20 YEARS OF SUM 41
“I WENT TO THE HOSPITAL, DERYCK WENT TO JAIL………..” (My hazy recollection of a drunken night in France)
By: Cone McCaslin
The date was July 7th, 2005, we were driving into London England on tour supporting our album “Chuck”. From what I remember the tour was only a few days in as I think we started in the UK (I could be wrong). I remember waking up that morning and hearing the horrific news that a few trains and a bus in London had been bombed by terrorists. This was less then a year after we had just got home from the Congo in which we were caught in the middle of a war that had started and we almost died while we were shooting a documentary. We were escaping some serious danger around then but not by a lot. These London bombings which some people refer to as the 7/7 bombings killed 52 people and injured over 700. Obviously we had to cancel our London show that day as the bombings were very close to where we were suppose to be playing and the whole city was in uncertain times. I would think the city was kinda on lock down. We were rerouted around the city and we decided that we would just keep going into France where our next show was the next day. We took the Ferry across the English channel to get from England to France. Naturally in Sum 41 fashion in those days a day without a show or I guess even a day with a show meant it was time to drink…………. A lot. I remember this wasn’t really “party” drinking though, this was different. There was a lot of sadness and deep conversation between us and our crew on what had happened. “Drinking your sorrows away” is one way of dealing with stuff like that. On that day / night I think thats the only way we knew how to deal with it.
I’ll skip ahead. We finally got to our destination which was the city of Arras, France. I remember everyone in our band + crew feeling no pain as we just drank the whole way to Arras. A few of us decided to go out that night to a bar. From what I remember it was Me, Deryck, Steve, Dan Moyse and our brand new tour manager and first ever female tour manager Tristan Chipman. Tristan had just come off of way more mellow and older bands than us like The Tragically Hip, for instance. She was used to mellower nights with bands drinking red wine in friendly conversation. What she stepped into with us was the complete opposite. Sum 41 back in those days…….. we were reckless, we destroyed public property, we didn’t really think twice about fucking shit up. We were always out for a good time and a good story for the next day and there was always a ton of booze involved. Thats not bragging, thats just how it was. Is there stuff I look back and on and think “wow we were such assholes!!!!???” ………Yes, but I don’t think any of us would regret the stuff we did. They were fun times! So back to it. I remember getting to this club or bar and ordering bottles of Vodka for our table in which we all went to town on. From what I remember Steve and I got into some kind of argument about something, probably something completely stupid and meaningless but not liking our argument Steve decided to leave and Dan went with him so he wasn’t leaving alone. Deryck, Tristan and I stayed for a bit until it was time to go. We walked down the streets of Arras completely out of our minds when we came across some signs on the side walk. I think they were signs promoting the festival the next day. We were the headlining band for this festival. We started kicking them over as we walked down the street. As we kept walking and kicking signs we came up to the grounds of the festival with 2 security guards just hanging out. These guys had the late shift of watching over the grounds and probably thought they were in for a pretty quiet night………. It was about 3 or 4AM at this point. I remember seeing them and we decided to cross the street. We had already kicked over a bunch signs, they had definitely saw because we weren’t being very quiet about it. Once we crossed the street Deryck ran up on top of a car. This is where shit hit the fan……… as he was on his way back down off the car I looked over my shoulder and the 2 security guys were running right for Deryck at top speed. The one guy went right for Deryck, grabbed him and started punching him in the face and wrestling him around like a rag doll although for a small guy Deryck held his own and stood his ground and landed some punches of his own. Tristan tried to grab the guy and he grabbed her and threw her right to the ground hard! I came running in and actually landed a pretty good blow to the guys face (I must say)…… but as quickly as I did that the other security guy came from behind me and also landed a pretty good upper cut to my face, I must have been yelling something because when he hit me I bit through my tongue………. That was pretty much the last memory I have of that fight! I think Deryck and I were on the ground pretty fast after that……. haha. Then the next thing we knew the cops were there. They put us both in handcuffs instantly. Tristan was yelling at them to take the cuffs off but that didn’t work. It must have been pretty tough for her to go through that on her first tour with us. Deryck and I were sitting on the curb in handcuffs and I remember just spitting up blood constantly and I looked at Deryck and said “hows my tongue?” I could feel that my tongue was cut open hanging out of my mouth. He just turned to me with what I could kinda tell was horror and said “Its all good man…..” and turned away quickly. I wasn’t so convinced! After a long back and forth conversation between the police and the security guards of what to do with us the security guys pointed Deryck out as the guy who ran on the car which turned out to be the security guy’s car……Go figure……..hahaha. They took the cuffs off me and let me go and took Deryck to jail. I actually think the cops drove me home that night……. I was pretty wasted. I think Tristan went with Deryck to make sure she knew what station he was at.
When I got back to the hotel I knocked on Dave’s room and told him what had happened “Deryck’s in jail, Deryck’s in jail, we gotta go break Deryck outta jail!” Makes a ton of sense! With my tongue cut open and hanging from my mouth not too sure Dave knew quite what I was saying…… After making calls to management and friends at home I finally got some gauze from the front desk and tried to fall sleep with the gauze in my mouth so I wouldn’t choke on my own blood. When morning came it was decided I had to go to the hospital to get stitched up. Steve, who had taken some french in school took me so he could communicate with the Dr.’s. Laying in that hospital bed not knowing what the Dr’s were saying about me was pretty interesting. They told Steve they had to put me under…….. I told him “no fucking way!” Steve and the Dr’s had a pretty good time together laughing at my expense as they could tell I was freaked out about being put under but THEY DID IT ANYWAY!…….. I woke up with 6 stitches in my tongue and then off to the ol’ rock show we went to headline a big festival…………
Deryck spent the night in jail but I guess didn’t get much sleep. The police kept coming into his cell every hour or so asking for autographs and pictures. We weren’t even sure if we were gonna play that night cause by the time we got to the festival Deryck was still in jail…………. After hours and hours of waiting Deryck arrived, Solomon our promoter bailed him out. I guess it was either bail him out or lose a ton of money from not having the headlining band perform……… Solomon and Sum 41 still do tons of shows together and can actually laugh about this incident now. He’s a great guy.
Noone was laughing at the time though…….
We went on and as we took the stage the whole pit full of security guards all turned around and stared at us…… These guys were huge! They knew what had happened and it was 2 of their guys that we fought the night before. To say it was really uncomfortable playing that show is an understatement……… We had to be careful about all our movements and where our spit was flying and landing. The security guys in the pit were looking for any reason just to rip our heads off that night! Luckily we finished the set with no incident and got the fuck out of Arras! I don’t even remember if we played well or if the show was good because there were so many others things on my mind…………….. Trying to play and do a few vocals parts with stitches in your tongue is pretty tricky I learned…..
Surprisingly, Tristan remained our tour manager pretty much through the whole “Chuck” touring cycle. We started touring with our own personal security not too long after that………… There’s also still a pretty nice scar on my tongue to remind me of that night.
Deryck hasn’t been to jail since……………
Please Note ———— In no way do I want downplay the bombings that happened that day. That was the main focus of that time as it should be. I could write a whole other piece on the sadness I feel for all involved in these tragedies but for the purpose of this I will just tell the story I knew from happened to us that day.