Canada Narrowly Avoids Being Rocked

By JoCo June 8, 2007

Apparently the “computing machines” in Oklahoma that are responsible for making flight plans and distributing them to, erm, I guess flights, had a little trouble today. As a result, my 12:30 flight to Toronto was stuck for a couple hours on the runway and then cancelled altogether. They sent out all the luggage except for my guitar, which they kept hanging around somewhere secret for another couple hours while several luggage helper people attempted to locate it and I wept quietly into my inflatable travel pillow. When it was found, I hopped a cab to La Guardia for a 5:30 flight, which I have just learned is delayed as well (and may eventually be cancelled for all I know).

Long story short, there will be no 9 PM JoCo show at The Reverb tonight in Toronto. I am hopeful that I’ll get there in time for tomorrow afternoon’s interview with me as DIY/Artist 2.0 Poster Boy. I’m sorry if you’ve bought tickets or changed plans or anything to make tonight’s show. And to think I was worried that I had waited too long to publicize my appearance – if I had waited just a little longer, that would have been a smart decision instead of just bad planning.

In a related story, the Ms. Pacman machine (why are NY airports filled with Ms. Pacman machines?) I played had a hinky joystick that only went up SOME of the time, so I didn’t even make it through the apple screen.

I’m going to have a drink now.


Norm Wilner says

Damn! Damn damn damn damn!

... well, if you do manage to get here and you need a ride in from the airport, just let me know.

Gle3nn says

Stuck on the escalator in Skymall. That sucks.

AverageJon says

Well, at least you found out where all the Ms Pacman machines went.

Jim Boggia says

Dear Internet Superstar,

While I may not have the cache in the virtual world that you do, please believe me when I give you the following, REAL world advice on being what we in the industry call a "travelling minstrel" or "troubadour:"


What are you, nuts? You're lucky you got it back. Guitars fit in overhead luggage bins because God knows not to let those knuckleheads near anything capable of producing beauty - if they try to give you a stink, raise holy hell. The temperature change and pressure change are bad for instruments. They're not even going to feed you any more, so screw 'em and their sad little power trip over their tiny fiefdoms - or something like that.

Jim Boggia says

I guess what I'm saying is you should take your guitar as carry-on - it's safer.

JoCo says

Yeah, I know. But I don't like to fight and they always make you fight. After all, it's just a thing. With the money I make selling bananas I can buy one million guitars every day.

AverageJon says

Great point about not checking your Guitar as luggage.

How would you calm the other passengers down if there was some kind of in-flight disaster (bad fish, etc.)?

Jim Boggia says

Actually, for some reason in the last year or so I'm having a lot less problems with it - It has to have been over a year since I had to have it out with people. Just made a trip to RI and another a couple weeks ago to Nantucket and they were cool. Delta is the one airline I don't fly because they have a company policy about it - so they don't get my biz.

ZSandmann says

Off topic but I just submitted my "I Feel Fantastic" video to PopSci if anyone would care to watch and tear it to shreds. :D Hey all publicity is good publicity right? I'm still betting on Spiff though.

Andrine says

ZSandmann - Wow. It's not what I expected at all. And at the risk of being overly critical to a complete stranger: don't quit your day job. I mean, you look so... dedicated to that day job. It's clear that your calling lies not in the video making business, but in the sitting at the desk in front of a computer business. You're good at that. Stick with your strengths. OTOH, I didn't submit a video at all, so you're way ahead of me. Best of luck to you in the competition.

H-Dog says

Poor JoCo... I was even going to be there. This Canadian was all set to be rocked.

will anderson says

try taking the train...daily amtrak departures from nyc to toronto, and you could bring your computer to work / write on the train.

after baggage throwers destroyed my axe in spain, i only travel on the ground. was my new year's resolution, "no planes in '07".

David Nickle says

Oh, how your Toronto fans hate Oklahoma...

Kristen says

Nobody gives you a hard time about carrying-on a ukulele, or even TWO ukuleles. . .

Ken says

why are NY airports filled with Ms. Pacman machines?)

I think the question is: "Why aren't there Ms. Pacman machines everywhere else?"

Mark says

Hardship builds character. The joystick was only preparing you to compete in the next Pacman championship. If there ever is another Pacman championship.

roni mckinley says

canada narrowly avoids being rocked

Paul says

I have that problem with my joystick sometimes too.

Oromin says

I had a terrible experience flying last weekend. I was at my uncle's wedding in Connecticut, but we flew into LaGuardia, rented a car, and drove up to CT. The trip there was fine (except for randomly sitting on the runway for an hour in Chicagoafter we landed, giving us 15 minutes to run across the exceedingly large airport to make our connection) but on the way back our trip was awful. Our flight from LaGuardia to Chicago was delayed an hour, leaving us with an extra 2 hours to wander around Queens, since we'd made better time driving than expected (That wasn't too bad, since it meant we got the world's best sandwiches for dinner). Once we got Chicago, our flight to Madison, WI was delayed for an hour, then another 2, before being canceled. (We figured once the departure time was listed as 1:30 am, the flight wasn't really going to happen). We got our hotel paid for, since the plane had mechanical problems (we were the one lucky flight in all of O'Hare in that respect), but didn't get checked into our hotel until 2 am (our luggage had found its way to Madison without us). We ended up taking a bus back to Madison the next day ans Somewhere between LaGuardia & O'Hare I got pickpocked (my boarding pass & wallet were stolen), but fortuately I'm a broke high school student and didn't have any money. (The airline found my wallet and sent it back today.) The pickpocket must've been very disappointed at the sight of my bus pass, student ID, and library card, so they only stole a gift card with about $8 on it. (the only thing of value in it!)

To make a long story short, I sympathise with you! I also second not checking your guitar! I've been known to travel with no carry-on but a purse in order to avoid having my violin or mandolin checked.

Natascha says

JoCo I'm sorry about your nightmarish trip to the airport. At least you were still at home and not trapped at some connection city (like Detroit which I can tell you sucks if you're stuck sitting around waiting for your 12 hour delayed flight). On the different note that has been mentioned above, the "I Fell Fantastic At Initech" video on Youtube that is a meld of your song with "The Office" is fantastic. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out.

Lhyzz says

You're going to Toronto? I just got back from Toronto! If I had known you were going, I would have hidden you in my suitcase. It's a big suitcase. You could have partied with my friends and I and slept on the floor for free! Oh well, next time tell me in advance when your flight is going to get screwed up at the last minute.

Davros says

Hello, JoCo, all.

As this is my posting here despite my long time semi-regular visitng, I would like to give out a much overdue thanks for the great music and entertaining website.

I work at an airport and have some commentary to add for you digestion. Currently I am a passenger service agent, but before that I was a ramp attendant -one of the guys who handles baggage as well as marshalls planes with those orange wands.

We always, and I mean always, placed guitars on top of our carts until the end of the packing then placed them carefully on top. Inside the plan we packed them on top as well. Although I tried to be respectfull of the delicacies of delicate items, it was just easier to do that way. They do not fit well into the packing of bags, and you have to pack in a specific pattern for balance reasons. (As astounding as it is, planes have been wrecked due to poor packing of the luggage into the hold.) Everyone ended up treating most musical instruments very well simply because it was the easiest, laziest way to do their job.

Perhaps things are different for US Airlines, but every single airline I deal with (I am an outsourced agent, the company sends me out to whatever airline will pay for me on any given flight) will refuse a guitar as a carry-on. No matter how much "holly hell" you raise it will not happen. You can argue to the end of time, it will not happen. Also know that flight crews decide these things. We get word about the policies and are asked to screen carry-on luggage. If a member of the flight crew sees something that they do not think is carry-on suitable they can refuse it. We have no choice in the matter and we are the ones who have to argue with you about it. Again, there are probably airlines in the world somewhere that allow it, but people reading the above should know most do not, and there are airports in the world where "fighting it" is just being an asshole, ruining someone's work day and accomplishing absolutley nothing close to your goal.

I would never hesitate for one second about suggesting someone check-in their guitar where I work (YHZ). That being said, I know that larger airports are different with their handling of bags, and we have sent guys to larger airports to assist with training and those guys come back with some horror stories.

Jim: I was going to defend luggage handlers everywhere after reading your "knucklehead" comment, then I remembered the people I used to work with. Actually I will defend them a little -several of them were very intelligent, and they handle luggage as well as can be done with automated belt systems. And I can think of 3 who would enjoy JoCo's music.

Those of you traveling with guitars may wish to stick to airports where I can personally vouch for the luggage handling. :-) Seriously check the website of the airline in question for details about carry-ons then call them. Plead your case and get a letter or somesuch in advance for an exception to be made for you. I have seen it done successfully for other airline policies. YMMV.

Davros says

Apologies for the length of the above. As it was so long, I thought I should break up my postings. Also, apologies for the graphic smiley, it is appearently automatic, it was not my intentional doing.

So Mr. Co of JoCo nick-name fame, what does it take to get you to come and play somewhere? Do you do smaller cities? I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Canada's beautifull east coast. A city of around 350,000 people. (Toronto is a two hour flight from here, or a 20 hour drive.) What machinations are required for you to attempt a show somewhere?


Janet says

Davros - JoCo uses an ingenious service called DemandIt. On the home page of this website, look at the area to the right for a section headed "Dance, Monkey." Look under Halifax and you'll see 18 potential audience members have listed themselves as interested in a concert there. That's three times as many as Montreal, and more than Calgary or Edmonton, but less than Tronno or Vancouver. So YOUR job as a fan is to spread the word in Halifax in every way you know how. Talk to disc jockeys, put up fliers in university lounges, pop up on local chat rooms. If you create enough solid fandom in Nova Scotia, JoCo Will Come.

dave says

Not to split hairs or anything, but the FAA computer system is in Atlanta and the backup is in Salt Lake City. If it had been in Oklahoma I'm sure your flight would have arrived much Sooner.

Allison says

United allowed me to carry on my electric bass, no questions asked, and the flight attendants didn't say anything when i took up 4/5 of an overhead bin. Maybe an airline to try in the future.

Davros says

Allison: As I said, it might be different for US based Airlines. I do not deal with United for example. Good to know for the future in case anyone asks me.

Janet: Thanks for mentioning that. "213 Demands" without further context is meaningless, so I always ignored it. Makes sense now that you explained it and told me to check it out further. Yet at the same time, I know exactly what "Bananas, Monkeys, Robots Buy Your Own" because I immediately checked that out -I had to, there were bananas, monkeys, and robots involved! (I truly am a geek.) And the fact that I am not the only one in Halifax who has heard of JoCo blows me away, let alone there are already 18 people "demanding" him. So here we go, time to make it happen...

Davros says

Minor follow-up note: A couple of musicians all at once asked about taking their guitars with them as carry-on the day after I posted my last message. A Sunwing crew told me it was technically against their carry-on policies, but if the plane is not full they do not care in the least, and will allow musical instruments on board domestic flights without issue.