Friday, December 07, 2012

a year ago today...

One year ago today, I got hit by a car. I was out on a tour w/a band and I was getting my luggage out from under the bus bay.

We were in San Francisco, that night we were going to play at the crazy Palace of Fine Arts.

My video guy Phil was off the bus, it was about 7:45 in the morning, and he was the only one that realized what happened when I was somehow lying in the middle of the road, unable to get up. Our bus driver didn’t even see it happen.

The driver of the car, a nice middle-aged lady, slammed on her brakes and got out of her car, ran over to me, crying, trying to pick me up off the ground. I couldn’t catch my breath, the car literally knocked the wind out of me. Later I would find that I had two broken ribs, but at the time, instinct takes over, maybe a little shock. I said, I am fine, when I could speak. It’s what you do when you are a roadie and not actually dead. We can’t get sick on our 16-18 hour days. We have no union, we don’t want to be sent home. So I said, I am okay.

But I wasn’t okay.

It hurt like hell. I still have a scar running down the left side of my back.

My runner that day drove me to the ER. His GPS wasn’t working in downtown San Francisco because of all the high-rises, so he pointed to a cluster of buildings and said, the hospital is over there, 2 doors down. I got out and started my torturous journey to that building. It was cold in SF, and I hadn’t thought to grab a sweater. The wind was blowing, and my shock was beginning to wear off. I was hurting.

Got into the building, which turned out to be a fancy hotel, and they said, ____ Hospital? Oh, that’s eight city blocks away.

Well, I got there, and I was looked at, and I begged the doctor to sign off on me so I could go back to the venue. He said, you really shouldn’t go back to work, you don’t know what else is going on besides broken ribs.

I went back via taxi cab and entered the venue to a round of applause. It really is a family when you tour. I finished the short time left on the road.

Smash cut to: the driver’s insurance company: California Casualty.

They recorded my version of the events. The agent, started off the call very nicely, saying, oh yes, pedestrian hit by car, our client was at fault, we will take care of your bills and give you some pain & suffering moola to boot.

I didn’t think much about it, and a month goes by, it’s the holiday season, I flew to my parents home back east in great discomfort, but I counted myself lucky that I didn’t die, or get more seriously injured.

The bills from the hospital and the xray technician etc. started to roll in. I had gotten several therapeutic massages, to ease the tissue around the ribs.

The insurance company, California Casualty, said, our client has changed her version of the events as you described. She says you jumped out in front of her car.

I said, You mean like a suicide??? The agent said, well…. your words, not mine.

So they didn’t deny any of my claims, they just said, we are still researching the case.

I went on to their website, and found that among their own clients, they had less than a 50% dissatisfaction rate with how claims were handled.

People said, get a lawyer. I am not a very litigious sort, and I called a couple, to be told that broken ribs aren’t a good case. One guy said, maybe if you lost a hand.

So I contacted the insurance company every month, saying, how is the “investigation” going?

For a good chunk of time, my assigned agent reported that she hurt her hand, so she could not email me. (!?!) I asked her how it would be answering the phone, she said she could manage.

She suggested I make a claim through my own car insurance. My car was hundreds of miles away!

This went on, until a week ago, when I got a letter from California Casualty saying:

The statue of limitations is up on your claim on December 7th, 2012.

That is today.

I never really cared about the money. It was more the principal of the matter. They almost surely raised their client’s premimum, and never paid out a dime. They probably do this all the time.

I feel so completely powerless. Does anyone else have any stories like this?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

a long road...

It's been awhile since I have posted here, things are always boiling away on the stove. It's October and Halloween is my favorite time. also had my bday... so i was reflecting on my year.

With all the election bubbling over, something wasn't sitting fine with me. Some things stay buried, and then some things don't.

i don't want to go over and over it, but I posted some writing on my tumblr and then Mr. Gaiman did me a courtesy by reblogging and it went everywhere-

I got messages of love from so many people and also messages of pain, wanting to tell me their stories.

Just so there is a record of it here, i am posting a link to my tumblr.

Not trying to beat a dead horse, but am happy that I am not alone, drowning. We humans are fragile little beings. Anyway, I made loads of new magnets as therapy. If you want to see them, go


Thursday, April 12, 2012


We've returned from Armand's memorial service.
A overwhelming amount of love and support and tears.
Family, friends, rockstars, fellow roadies, even vendors came out in support of this guy.
He was well and truly loved, a spirit everyone wanted to honor.

35 is too young for any one to be done with this version of life.

The master of ceremonies, a well-spoken fellow, asked that we understand that not everyone could get up and speak about the way that Armand had touched their lives, so I was hesitant to share my stories and take someone else's spot. I had only been lucky enough to share one tour with Armand. A tour where I was the only female on the crew, a tour where i soon found that i had an extra brother in Armand.
I can still hear him, "That guy bothering you?"

Several times, the Zombie and SLayer crews had to crowd their gear in order to survive the rapid changoevers. Sometimes we were stuffed in to eachother's spaces, Armand and I both occupying the stage left corner, me at Rob's quick change, him tinkering with Kerry's guitars. He loved pretend-blocking my way. "Outta my way---dammmmnittt!"
Always with the "dammmmnnnnitt"-- especially if we ran out of popcorn in the production office.

I remember him telling me his Mom was ill, his frustration and lack of power to fix her was heart-breaking. That guy loved his Mom fiercely, as the good ones do. She must have been so proud of him, what he made happen in his life.
WHen I saw him after her death, he was raw, but he was happy that she was out of her pain.

I was at Tour Supply, just before working the Big 4 @ Yankee Stadium for Slayer last Sept, and I heard an unmistakable voice from around the corner, rattling off a list of things he was looking for. I snuck up on him, yelled "DAMMNNIT, they will let anyone in here" and got the patented ABC hug. He was so funny that day, giving me all the low-down, since I was only subbing for Kuney as the prod coordinator. "____ and ___ will need this, do NOT forget ____ and ____ etc" Always concerned with his crew's best interest, always looking after people.

He did not tech that NY show, due to schedule demands, and his absence was felt by all. Especially Warren, one of my favorite humans. Seeing Warren today, speaking the words I am sure he thought he had fifty plus more years to live before facing, I felt a crack in my armor, that's when it really hit me like a brick. Warren is fierce in his loyalty, and I can't begin to imagine his loss. I love you, Warren Lee.

One of his friends made everyone laugh today with the line, "Armand loved both kind of music, the Iron and the Maiden." It was such beautiful moment, to go from tears of sorrow to those caused by laughter.
Armand's cousin gave a brilliant little glimpse into him, he brought her backstage to a Slayer show, and before going in, she asked, "Are you ashamed to bring me backstage"-- indicating that maybe she was "uncool", and he said ".....Yes," which brought the house down. Always honest, always the arrow of truth! She went on in her story to say she was struck by how everyone was so nice to her and so welcoming, all of this done certainly as an extension to Armand, but also a testament to the great road family he had fostered. We are always glad to meet family, no matter how busy we are at our behind-the-scenes jobs. Several of the guys signing our paychecks at the end of the day showed up and gave tribute to ABC. It was a moment to reflect on while our jobs can be draining and possibly life-shortening, very rewarding. (i have heard a doctor say, one year on the road is equal wear on the body to five years in an office job...sounds accurate)

Many people at the service today mentioned that he was at his happiest at the very end of his life. I only knew him for a short time, and I didn't know Cass at all. But damn, he was so in love with her. The last time I saw him alive was the first and only time I met her, at a neighborhood bar, right before I went out on tour with Puscifer. He was on a break from GnR and so happy to be home with his lady. Today, it my heart broke watching Cass standing on that stage, struggling through her words, beautiful in her tears.

We all stop to think, how can I make a better life, how can I honor my family, my friends, my loves?
How can i make a bigger, better difference?" as someone said today, "How would Armand go about this?"

My eyes are swollen from crying but I know that i was one of the lucky people who got to share some time with him in his too-short stay here.
even Axl does a p.s. shout-out to ABC III in his open letter to the Hall of Fame.

May you rest in peace, you great big beautiful man. Much love to Cass and the whole extended family.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

new tour dates announced!

Maynard's solo act is Puscifer, with the help of these lovely people:

Puscifer 2012 Tour Dates:
02/23 – Austin, TX @ Long Center
02/25 – Baton Rouge, LA @ River Center Theatre
02/26 – Memphis, TN @ Orpheum Theatre
02/28 – Nashville, TN @ Andrew Jackson Hall
02/29 – Louisville, KY @ Brown Theatre
03/03 – Cincinnati, OH @ Taft Theatre
03/04 – Indianapolis, IN @ Murat Theatre
03/06 – Kansas City, KS @ Kansas City Music Hall
03/07 – Omaha, NE @ Omaha Civic Auditorium
03/10 – Edmonton, AB @ North Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
03/11 – Calgary, AB @ Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
03/13 – Vancouver, BC @ The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts
03/14 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
03/18 – Escondido, CA @ California Center for the Arts

just can't wait to get back on the road again...