[ICYMI: Episodes one-five and episode six.] We open on the Staton-House Band’s tour buses, rendered impotent by a car accident, which has blocked the entirety of the road before them. Kelly Ann, she of poreless face and searching eyes, is concerned someone might have been injured. She also believes the tour may be cursed because she watched a crow eat a KFC chicken leg outside a truck stop the other day. (The show’s moral anchor is moored in loose sand.) Ah, but if the tour is cursed, asks Bill, why is the band playing better than ever?
As if on cue (because it is on cue), he receives a phone call from Christopher, the band’s precious songwriter. He’s on the sauce again. And he’s lost his iPad. Here we go.
CUT TO: Bill in an AA meeting, telling an ethnically diverse (finally) collection of day players, that his boss and oldest friend has fallen off the wagon. In his share, presumably to protect his boss and oldest friend’s identity, he describes himself as a carpet salesman. Ah, but he’s not actually talking about carpet; he’s talking about THE ROAD.
“I’ve run away from everything else in my life that wasn’t carpet,” he muses. “Carpet’s really the only thing in my life that’s given me any real joy. Except there’s this woman, and we sell carpet together. She’s married, and nobody else in the carpet company knows about us. Well, there’s this Bob Dylan song and it’s called ‘Property of Jesus’ and it’s off this album, Shot of Love. I highly recommend the whole album, it’s really kind of an unsung classic if you like Bob. But yeah, in ‘Property of Jesus,’ he sings, ‘But you picked up quite a story and you’ve changed since the womb. What happened to the real you? You’ve been captured, but by whom?’”
This, believe it or not, is the short version of this spiel.
Like any protagonist in a Cameron Crowe production, Bill is struggling to find the real him. Yet his knowledge of obscure song lyrics has gotten him nowhere closer to the truth. This is the episode’s first Dylan reference, but not the last; no actual Dylan songs are used, however, because the licensing costs were presumably cost prohibitive.
Former tour manager Phil has returned from his gig with Taylor Swift in literal outer space, much to the delight of the roadies. He makes flagrant reference to Nancy Wilson, Cameron Crowe’s real-life ex-wife, in his reintroductory scene. He and Bill and the Limey show up at the home of Mike Finger, the band’s superfan archivist who stole Christopher’s iPad. They enter Finger’s fortress of solitude, which is filled with Staton-House Band paraphernalia (and is also in his parents’ house).
Despite the threat of violence, and the near brandishing of a gun, the purloined tablet is retrieved without incident. Mike Finger (his name, again, is Mike Finger) engages in a bit of victim blaming when he tells the roadies that they never should have asked him to come out on tour. Knowing how much he loves the band, how could he resist the temptation to steal something so closely connected to them? Dumbfoundingly, the crew acknowledges this point, and basically apologizes to the obsessive superfan for putting him in a position where his larceny would become inevitable.
“You know somethin’?” Bill asks, in the midst of Finger's hoarded trove. “Standin’ here, I remembered somethin’ I almost forgot: This band gave us everything.” Phil emphatically agrees.
And you know something? Sitting there, watching the seventh episode of Roadies I remembered something I never forget: Cameron Crowe gave us Elizabethtown. Elizabethtown is far from everything.
At one point in the episode, which takes place in Seattle, Bill, in an apparent effort to speak in a way no living human ever would, implores the roadies to “not forget those humble pioneers known as Mudhoney!”
I’d feel remiss if I didn’t tell you to do the same.
(Song of the week: "Ghost," by Halsey.)