A Friend of Flea’s…

A Friend of Flea’s… 150 150 Todd Snider

Todd Snider Road Journal: Volume 2, February2003
A Friend of Flea’s…

I’m riding through Alabama in a rental van… The van I usually ride in needs a new engine… Last night
at the show in auburn I played my first ever version of satisfaction by the rolling stones in open D and I
didn’t even know I knew it.

After the show… We stopped at the seven eleven for a couple beers to take to the room… Chris, who is
tour managing the run, went in and I waited outside… As I waited outside I was approached by an older
black man with very few teeth who had just pulled in out of the rain in a beat to hell old red and rust
colored Toyota Celica… In stone washed pants, a baseball hat and an Atlanta Olympics t-shirt… He
stepped out of the car, smiled wide and said “hey brother, you got a few bucks a young brother could
hold for a while?”

“I’m a folk singer” I answered quickly. he reached through the open window of the old car for something.
My first thought was that it was a gun so I laughed and said, “oh come on man… you’re not gonna
shoot me for being a broke folk singer are you”

“oh no” he slurred back, pulling a family sized package of frozen chicken from the seat… “i’m a
musician myself… best bass player in Alabama… how about a cigarette?”

just about this time chris came out to see who I was trying to avoid being shot by… he had a cig
dangling from his lips and another to spare… he handed one to the bass player who took it and said
“you boys like chicken?”

“I like chicken” I said “.

“come on give me five bucks for this chicken man I need gas…”

“I told you I didn’t have any money man…”

he said “yeah that’s what you told me”…

“listen man, you keep the chicken for later and ill put some gas on my card for you”

his eyes smiled big and bright. He wanted cash but he’d take the credit… still grinning he said “you
know flea from the hot red peppers?”

“I know who he is” I answered.

“well he¹s a close personal friend of mine”

“no shit” I answered..

…chris and I put gas and smokes and some beer on the card for him he promised to pay us back… we
didn’t discuss how or when… but I know it’ll work out. We all shared a beer and a smoke in the parking
lot talking about flea and music and the war and everything and then we waved goodbye to his little
trashed out celica as it coughed and choked and smoked its way back into the night..

“priceless” I thought out loud “its three in the morning at some back road gas station in jerk water
alabama and I’m drinking beer in the rain with a toothlessly waisted personal friend of flea from the hot
red peppers… who just happens to be illustrating and punctuating his conversational efforts by waving
around a family size package of frozen chicken.”

This is why I travel around.

When Im driving in my car and some man comes on the radio telling me more and more about some
useless information that’s supposed to fry my imagination. I cant get no… no no no… hey hey hey
that’s what I say