The band’s bassist, Jen Turner, who tweeted her impressions during the ride @turnerjen, spoke with EW about the “mystical” experience just a few hours after their encounter. Turner, a hitchhiker herself, convinced her bandmates to stop after their sound guy recognized Waters on the side of the road.
“I’ve hitchhiked half my life,” she says. “It’s great to let go of the reins once in a while and see what happens. If you’re a hitchhiker, you have to pick up hitchhikers.” So they decided to give the filmmaker a lift.
“We talked about his movies, his work in photography, people he’s met.” He told the band of his hitching stories, including one time he hitched with Patty Hearst, and that most people don’t recognize him when he’s thumbed rides. Waters also shared a mix CD of his favorite hitchhiking songs with Here We Go Magic, but the songs on it are a secret of the road.
Turner said he didn’t tell the band where he was headed, other than “into the wild blue yonder.”
“He’s a true artist,” Turner said. “Bloody genius.” She seemed truly blown away by the experience. “It’s just unbelievable. The odds are like none.”
@herewegomagic posted a series of tweets chronicling their adventure with Waters:
Just picked up John Waters hitchhiking in the middle of Ohio.. No joke. Waters in the van.
Gotta keep them eyes open. People are everywhere.
What an utter gentleman, as natural and observant of people as one might imagine. A total joy, full of stories. Thanks JW, be safe out there
Waters has confessed before that he is no stranger to the open road. “I do still hitchhike — it’s a great way to meet people, and to have sex,” he told Australian Gay and Lesbian newspaper The Star Observer last summer. “I’ve hitchhiked in Baltimore, Provincetown, San Francisco … what, people don’t hitchhike in Australia?”
Brooklyn indie rockers Here We Go Magic are currently touring in the midwest and will perform at the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee this June. Will they write a song based on this amazing happenstance encounter? Turner said she’s not sure it will be a literal interpretation, but it “will probably” make its way into their music in some form.