The B27 lumbered down the runway from the little airport in Vermont where it had crash landed several months earlier. The members of the band Electric Pineapple were fortunate that day that they emerged largely unscathed, except that most of their instruments were a shambles.
A blessing according to their manager Ellie Mae James from Texas. The only song she cared for was a more recent debacle called "Envelope of Urine" from their album "Piss on It All". Ellie had actually reviewed Envelope of Urine, a remake of the closet classic by the Doormats and panned the effort by the Electric Pineapple. She was subsequently sued by the Band's leader Artois Armond Gordon for deprivation of character, (in the review she called Artie an underdeveloped piece of fungus). The lawsuit was settled out of court when Ellie agreed to "Manage" the band's 50th Anniversary tour in lieu of paying $67.53 in damages awarded by the court.
The flight from London was suppose to be the first leg of a trip that would launch the Pineapple's 50th Anniversary tour. But the wreck in Vermont had caused an indefinite postponement.
No instruments, nagging injuries on an aging group of men with varying stages of dementia and other drug induced brain damage, meant they had nothing to hold their small amount of gray matter together. It would take time to pull things back together.
Artois Armond Gordon, or Artie as his friends and enemies called him scrounged for replacement equipment and pleaded with his ex-wife to front him a few hundred pounds so they could re-outfit the tour. The B-27 was another story, it had a damaged wing and prop, but with some TLC from the flight crew and local historic preservation buffs, the lads had managed to refit the aircraft to air worthiness.
Ellie for her part had arranged for the for the band's first gig in Armadillo, Texas a campground for seniors not far from the Mexico border. This was a far cry from the Austin music festival where she had been kidnapped and forced to listen to "Envelope of Urine".
"You bastards don't deserve me!" she yelled at Artie over her cell phone. "There are exactly 23 fans in America who have ever bloody f'ing heard of you creeps! And I have them all coming to Texas t' see you so get your asses on that plane and git down here NOW! You pathetic wastes of my time!"
"Sure luv, were just getting the guitars re-strung then we'll be on our way, kiss, kiss," said Artie knowing this would set off another scathing list of expletives...
"Just get down here!Or you're all dead meat! You'll never play an instrument with hands again!%*&^#%^!!!......."
The B-27 managed to clear the Appalachians, then descended to refuel in Texasarkana. The plane took off again for the final hop to an abandoned air strip near Austin, Texas, where Ellie was to meet the plane.
The 1972 Winnebago was 30 feet of rust and very little structual integrity. Ellie borrowed it from a local junkyard. Artie had wired her $1000.00 to cover transportation and expenses for the first concert on the tour. The Winnebago cost $25.10 and the campground was another $50 to rent a spot for the camper and the Armadillo campground "ampitheater",which was a small concrete pad with one outlet.
The B-27 dipped out of overcast skies, the rumbling engines were smoking, the plane managed to set down on the beginning of the airstrip, but the length of the field was about half the distance needed for a B-27 with no brakes. Ellie and a bemused local official watched as the plane skipped up and over a two lane highway and into field of Sorghum, the props shredding the plants and thousands of seeds scattering and looking like a billowing dust storm in the late afternoon sun, which was absent due to the clouds.
Slowly the plane came to a stop, a good 500 yards into the field. Ellie started up the Winnebago and pulled out onto the highway to meet the plane... (To Be Continued!)