And here we have it! Our first “STORY FROM THE ROAD” Thursday!
In 2011 we were in Key West, FL playing as a Trio. Next thing we knew 8 cops stormed the stage -one on horseback, one undercover- questioning us about a missing red bag that we had just minutes prior realized we were in possession of. We had been carrying this red bag to and from shows for two days thinking it was each other’s equipment. It turns out a man left it at Enterprise Car Rental in Miami right next to our stuff, so we ‘tetrissed’ the bag into the car by accident.
The alleged red bad, it just so happens, contained some expensive camera equipment, liver transplant medication, and… oxy-cotton!! Who would’ve thought! We still don’t know for certain what all was in there as none of us actually had the chance to really look! The police informed us what was in there and we felt terrible that someone was missing some very important medication. There was also another bag in the hotel room, which our bandmate at the time and I thought was Lisa’s. There was a romance novel in it and some chocolate; we were confused as to why she hadn’t shared her chocolate, or shared her affinity for romance novels. It turns out that wasn’t her bag either!
There was no mercy.
It was our first show at Hog’s Breath Saloon in Key West, Florida, and apparently 5000 were tuned into the live webcam. We were taken to the side of the stage for mugshots, and handcuffed and put in the back of a police car to retrieve the additional bag at the hotel. As we stared at the screen in front of us, it read “…members of the band Sister Speak, wanted in question of Grand Theft…”
GRAND THEFT!!!! For a complete accident!!!
We got to our hotel room, explained over and over that it was a complete accident, and finally they let us go. Four days later an undercover cop met us at the airport when we returned the car and detained all three of us for four hours at the airport for additional questioning. The case was eventually dropped as all our stories were consistent and it was deemed a case of utter stupidity. We were so swamped with shows and had so many bags none of us had a clue that we had these bags until there was literally a search out for us!
Thank God the man got his medication back. And thankfully the venue has had us back yearly since. To this day randoms in Key West will come up to us pretending they are cops just to mess with us.
‘Tonight in San Diego’ featured the band recently with an interview where we shared this story, and played a couple songs. Interview at minute 28, live performance at minute 36.
A year later I had my red backpack stolen during a music shoot in Balboa Park. My checkbook from that bag was later used to make large purchases in Virginia and I ended up with major fraud on my account. It ended up all being refunded in the end.
I have not purchased a red bag since.
We actually caught the man or woman in a still shot randomly but the police never responded in San Diego after leaving about ten voicemails. I just let it go in the end and hoped that perhaps my karma had resolved itself.
On the road we often don’t know what life will bring, and the most amazing thing about traveling is how present it makes you become! And sometimes when you feel like there is little hope, you gotta trust in the universe. It also helps to laugh.