Travis (The Penske File)
SPB: Has your band ever been robbed on the road? (Did you recover any of your losses?)
Travis: I would love to answer no to this question and be done with it, but that wouldn't be truthful. Last winter we were on tour in Europe. A few shows in, we stopped off in Milan, Italy for a gig. We found a gravy parking spot a few strides from the venue and loaded in our gear and set up for sound check as we do nightly. Following sound check, a few of us went back to the van to grab some things and noticed two windows on our rented Ford Transit had been smashed in, panic and dread set in as we rummaged the remaining remnants in the van. All of our personal bags were stolen except mine oddly enough. Jokes were immediately fired off about my bag smelling too rancid even for petty thieves. This did some good in softening the blow of the communal violation.
At the end of the day we were lucky as all that was stolen from us was clothes and toiletries: necessities, but easily replaceable ones. The biggest kick in the pants ended up being the two broken windows which we were unable to fix, despite daily attempts, for the next two weeks. We drove through cold nights and colder mornings with the winter air assaulting our senses and were forced to load in and out the contents of the van multiple times daily and often had to leave someone in our troupe to serve as van watchdog while others went for meals, walks etc.
Along with our clothing, the thieves robbed us of a lot of the fun down time on tour, but alas did not steal our determination. We eventually were able to find a temporary solution to the windowless conundrum and finished the tour with high spirits ... more or less ;)