The Ataris Tour Blog: The Mystery & Majesty of the American Truck Stop

by John Collura
Posted Apr 18, 2014 at 12:12pm

The Ataris just wrapped a tour that reunited the classic lineup that created their 2003 major label debut So Long, Astoria. Guitarist John Collura documented this reunion. Check out the final installment of his report below.

When truck stops were first being built around this country did the people who built them ever take into consideration how much these would mean to traveling musicians?

Where else can one buy a 64-ounce Mountain Dew, a sandwich under a hot lamp, a bagged pickle and an alligator head under one roof? More over, why the f--- would you buy any of these items in the first place? I do not hold the answer to these questions but rest assured I have purchased one or more of these items.

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What's really a phenomenon is that when the band enters these establishments we act as if we don't even know each other. We just aimlessly wonder through the aisles, rifling through useless s---. It's like our own version of The Walking Dead.

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In my 15 years of touring I have seen my fair share of truck stops. I have slept in their parking lots, taken bird baths in their sinks, and gambled and ate their biscuits and gravy. These are truly American staples, the oasis for bands and the nightmare for tour managers and bus drivers...because it's near impossible to make it a 15 minute stop. I am now home from another U.S. tour but I feel myself wanting to just drive to the nearest truck stop so I can feel like I'm back on the road. "Number 17, your shower is now ready..."