Portland, OR – “Lack of Space” – The White Eagle – March 26, 1999

Lack of space is a true test of band harmony.”-Brian Mcrae

Never were truer words spoken.  Stuck for seventeen hours in a van with seven other souls on a rainy day could make even the most Zen monk cranky… and we ain’t no monks. 

Dawn was breaking when we checked out of Chez Delluchi.  The sun, like a bald orange head, peeked at us over the suburban rooftops and cast an eerie glow on a threatening sky.  By the time we negotiated the twists and turns of Chris’s cul-de-sac, it started to drizzle.  Our first stop was Safeway for breakfast (raw carrots, candy, deli meats, and soda…we’re trying to be healthy).

By the time we hit I-550 our bodies had moulded together to accommodate
our new passengers:

  • Kipp (my boyfriend who’d come to support us on the road but if you asked the band, had realllly come to boss us around and eat all our food) and
  • Kate (my pal from Nashville who probably didn’t fathom the adventure she signed up for when she accepted a lift with us from San Fran to Oregon)

We fit together like slightly abused puzzle pieces against the already uncomfortable grey leatherette seats of Moby.  We used one another’s knees as armrests and shoulders as pillows.   3-weeks worth of clothing lolled like sleeping dog tongues out of ½ zipped bags.  Our warm damp bodies frosted up the windows where the boys drew penis’ in the fogged glass, snickering and pointing at their artwork.  My yarn traced the road, zigging and zagging and tangling people together like flies in a spider’s web. 

By the time we reached the petrified forest, our nerves looked like my yarn; frayed.  I took a solitary walk deep into the forest to find some serenity and reclaim my space.  I bathed in the forest feeling the tension wash off me with every step. 

With the rain, our constant companion, we took turns at the wheel – enthusiastically calling dibs on the driver seat – the only uncrowded spot in the van.  Kenny managed to clip a stray dog during his stretch but luckily didn’t kill him.    It was an infinitely long drive and we didn’t reach our hotel until 3 am.

The onslaught of the rain continued unabated on the following day. Our venue, The White Eagle, in downtown Portland, was rumored to be haunted. If I were a ghost I’d probably haunt it too.  Its walls were adorned with woolen Turkish and Persian rugs, with lanterns casting flickering shadows on a ‘Palmistry’ mural that marked our humble stage.  We retreated to the green room, a glorified kitchen supply closet, as our fans began to trickle in.  And despite the weather, we managed an exhilarating sold-out show.

Reader interactions

5 Replies to “Portland, OR – “Lack of Space” – The White Eagle – March 26, 1999”

  1. Albert A. Adams April 5, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    Understand you are now a “Bluenoser”! I’ll be back home there for a visit in time for the Total Eclipse. The art and music scene is alive and vibrant there, you will fit right in.
    Warm regards…Albert

    1. Hey Albert,

      I am delighted to be a maritimer. Thank you for the warm welcom.

      1. Haha – I couldn’t miss an opportunity to tell you about a guy I once heard about who flew a Learjet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun! He was a vain man.

  2. Hi Sally,

    Other than the scenery – which looks beautiful – nothing else about this van trip sounds glamorous. Imagine if this were 2020 and you were all trading strains of COVID? Eeeeks!

    Glad the show in Portland went well!

    1. Hey Cindy.

      No, the road is not a glamorous place I’m sorry to say. Even at the top tier, it’s a pretty blue collar job. But that never stopped us from having a fun (albeit dirty) time. I am very glad we didn’t have to tour through Covid.

Comments are closed.