Unwound had toured in a Ford Econoline 15 passenger van since 1995. It had an RV sized V8 engine that cruised us over the Rockies numerous times without losing an inch of mileage (but yes, it was a gas guzzler!). We had an awesome stereo system and alarm installed. It came with swiveling captain’s chairs and an awning. We were jammin’ econo! But we drove the crap out of it on many tours and it finally died before we were to go on the 2001 tour.
We looked around and found another white 15 passenger van but it was a six cylinder. We needed a van ASAP and a quick decision was made. We transferred the goodies out of the old van, built a loft, and then bought this thing we called a hamburger, which is one of those storage box things you see on top of people’s vehicles when they go on vacation or skiing.
Why did we buy a hamburger? Well, Unwound was no longer a three piece band with a roadie. We were a five piece with a roadie and a soundperson (for the mathematically challenged, that’s seven people in a six cylinder powered van instead of four people in an eight cylinder powered van of the same size chassis). We needed more room for luggage, and thus began a nightly ritual of invading the hamburger for our nightgowns and toothbrushes.
We quickly figured out that the gas gauge didn’t work. Oh well, we can just keep track of mileage. It was the end of August and it was hot. The building of the loft eliminated the backseat so we had barely enough seating for seven. Vern likes sleeping in lofts so that freed up a few inches on one of the bench seats. Luckily, everyone had been on tour with each other plenty of times, so sharing sweaty shoulders was no big deal. Except for David Wilcox. But he knew we were idiots so he knew what he was getting into...