Motor City Rides 

The Hard Lessons just might be the hardest-working Detroit rock ’n’ roll band. Never saying “no” to an opportunity to win over new fans, last year Augie, Korin and the Anvil put more than 150 shows under their collective belt. They played everywhere from coffeehouses to CBGB, from Cobo Hall to Cologne, Germany.

They used to tour in their cars; they even used Korin’s mom’s minivan for a spell. Then a year and a half ago, Korin’s mom found a repossessed Dodge Ram B1500 with not too many miles on the odometer for a little more than $10,000. They’ve since put more than 50,000 miles on it. That’s easy when you do things like pick up a gig with Motion City Soundtrack at Minneapolis’ legendary First Avenue — and then drive straight back home for a show at the Magic Stick the next night.


The Hard Lessons took what they saved on the van and had Brian Reedy of Wood Metal and Stone (you’ve seen his work at Woodward Avenue Brewery, among other places) pimp it. They essentially had the back of the van theft- and (God forbid) crash-proofed. The front remains a comfortable oasis.

To break up the monotony of the long hauls, Augie and Korin bring Razor scooters along. Augie, who has been known to fearlessly leap from Marshall stacks and climb lighting rigs at shows, has also been known to scoot under a few 18-wheelers at rest stops. Says the Telecaster-slinging frontman, “After six hours on the road, I can’t wait to Razor scooter. It clears your mind. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s scootered more than me.”

More by Doug Coombe

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