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Indie rock band picks up John Waters hitchhiking

Published May 17, 2012 10:18 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If you're driving on Interstate 70 in the next week or so, keep your eyes open for John Waters.

Apparently, the 66-year-old maverick director — the man who gave the world "Pink Flamingos" and "Hairspray" — is hitchhiking across the country on I-70.

We learned this Wednesday, when members of the indie rock band Here We Go Magic picked Waters up in eastern Ohio, the morning after a Tuesday-night gig in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The band tweeted their happy discovery thusly: "Just picked up John Waters hitchhiking in the middle of Ohio. No joke. Waters in the van." Later, the band posted a photo (shown above) to prove it.

Later, band member Michael Bloch issued this statement through his record label:

"There's a hydro-fracking boom in western Pennsylvania. You can't get a motel room. We had to drive til 4AM, and finally found a Days Inn in eastern Ohio. Getting back on the highway this morning, there was a man at the side of the on-ramp with a sign that read 'to the end of Rte 70.' Jen wanted to pick him up, but we drove past him. As we passed by, our sound guy said 'John Waters' Luke said, 'Yep, definitely John Waters.' We got off at the next exit and circled back. He was still there. We pulled up, opened the door and asked where he was coming from. 'Baltimore,' he said. And we said 'Get in, sir.' "

Bass player Jen Turner told Entertainment Weekly about the encounter: "We talked about his movies, his work in photography, people he's met." What Waters didn't say was where he was going, beyond a cryptic "into the wild blue yonder." They parted company some hours later - and that moment, too, was immortalized on Twitter.

Here We Go Magic will arrive in Utah on Wednesday, playing a show that night at The Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City.

Waters could get to Utah first. If he follows I-70 all the way to its end, he'll cross into Utah from Colorado in Grand County, travel a long stretch through Emery and Sevier counties — passing through Green River, Salina and Richfield — before hitting the terminus at the I-15 junction in Millard County about 30 miles south of Fillmore.

So if you see a thin, balding man with a pencil-thin mustache along the side of the road, give him a ride.

[h/t: DCist, via Movie City News]