change things and lives forever. Too many people risk their lives while doing the thing they love the most, too often on cheap vehicles loaded with expensive instruments, to play for free at a distant venue. Just to keep the dream alive.

Of course, this could happen to anyone, people working, people going on vacation, musicians, lawyers, salespersons etc. but I’m looking at things from the musician point of view and I can’t help feeling sad and worried.

Please, everyone, be safe and pay attention when driving!

If your friend has had too many shots, please, tell him/her not to get in the car;

if you’re tired and sleepy, stop, take a little nap and drive when you’re feeling refreshed.

It is our duty to do the best we can to avoid what can EASILY be avoided.

Thank you for listening,

2 thoughts on “When the road takes its toll, music hurts.

  1. Stepan

    Can’t but fully agree. Just one thing – “If your friend has had too many shots” – even one shot or a beer is too many, especially when one is tired and driving late at night. One can do a basic calculation – 1 beer, 1 dl of wine, or one small shot takes approximately 2 hours for an average human body to process (can be more or less, depending on many factors – body constitution and weight mostly).
    So in case of musicians on the road, the driver can have a beer or two, or a shot or two before the show, but he should not drink any alcohol afterwards. And if it’s a long journey afterwards, there should be a backup driver who can have one shot or a beer after the show but not more, and he should be ready to take the wheel after about 3 hours (4 hours tops), because driving at night is much more demanding and exhausting, and the most critical time is around 2-3am, so the best time to change drivers is around 2am. Or if there is no backup driver, then it’s better to stop and take at least a short nap around 2, than to continue driving half asleep.
    Same rules apply to fans driving to see their favourite bands of course, the above is based also on my own experience :-).

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