GODS AND QUEENS INVOLVED IN VAN ACCIDENT IN CZECH REPUBLIC
For those of us that still get a little queasy inside when we think of the tragic bus accident that killed Cliff Burton, this has been a really tough past year and change to stomach. Bonded by Blood and The Chariot both experienced van accidents; earlier this month, Decapitated survived an emergency plane landing in Warsaw, four years almost to the day after the horrible crash that killed drummer Vitek and left vocalist Covan in a coma. The tail end of 2010 found All Shall Perish and Pathology enduring accidents unscathed, and Makh Daniels of Early Graves losing his life in a crash.
It’s an unfortunate fact of being a touring musician that driving conditions aren’t ideal, and the vehicles that scrappy metal bands can afford usually aren’t in the best of shape. All the more reason to thank whatever god you disbelieve in that the members of Philadelphia noise-rock band Gods and Queens (frequent gig-mates of our own Justin Foley’s band Austerity Program) are all still alive after their van skidded and rolled off a highway in the Czech Republic, en route to Dresden, Germany. Here’s the full story, from the band’s frontman Jamie Getz:
“I was asleep in the back of the van, so I’m unsure of what exactly happened. All I know is I felt the van skidding out and we started to slide and roll over. Not sure exactly how many times the van flipped but it was more than enough. I started screaming for everyone to tell me they were OK. Gertjan check, Ben check, Sara check, and I didn’t hear Jeff.
“Ben pulled me out through the windshield and I took off running, screaming for help with blood pouring down my face. I honestly though Jeff was dead. A car stopped and a slew of women started screaming at me and I was screaming at them. We were in the middle of nowhere and as I was running two things came to mind, I think Jeff is dead, and I hope I don´t get shot like Artimus Pyle. A woman pulled me into her house and her husband and son ran to the van crash site. I found Gertjan, and he said everyone is OK. The family started talking to me via Google Translation telling me everyone is safe and that an ambulance is on the way.
“The ambulance comes takes us to a hospital, we get taken care of… sort of. The police arrive on the scene and inform us that we aren´t leaving until the medical bills are paid in full. They were so kind enough to escort Sara and myself to an ATM machine to pay the entire lump of the bills in full on the spot. Even after we signed some strange papers saying we have 30 day with proof of citizenship, etc. What the fuck ever right? We asked where Gertjan was, and their response was…prison. 300 phone calls and around €3,000 later we are out of the damned Czech and safe in Germany.
“Long short, we are all somewhat OK. Jeff broke his collar bone, Ben got his hand jacked up, I am pretty alright, Gertjan is OK, as well as Sara. The van is destroyed. Booking these tours ourselves really made me realize that we are 100% on our own. We had no one to call, no one to “rescue” us. I made 3 phone calls and the entire German punk scene came to our rescue. God damn thank you. Our new friends from Dresden, Germany came to get us at the drop of a hat, no questions asked. Thank you.”
If you feel inclined to help Gods and Queens in their time of need, you can purchase a record for $1.99 at their website, or send a Paypal donation to jamiegetz AT gmail DOT com.
Stay safe out there.