OT Contributor Network: John McCumber Talks ZZ Top
Ordinary Time Contributor John McCumber joined Keith Conrad on his “The Greatest Story Ever Podcast” to tell the story he previously wrote up about the time he drove around, and almost got arrested, with ZZ Top.
The Greatest Story Ever Podcast
#50: Driving Around with ZZ Top in 1974 with John McCumber
March 4, 2021 • 19 min
John McCumber is a US Air Force veteran and a Contributing Writer for Ordinary Times. He joined me to share the story of the time he ended up spending the day with ZZ Top, distrupted a cherished Moline, Illinois tradition and crossed paths with KISS
An excerpt from John’s Ordinary Times write-up on the time he stopped traffic across two state lines while driving around ZZ Top.
“Why are we waiting here, John? We have to be on the stage in 20 minutes. Can you hurry?” I was flummoxed. I felt like the abject rookie chauffer failure I was. I hadn’t foreseen this eventuality. I felt awful.
“Well, gents, I have an idea,” I said. I am going to get out here, run ahead to stop the Arsenal employees where that traffic signal is located ahead, and bring this lane through to the other side. Anyone want to drive?”
(I probably should have thought through this course of action before impulsively making a decision. The recurring story of my life.)
Billy let out a hoot, tossed his hat in the back, and jumped into the driver’s seat. I ran along the lane of parked cars, jumped up on the traffic signal island, and threw out my arm to stop the departing government employees while I waved to the Davenport-bound traffic with the limo crawling up about a dozen vehicles behind. Angry drivers coming from work were incensed to have some hippie kid stomp on their time-honored privileges of egress and among the many honking horns came a barrage of profanities and calls of outrage. The commotion on the bridge sparked the military police to grab their binoculars. Once I was identified as the problem at the intersection, an Army jeep with lights and sirens was dispatched from the guard shack with two armed soldiers.
My mind was quickly doing the calculus as these interrelated events were happening in real time. I was still holding back the Arsenal traffic while confused cross-river drivers had to be encouraged to continue across the bridge. They knew this was not the usual situation. The limo was slowly creeping its way closer to my position, but it was going to be a near-run thing. Who was going to grab the stupid kid on the traffic signal island first? The military police or ZZ Top in a limo?