Reality slips away.
Words and photos by Atiba Jefferson
Out of all the tour buses I’ve stepped on in my many years of touring, nothing compares to the Tony Hawk rock-star tour. Once you step through those bus doors, there’s no turning back-you leave reality on the outside of the bus and step into a dreamland filled with not a worry in the world.
The tour consisted of too many people to list: About 25 people in production, which included filmers, drivers, photographers, sound people, Web-site people, cooks, physical trainers, production people who hold everything together, and then we had Bruno, the staple who held the whole thing together. As far as talent went, the roster included Tony Hawk, Eric Koston, Kerry Getz, Alex Chalmers, Jason Ellis, Bucky Lasek, and Jesse Fritsch. I also must include the BMXers-Mike Escamilla and Dave Mirra.
Houston, Texas was the starting point, and for the next seven days, we rolled on the gigantic tour bus from town to town, hitting skateparks everywhere. If we weren’t doing a demo, we also hit street spots whenever we had time. We had a lot of downtime on the bus going from city to city, too. This is where reality slipped away. The usual routine became wake up, grab your stuff, and once you walked up those stairs to the bus, it didn’t matter what time or day it was because there wasn’t a worry in the world. The bus has two parts: the front and the back, and both are fun. In the front, you have plenty of bench space. This is where recreational card play happened, which can make a twelve-hour drive seem like 30 minutes. The bus also has a kitchen, and thanks to the cooking of Rob Wells, we always found something to grub on.
Our ride also sported a big-screen TV with DVD and VCR, just in case the cards weren’t working out for a player. Then you could always take it to the back of the bus and the three “sleeping coffins” if the night before got a little rough. The back of the bus was also where you could play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 instead of cards. We had another big screen surrounded by couches-this spot became the best place to feel like you’d never even left home.When you stepped off the bus, Bruno usually had many special activities planned to pass the time, such as going through the swamps of New Orleans, Louisiana on a swamp boat, and feeding alligators marshmallows.
As you can tell from the photos, we didn’t take too much seriously besides having fun, which made this bus ride one I didn’t want to get off of. But after being on the Tony Hawk rock-star tour for a week, I finally had to face reality and get back to the ways of the normal world.