Nickelback got me high: a true story
Somewhere between 2004-06 I had a boring corporate job and was hating it like I should have, and had to go to Atlanta for five damn days for a conference and what was sure to be really fucking informative. I had my choice of a few flights, so I took the latest one, just to delay it for as long as I could. I had a new girlfriend at the time and I didn’t want to be in Atlanta sharing a hotel room with some strange dude.
So I land at ATL at 11 and the limo gets me to what was actually a really nice 3.5/4 star hotel at 11:30. On my way into the lobby it hits me: I’m about to walk into a dark hotel room with another guy already in there, probably sleeping, have to put my stuff away quickly and somehow get over the awkwardness of the situation so I can fall asleep to get up for this bullshit conference at 6 a.m.
I head toward the bar that’s luckily still open, order two shots of Jameson, a Budweiser, and take a seat. The only other person there, this pretty boy, boldly says to the bartender: “You know where I can get a bag? Like a bag of weed?” The bartender shouted an immediate “NO” so loudly I couldn’t help but bust out laughing.
Nick, the other guy at the bar, immediately asked who I worked for. “FUUUUUUCK” was his reaction to my answer, but I reassured him that we were in the same boat and we might as well combine our efforts to find a bag of weed and something to do for the next five days. As it turned out, Nick’s uncle lived in town and was a pot smoker, so he could easily hook us up… when he came back to town in two days.
Two days went by. I wound up with my own room somehow after the first weird night, and Nick and a few of the other younger people and I were getting drunk in my room and having a good time. Nick’s uncle finally gets back and takes us out to dinner at a famous local spot. We have a few drinks at a local bar, then he lays it on us… he can’t get anything for the whole week.
Being already drunk, Nick and I devise a “plan” to approach cute girls who “look like” they might be friendly smokers. We struck out several times, but man, those southern belles are polite as hell when you, a total stranger with a Yankee accent, ask them to procure illegal drugs for you. Ladies of Atlanta, I love you all.
After a long night, we get dropped off at the hotel at around 1 or 2 a.m, both completely shit-faced and bound to be absolute wrecks the next day. I spot two heavily tattooed cats outside smoking cigarettes—one wearing an Atmosphere shirt—and I strike up a conversation about music, going in for the kill. After maybe three minutes, I ask the question, he pulls out his Blackberry and says “let me check.” Kinda weird…
We keep talking for a minute and his phone goes off and he tells us that he can’t get us any, but would gladly smoke us out. Why not?
The guy starts walking behind the hotel where there are no cars parked except an all-black semi and two matching tour buses. I ask the tattooed guy what’s up and he tells me he’s a roadie for Nickelback. Cool, we’re going to the roadie bus. At this point, I don’t give a shit either way, I wasn’t a fan of theirs or that type of music… so my buddy Nick and I walk in and sit down.
There’s a cloud of pot smoke, and about six or seven guys chilling—no girls, nothing crazy going on at all. It was pretty dark, plus I was hammered so I couldn’t really see faces. Then I hear, “Hey… dude. Hey, man, you want this?”
I turn to my right, and it’s Chad fucking Kroeger extending his arm out to me with a joint in his hand.
My immediate reaction was to laugh hysterically. The only thing I could say was, “I thought this was the roadie bus!”
Everyone there cracked up, and Chad informed me it was actually the band bus. So my new-found friend Nick and I introduce ourselves, smoke with these guys for about an hour and shoot the shit. It was oddly normal—not the slightest bit awkward, and all of them were really nice. Chad asked us about our jobs and seemed strangely interested, and I asked about how their tour was going, blah blah blah… Basic smalltalk between an average guy in his mid 20s and a pretty damn famous rock star.
At one point I realize that it’s 4 a.m. and I’m really fucked up—starting to get the spins and under the impression that throwing up may be in my near future. So I give whoever’s there some dap, thank them for their hospitality, and make a move toward the door. Kroeger stops us and is like, “HEY, what are you guys doing tomorrow? We’re playing a show and we’ll hook you up with tickets and backstage passes, then we’ll party again afterwards!” He actually seems excited about it.
At this point everything is just surreal. Without hesitation (it would be rude to say ‘no’) I write our names down to get on the list, then go to my hotel room where I puke and sleep on the bathroom floor for an hour or so.
The next morning was BRUTAL. I met Nick down at the coffee spot and we both started laughing at either how awful we looked or how weird the night before was, maybe both. The first words out of his mouth were “So, you want to go to that show tonight?” I paused for a second, and we both intoned, “NAAAAAH!!” in perfect unison.
The next couple days were filled with more drinking, sneaking into the pool at 1 a.m., and earning bad reputations within the company we were all trying to leave anyway.
I never would have expected it, but it was a good week after all. Thanks, Chad!!!