Burlington, VT: Musicians Bill Nershi, Michael Kang, and Kyle Hollingsworth, widely known as members of Colorado-based jamband The String Cheese Incident, were spotted last Thursday afternoon releasing the air from the tires of a Coach USA 40-foot tour bus, chartered to deliver local prog-rock legends Phish from their hometown to their three-day fourth of July music festival at the Watkins Glen racetrack in New York.
“Hey! What are you kids doing down there?” screamed 42-year old roadie Bruce Hodginson, who discovered the mischievous musicians as he was preparing the final checks on the busses brakes and engine.
“One more tire!” screamed lead guitar and vocalist Bill Nershi. “Hurry!”
“Bail! Bail!” shouted keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth
“Every man for himself!” screamed mandolin player Michael Kang, as they took off and hid behind one of Phish’s speakers to catch their breath before making a getaway.
“Get back here! Hey!” threatened Bruce, raising his fist at the scrambling bluegrass hooligans as they ran away from the scene. “Damn kids,” he muttered, panting.
“I didn’t run after them,” said Bruce in an interview. “I figured they were just crazy fans of the band. Apparently there are lots of those. It wasn’t until later, when I was describing their appearance to [Red Light Management's Coran] Capshaw, that I learned of the competing jamband festival, put on by Swiss Cheese Instruments or whatever, in Michigan.”
Although the members were able to escape the scene without being caught, they left behind traces of evidence that police are confident they can trace back to the band.
“We found a pile of glitter,” said Burlington police chief Sandy Wasserman. “We also found a hula hoop, painted blood red, which we think they meant to leave, as sort of a hippie-mafia warning. We think the fact that both festivals, being held during the same weekend and competing for the attendance of like-minded fans, is enough to suspect some sort of foul play.
Although no formal charges have been made, in light of the investigations, String Cheese’s PR office has put forth this statement:
“We regret to hear that somebody has been tampering with our colleague’s bus. Phish are a great bunch of guys, and it would be a shame to hear that their festival, which was announced more than three months after our festival was announced– for the exact same weekend, mind you– would have to be cancelled just because their security wasn’t tight enough to catch a few troublemaking kids. We’d hate to even think what terrible tragedies could happen at such a large festival if this demonstrates the farthest reach of their security team. We offer our best to both the band and crew, and would just like to take this opportunity to say: did you know we’ll have a tripped out forest at our festival? With neon trees and shit? We’ll even buy you a root beer float if you show up! C’mon out!”
When Phish’s organization received word that String Cheese Incident was suspected in sabotaging their festival, they released what appeared to be a forgiving press release, which articulately stated: