Life on the road Nov 30, 2009 17:23:44 GMT -5
Post by ekforum on Nov 30, 2009 17:23:44 GMT -5
The LA van trip & the "new" speed limit
Q - Do you remember if the '73 - '74 oil crisis had any affect on touring/traveling for the band?
Joe: I remember right after new years 74, the band flew to LA to start work on Second Helping. Craig and I had to drive the van from Jax to LA and find the Record Plant to meet the band. From one end of I-10 to the other with a lot of US-90 in between.
You old farts may remember that 1/1/74 was the first day of the national speed limit, the double nickle, 55 mph.
The van was a heavy duty Ford Club Van that we had been using to haul a trailer full of equipment and with ten people in the van. On this trip, it was just me and Craig. The speedometer was broken. In his previous life, Craig was a factory trained GM mechanic so he climbed underneath and pulled the speedometer cable and found that the gear on the end had been jammed. He made a note of the part number and the number of teeth so we would be sure to get the right gear to fix it and we started our trip to drive straight through to LA. We stopped at every Ford dealer we saw and no one had the right gear. A few teeth more or a few teeth less but not the one we needed. We made good time but it still took forever to get across Texas.
We never had any trouble getting gas. When we got to California, the first town we went through had a Ford dealer so we stopped, they had the right gear. Craig installed it and when we got back on the interstate, we found that what we thought was 60 to 70 was actually 85 to 95. It was a good thing because there were CHPS all over the place. We would have been busted big time. We made it to LA in 36 hours.
We never had any problems getting gas as we worked our way back from LA to Jacksonville over the next four months. But we had to pay the price, some places it was over $1.00 a gallon. What a rip off.