This morning, as I was checking my inbox I was shocked to find an email from ?uesto detailing the horrifying tourbus crash that The Roots experienced last night in Paris. Thankfully, everyone is okay. To give you an idea about the severity of the situation, we are talking a Euro tourbus, which means a tall double-decker bus with a full lounge and bathroom on the 1st level, and all the sleeping bunks up top. I spent a few tours through Europe with The Roots sleeping up top as the bus careened through the French countryside, worrying that an accident just like this one could occur. How would we get out of the bus if it crashed? You OKP vets may remember when one of The Roots' buses crashed during the Okayplayer Tour in 2000, where again, luckily, everyone was alright. Read ?uestlove's email after the jump for the full play-by-play of last night's experience, including all the frightening details.
"I used to live life, like there was no manana
Now I'm treatin every breath, like it was "your honor"
malik b, 1999 "the spark" from things fall apart
well…since we are sitting on the side of the road. what better way to pass the time while the ambulance comes then to….blog.
–actually i spoke too soon….the above was written an hour ago. now im in a roadside motel trying to make sense of this all. the last things i remember are eating 2 pieces of cold pizza and a bowl of rice krispies and watching will ferrel's nuts dance on top of john c. riley's drumset in step brothers. because it was the ghetto bootleg barbershop version i was more or less wondering when the guy in the theater was going to say "watch….this is the good part" to me as the movie went on.
as usual i fell asleep. now normally i woulda been working overtime in preparing my dj set for my paris afterparty on friday but something actually said "meh leave it alone"–
i don't wanna get all deep like it was an omen but those that know me (look at my twit/facebook/myspace/okayplayer/blip history) know that when not onstage i am glued to my computer, doing some sort of activity like converting music or tv shows. but this was a rare occurrence in which i actually went to sleep.
next thing i knew was the most surreal feeling ever….
was i upside down?
why am i covered in cereal?
oh shit….that coffee pot is coming for my face!!!
in reality the crash was all of about 7 seconds….but to do a 360 on the highway and end up ramped up (the van that crashed into ours was UNDER our double decker bus) in the air….is….well…
a frigging miracle.
my first thought was not move a fucking inch. i always had fear that we would fall off a cliff while in high mountain traveling like denver or switzerland. i couldn't tell where gravity began and ended. i felt like i did 3000 crunches so obviously my side of the bus was now on the ground (the only way i can describe the position was imagine yourself on a bus sitting down…..now postion yourself sitting on the left side of the bus….now overturn the bus so that it tips over and falls to the right side. now on top of all that position the front of the bus to stand smack dab in the middle of the air as if a ramp was holding it up 90 degrees.
now add in my drill sgt of a tour manager keith mcphee being keith (which is basically to say no one does intensity or UBER intensity like he does. i ….was……try….ing……to…..rea….ch….my ….ipod so i can channel him out. its like every word he yelled was making this situation much worse than it was….
"……effrom you alive?!?!?!? (yes)………."frank are you alive!?!?!?"…….frank?!!?!?!!?!? FRANK?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!…….—"
it was then i realized the severe nature of the accident and i was NOT in the mood to prep myself on whether or not the remaining 12 people upstairs (i know its a dumb reference but look up the Spiceworld movie on youtube and you can see the type of double decker bus that we were traveling on. i hold court downstairs cause noone can stomach the stench of the urine induced potty in the downstairs lounge. —after 15 mins you dont notice it all that much)—so i was holding court downstairs and the 12 of them were asleep in the bunks.
i dont do bunks and this day proves why.
i just wanted someone to calmly tell me the weight of my body was NOT going to push us down a mountainside. then i wanted assurance that the bus was NOT going to explode.
my drum tech d was the first to make sure i was okay and since the Mcpheepanic mode was setting in…the way he was asking me was rather…..panicky (thanks palin) and based on the fact that he was walking on the ceiling indeed let me know that this wasn't no fender bender i was in…..this shit might be the real deal based on how he managed to spiderman walk on the ceiling.
or….am i now on the ceiling?
and why do i have to use every stomach muscle just to sit upright?….wait…..
am i upside down?
damnit…..im upside down……lemme just shift my body to…..oh shit….just…..wait if i can just….lift this….leg to….
damn. i need something to hold on to to hoist myself up in the air. i grabbed on to the table and somehow forgetting that i am NOT smedium (riiiiiiiiiiiip!) the entire table ripped from its foundation and was now on the ceiling….which is now the floor.
this is also when i noticed that i am covered in coffee and tea and bread and about 3 bags of cereal multiple water bottles and dvds and broken glass. and….oh god….did the bathroom fluid overturn too? (yes….and YUCK)
hearing cars outside i now know that i am not going to fall down the mountain side…..were are on the highway. but i can see out the right side of window and i see trees and hills….but i hear car horns and yelling.
and where the hell is the ambulance?!?!?
keith is yelling and im begging him "please don't yell"—but keith dont know calm…..but now he got me thinking something is gonna happen is i DONT get off this bus. problem is the door that i would get out of is now the ground. and i am disillusioned and have no sense of direction. he is telling me i must make my way upstairs and crash my way through the window and escape. im yelling "where is everyone else?!?!" and i am informed that me and the driver are the only two trapped downstairs. now the problem is….im not the smallest person in the world and now i have to use uber arm strength to climb my way out of this bus and figure how to hoist myself without the aid of anything to hold on to.
hard shit indeed.
i made leeway to the stairs when it hit me that all my ID and wallet and lifeline are in my personal bag….allllllllllllllll the way on the other side of the bus. i do the contemplate should i shouldn't i ("i should" won) now it was "how?!"—
the only way i can describe it is that scene in back to the future when doc is in the clock tower and had mere seconds to connect a broken plug that will power marty mcfly's car with 1.8 jiggawatts of lightening power. and winds up using every body part to ensure this goes down the correct way. so my left arm is hoisting my body up and my right arm and left leg are…..trying ……to …..grab……within……inches….my……bag…..(accidents wind up giving you strength you never knew you had….i carried my bag with my legs while i crawled my way upstairs like i was joe the paraplegic on family guy—all the while keith is being keith
ahmir ARE YOU OK!?!?! AHMIR PLEASE SAY SOMETHING!!!!
im like….wait…am i even alive? like what if i "think" im alive when in actually im not like the movies?—-the next 2 minutes proved how alive i was for i managed to crawl through spaces and holes and broken shattered glass like a contortionist blindfolded….
when i got outside…..and looked at what i crawled out of?
i just couldn't believe it.
i mean….how in the hell did we experience this?
how did we manage to….man…..
dog we are soooo alive right now.
and yes we went through all that shit people go through when they go through accidents.
dazed. amazed. grateful. laughing?
of course as i type this its a whole nother story: i think the ambulance workers have caught wind of who we are (ze seed?) and there are about 20 ambulance workers and 10 cops. asking alot of questions in french (we so need tina faris right now)
as i type this we are waiting in line to get examined. (some of us have cuts and neck braces on)—keith is still at the bus trying to salvage what he can (amazingly the uhaul extension is still intact) im a ok. i called my mom and some loved ones. and i managed to twit in the ambulance with artless iphone (wanted to be the first celeb to twit from an ambulance)—i guess im just passing the time and taking advantage of the free "internets" and the worlds best bread (yes….the french bread is all that)
as for the future? if we make it to our slot on the glow in the dark tour in paris that too will be a miracle. til then just wanna let everyone know that we are happy to be alive. and not in that tv cliche way….but man……that was divine intervention. we are so grateful for this outcome.
- Even if you don't speak Francais, this French language news show features some live footage from the aftermath of the crash, which really gives you a good sense of how bad it could have been. Check out K-Mack (roots Production Manager extraordinaire) on the scene.
- Our boy O-skie, Owen Biddle, Roots bassist, is interviewed here about the crash. We're all so thankful everyone is just fine!!
- The Roots even made Perez Hilton.