Special Projects Editor Evan Wood performing with his band.
By Evan Wood
To celebrate 250 years of St. Louis, each member of the Missouri Life team has written about one of their favorite St. Louis memories.
Five minutes after realizing I'd locked the keys inside of my car, I was on stage, panicking. In fact, it was probably nervousness about the show as much as my own devil-may-care attitude toward things like keys, cell phones, wallets, etc. that led to this mistake. The show was a big deal for me. The band I'd been playing and writing music with for the past six months was playing its second show ever. The first had been near my hometown, in front of an audience of mostly family and friends. The show in question, however, was in St. Louis, in front of mostly strangers, so in a sense, it was our first real gig.
As is my custom for major life-events, I was running about an hour late. If I were to tell you that this trait runs in my family, I'd be putting it mildly. In fact, it was my parents fault I was late, having detained me while chewing over the highway-worthiness of my car and debating the pros and cons of letting me borrow their vehicle. At eighteen, I was making my third or fourth trip to the Gateway City and knew full well that my one and only working headlight was all I would need to navigate around the city after dark. But they wouldn't hear of it, and insisted on going to a nearby auto shop to pick up a new headlight and install it before letting me go.
Even though my tardiness didn't end up being a problem (we were still able to unload, set-up, and sound check an hour before we were supposed to play), the stress of the argument and the purgatorial waiting period had fried some of my nerves. The other thing I should mention at this point, about the band I was playing in, is that we wrote lots of songs that required the use of a tool called a capo.
In case you don't know, a capo is a small clamp used to raise the tuning of a guitar. It makes it easy to play songs in a broad number of keys and octaves without having to retune the guitar between songs. The capo that I was meant to use for this particular set, at the moment I went on stage, was locked in my car along with my keys. And this was problematic because when I say we wrote songs that required capos, I mean that almost all of our songs required capos. So not having one meant not being able to properly play almost all of our songs.
Luckily, our drummer had AAA, and we were able to summon a tow truck who could unlock the car. Also lucky, we'd brought along a friend who could wait for the tow truck while we went on stage and began our set. In the end, we moved all the songs that did not require capos to the front of the set. After about two songs, our friend-turned-roadie came rushing in with my car keys and capo in equal parts, and we played through the set without any other conspicuous hangups.
I haven't locked my keys in my car or played any shows in St. Louis since that night.
Read more of our St. Louis memories here. Please share your memories with us on Facebook, in our comments sections, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our February 2014 issue for a massive story on St. Louis's 250 years, featuring FEAST Magazine Publisher and Editor Catherine Neville, radio personality Charlie Brennan, and more.