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Baroness Guitarist Pete Adams Offers Own Recollection of Gruesome 2012 Bus Crash

Pete Adams of Baroness
Noel Vasquez, Getty Images

It’s been well over six months since Georgia rockers Baroness suffered through a devastating bus crash while on tour in England. The band has been nursing their wounds ever since, focused on the goal of getting back on the road and finally performing a mass of songs from their latest album, ‘Yellow & Green.’

It was recently reported that bassist Matt Maggioni and drummer Allen Blickle were parting ways with the group due largely to the “effects and injuries” that resulted from the crash. We’ve heard frontman John Baizley‘s version of the story in great detail, but guitarist Pete Adams has remained relatively silent about the crash … until now.

While recovering from the accident, Baizley typed a stunningly visual recollection of the bus crash, which sent Baroness and their crew hurdling down a 30-foot cliff into a wooded area. We even had the honor of speaking with Baizley for an hour-long discussion regarding his recovery and the future of Baroness. And this week, we checked in with Pete Adams for an interview, with the guitarist offering his personal account on his experiences during and after the crash.

Upon asking Adams about the bus crash during our phone interview, he gave us the following account:

I recall the whole stinkin’ thing. [Laughs] I was laying in my bunk just about to get out of it because I had just spilled coffee and I was like, “Oh, perfect.” I was just laying in my bunk. I was super comfortable that morning and I really didn’t feel like getting up. I was just laying there and that’s when I realized, “Okay, something’s not right here.” I’m hearing brakes fail, I’m feeling brakes fail. I poked my head out of the curtain out of the bunk, and I’m in the very rear of the bus. I’m in the very last bunk on the top-left side of the bus if you’re looking down towards the front of the bus. I kind of poke my head out and I’m like, “Oh, no, we’re flying down this hill. We’ve got no brakes.” I see Matt and Allen and they’re both in the aisle and they both get down in the aisle. Then I see John come up the aisle and that’s when I ducked my head back into my bunk. I simply, kind of, rolled over onto my left side and I just said my last little “it’s been real” speech to myself. I’m pretty sure the last words I remember saying to myself were, “Man, it’s been real.” [Laughs] Looking back, I’m like, “Really? That’s all I could come up with? ‘It’s been real?’” But there was no happy ending to this, I knew that.

We were flying down this hill, man. I felt like a shoe in a dryer, just being tossed, just getting bounced around in the confines of this bunk space. Then the refrigerator, which was right across from me, rips off and hits me. So I get hit by this refrigerator and I felt that. Then, as quickly as it starts, it ends. I landed on my feet somehow. I’m standing there and I’m like, “Okay, this isn’t good, this isn’t good at all.” I checked myself out first … “Okay, what’s happened to me?” So I look around and check all my joints, I check out everything, and I’m like, “Okay, I’m not broken. I’m cut and I’m burned and it feels like my shoulder has been dislocated, but it’s not.” I helped our tour manager get out of her bunk, I helped her get out. Then I look out the window I was just sleeping beside and it was just blown out. I was looking through the trees down to the ground and people were rushing [towards the bus]. It was a heavily populated area and there was a construction site nearby, so they see this and they come with extension ladders and people are helping us get out of the bus. That’s when I started to sort of process everything.

It was strange, man, I looked around and all you could see everywhere were our records, which are colorful, so you see red records and blue records and green and yellow … they’re just scattered everywhere, our t-shirts are everywhere, and that was the first really eerie thing. I was looking at the crash. I was looking at all our merch scattered everywhere and I was like, “Oh, no, this is totally f—ed.” I didn’t see a couple members of our crew and the band, so I was waiting for a body bag, you know? I was waiting on, “Who died? There’s no way we all survived this … no way.” I was waiting for it, and it never came. Everybody was alive. My immediate reaction once I realized that everybody was alive was like, “Okay, we’re good.” I sat there with John and he’s like, “Man, I think my arm is broken.” And I was like, “Uhh, yeah, I think it is. [Laughs] Yeah, it looks broken.” He had a concerned look on his face as he was sitting there like, “Yeah, I think my leg is broken, too.” The whole thing was strange because the whole time you’re just trying to process the whole thing. You’re always going, “This could never happen to me … no way. What are the odds?” Then it does happen and you’re just trying to process that, too. I was sitting there with our merch girl Lindsay and she was in shock and she had been banged up pretty good, so I sat there talking to her, just trying to keep her cool. Honestly, my main focus at this point was trying to find my clothes because I was just in my boxers and it was freezing. I was just standing there soaking wet, so I needed clothes. I found a pair of my jeans, with my wallet in there, which was cool, and then I found my passport, so I’m like, “Okay, I’m cool. I can go home now. I need to get the hell out of here.” [Laughs] It was a crazy day .. a crazy, odd day. The only thing you can do for the next 24 hours is just process, “We almost died, we almost died, almost died, almost died.”

For me, I’ve been through crazy s–t like this before. I’ve been through some serious, crazy, traumatic s–t. I’ve been wounded, I’ve spent like two-and-a-half months in the hospital … “three surgeries later” kind of stuff. I’ve done this before, so I felt kind of prepared if that makes any sense. I felt like I was pretty much in control of it all and I was never that shocked. I think because I didn’t get hospitalized and because I wasn’t terribly injured, I was able to stay a little cooler and calm, which actually helped everybody else out a little bit; to hear me talking to them real straight, real cool. I was able to play that role, I was able to be that guy who just talked to people, real cool and keep people talking because everybody was in shock now … everybody in the band, everybody in the crew was completely shocked out and I was able to really sit there and keep them talking. So that’s really how it played out for me. I went to the hospital, I got cleaned up and I went home. Everybody was getting taken care of and I had to find everybody in their respective wards of the hospital … and then I went home, man. I just hunkered down in the mountains. That’s why no one has really heard much from me, because I’ve just been up in the mountains ever since. [Laughs] That’s just me.

Stay tuned for the rest of our exclusive interview with Baroness guitarist Pete Adams.

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