WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Local punk band Strangle Parade replaced the front axle on their tour van yesterday, with frontman Geoff Armstrong reportedly spending his “entire goddamn fucking paycheck” in bringing the lifetime repair cost to over $24,000, according to financial records.
The van, a 1992 Dodge Ram B250, originally cost Armstrong $800 when he bought it “as is” on Craigslist ahead of his first tour in 2013.
“I thought I got a good deal, but it started falling apart almost immediately,” said Armstrong after sadly checking his bank account on his phone. “Our first drummer, Mickey, he loaded his kit in the side door after our first show… and the door just fucking fell off. It broke his foot. We had to find a replacement drummer last-minute.”
The door repair cost just over $250 with parts purchased from a nearby salvage yard, which Armstrong admitted was pretty minor in hindsight.
“We found a door that sort of worked. Our van is white, but the new door was a burnt orange and we couldn’t get it to slide open, so we just had our buddy weld it onto the side of the van so nothing falls out,” said Armstrong. “It seemed fine, but then shit started really going downhill.”
Embarking on their first east coast tour days after, spanning central Pennsylvania to southern New Jersey, the engine, fuel line, steering column, alternator and electrical system almost immediately showed signs of distress.
“Once we got on the freeway, we all noticed this terrible smell… sort of like burning hair, but if the hair was also dying,” said bassist Kendra Clay. “[The van] totally broke down after about 10 minutes, so we got towed home and had to miss out on some legendary shows.”
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Daryl Keller, head mechanic at A+ Auto Repair in Wilkes-Barre, claimed the van “just needs a bit more work” after the axle repair and it should be ready to tour the country.
“Listen, yeah… these Rams will run forever with routine maintenance. It only has 175,000 miles on it,” said Keller. “I would say it’s good for another 300,000 as long as they keep bringing it in regularly to my shop. They definitely shouldn’t junk it.”
At press time, Armstrong launched yet another Kickstarter campaign to fund the van’s fourth transmission in three years.