Few bands have blended two seemingly unrelated styles more successfully than Flogging Molly, a rollicking mix of traditional Irish music and punk rock. Dublin native Dave King had established himself as the lead singer of 1980s metal act Fastway when he decided to team with some friends in '93 for a weekly gig at L.A. pub Molly Malone's. Eventually, the lineup became permanent, featuring fiddle player (and King's future wife) Bridget Regan, guitarist Dennis Casey, accordion player Matt Hensley, drummer George Schwindt, bassist Nathen Maxwell and mandolinist Bob Schmidt. Flogging Molly continues to enjoy an unusually loyal following, which celebrates the band's poetic collision of old world and new world sounds.
"One of my horrible touring experiences was in ... the U.K. We were on the bus, and you can't take a shit on your bus. So when you stop at a truckstop, that's when you have to do your business. We were driving, and I had one of those times when I woke up and 'you got to go.' There are no questions. I won't get into too much detail. We've all had the experience.
"I got to run off the bus because it just stopped. Perfect. I threw on my shorts and my flip-flops, and I run into the gas station. I do my business. I come out and the bus isn't there. I go, 'Oh, they probably went around back because they were in front.' I walk around back. The bus isn't there. I walk around front again. The bus isn't there.
"I don't have a cell phone. I don't have any money. I don't have any ID. I have nothing but shorts and flip-flops. Now I'm at this British truckstop. It's 8 in the morning. I'm hung over, and I look like shit. I realize the bus has left me, and I don't know what to do. With cell phones -- I'm sure people can relate to this -- you don't memorize numbers anymore. The first thing was like, 'I'll call somebody.' But I don't remember anybody's number! But it doesn't matter because I don't have a cell phone or any money for a pay phone.
"I walk in (to the gas station), and this grumpy old lady is behind the (counter). I said, 'I gotta ask you a favor.' I ask her, 'Can I call the U.S.?'
"She's like, 'Piss off. No, you can't use our phone.'
"I was like, 'But I really have to.'
"She was not having any of that.
"I walk out and there's a hotel across the street. I walk over and ask, 'Can I use your phone to call the U.S.? I was left by my tour ...'
"They just look at you like you're out of your mind -- drugs, or whatever they're thinking. I'm desperately trying to be calm and cool about it.
"They're like, 'No. No. No.'
"I'm panicking now. I'm walking around and walking around. By the way, we have laminates on the tour that tell you where your next city is. I didn't have my laminate. So I couldn't tell anybody where I was going either. I don't keep track of that -- you show up and you're there.
"I go to (another) gas station. They're like, 'No. Can't use the phone. Sorry, buddy.'
"I'm just walking around. An hour goes by. I'm panicked. 'What am I gonna do? I don't know where I have to go. I don't have any money, no cell phone, nobody's number. I'm in the middle of England, and I don't even know where I am in England to tell somebody to come and get me.' That made it worse when I would ask people where I was.
"Eventually, by my third trip back to the hotel, they realized I was pretty desperate. I was getting real serious, like, 'I'll pay you. I'll give you a credit card number over the phone. You can charge me a room. Do whatever you have to do.'
"They let me call, and I got in touch with our manager -- he's been our manager forever, so I knew his number. I called him ... and, of course, he didn't answer because it's L.A. He's not up. I was like, 'Son of a bitch.'
"They dialed the number again for me, and eventually he answers.
"I was like, 'Gary. They left me at a truckstop, and I don't know where we are or where we're going to go.'
"He was waking up, 'What?'
"I said, 'Just call Joe, our tour manager, and tell him they left me at a truckstop.'
"He does his thing, and he calls me back and (says), 'Dude, you're like a hundred miles away from the gig.’ ... The bus driver is sleeping. They got to sleep because they drive through the night.'
"He's really bummed out. So he's like, 'I gotta work this out. You're a hundred miles away. I got to try and get you a ride.'
"So eventually he gets me a cab that we pay through the teeth for to take me to the (gig). We paid like hundreds of dollars for that ride. I get there, and the kick-in-the-balls part was everybody was looking at me like, 'Hey, what's up?' ... Everybody is just acting normal. I was like, 'Don't you guys know what happened to me?'
"They were like, 'No. Did you just wake up?'"
— Dennis Casey, Flogging Molly