Digging Up Mother by Doug Stanhope & Foreword by Johnny Depp

Digging Up Mother by Doug Stanhope & Foreword by Johnny Depp

Author:Doug Stanhope & Foreword by Johnny Depp
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9780306824401
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Published: 2016-03-20T16:00:00+00:00

EVENTUALLY, I HAD ENOUGH WORK TO WHERE I DIDN’T NEED TO keep coming back to Arizona. In December of 1991, I packed my shit into my car and headed out on the road. Like I had in L.A., I got a voicemail service and a mailing service so I had a permanent number and address. I’d call in for messages using prepaid phone cards and have my mail forwarded any time it stacked up and I was somewhere on the road long enough to collect it. If I had days or weeks that I couldn’t fill with a gig, there was always a comedian, a waitress, or a fan from the audience willing to put you up. That’s the great thing about being young and following your dreams—people are excited for you. They want to encourage you, help you out, and send you off with a sack lunch. If I were forty-seven and living out of my car, people couldn’t sprint away from me fast enough.

I lived out of my car for three years almost to the day. Or I should say six or seven different cars. They’d break down and if it were serious, it was usually cheaper to dump it and buy a new piece of shit than to fix it. I couldn’t call Mother for money anymore. She’d pissed all of hers away and was living paycheck to paycheck the same as me. I had Dad’s credit card number written on the back of a business card for emergencies. That saved my ass on many occasions. One Christmas he came out on the road with me for a week. We were driving on barren two-lane stretches between Rock Springs, Wyoming and Montana. I don’t think there is a more desolate stretch of road in the country. We were dead in the middle when snow started coming down in a wall. I could tell my dad was scared shitless.

“Jeez, guy. What would you do if you ever broke down out here?”

“I don’t know, Dad. That’s usually when I call you!”

For the most part, those years of gigs were at the lowest level of stand-up comedy that still paid money. If you’ve seen Jeff Bridges at the beginning of Crazy Heart—staying in a ramshackle motel, drinking alone, and playing to hayseeds at the roadhouse across the street, that’s a pretty good representation. I loved every minute of it. I never worried about my status in the industry, never even considered it. I was making a living onstage. I was getting girls, some of them not even that ugly. I never had to pay for a drink unless I sucked. That was the only incentive I had to maintain any professionalism. I was better than most of the other guys working shit gigs in hotel lounges. That was my only barometer of quality. There was no thought of a bigger picture. This was more than I could have ever hoped for.


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