Tag Archives: alligator alley

Drive Away Cars from Florida: Levon’s Story (and mine)

Levon Helm’s autobio “This Wheel’s on Fire” sizzles.

I especially like this part:

“First I went to Mexico and lived on the beach until I’d spent all my money. Then I met up with Kirby Pennick, a musician friend from Arkansas, and together we discovered that Florida was a bad place to be broke. We were just bumming around. We got the paper, and there was a drive-away Lincoln going from Florida to New Orleans. We just said, “Let’s go.”

I especially like the above since there is a very similar trip/experience in my dossier… But arriving broke in Florida right after hurricane Andrew on a cheap flight from London after bumming around Europe (grapes, chestnuts, bad yodellers band, Gwar, Oktoberfest etc) > Getting a driveway car from dodgy goodfellas in Miami (after food at Hare Krishnas) splitting across dark sketchy Alligator Alley through bright morning New Orleans > to beers-in-car Texas, with several police pull overs along the way. Yikes.

Oddly foosball in Austin with good ole boys met in Vegas between Dead shows, a 9-11 disturbance, canyon hotspring flings, and a medieval wedding > anyhow and almost met our/my demise dropping the car off in Dallas to a large angry man who expected something very important and illegal in the trunk. Trevor Erikson and i found ourselves very out of place but adjusted rapidly and took control, even recouping deposit (in cash, not cheque) and a lift downtown.

Somehow finagled a Greyhound 2 for 1 ticket to from an even more angry tweaker who chased the bus like a rapid dachshund. Ate well in SLC on a dodgy credit card, zoom zoom ended up at Marble Arch then Tottori. This was 1993 i think or 92.

No photo evidence exists. Oh yeah: Dig Levon’s tome #theband

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Trevor adds: 

How to pack a large amount of non-ordinary lifestyle into a small amount of time, without a lot of money – or none really. True definition of adventure perhaps? Will love you forever brother Dave. Such memories create interesting and long lasting pathways within the soul. And, yes, it was 1992.