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3 Lorry Stories - Spot The Fake One

Feb 7, 2008
Over the years, the truck driver has made for a great series of stories. Amidst the standard tales of traffic jams, incredible journeys and more incredible bad driving, when involved with a freight exchange, you hear the type of outlandish tales more commonly associated with fishermen. In researching this article, I found too that lorries and lorry drivers are commonly associated with horror stories, and tales (and images) too gruesome to write about here. Suffice it to say, there's an awful lot of truths and non truths spread in the anecdotes about truckers.

Here, I've taken three lorry tales- and discovered two of them to be verifiable truthful. The remaining one is equally exposed as fake. I'm going to list them all, allowing readers to guess which is untrue - I shall then provide the specifics of each one.

A) Elvis Presley was once told to "Stick to driving a truck, because you'll never make it as a singer."

B) A man was run over by a truck within hours of winning a lottery

C) The Allman Brothers album "Eat a Peach" is a hidden reference to Duane Allman's death at the wheels of a lorry carrying peaches.

Has everyone made their guesses? Okay - here's the answer. C is an urban legend, while A and B are verifiably correct.

Here's some background information to each lorry story:

Elvis Presley was once told to "Stick to driving a truck, because you'll never make it as a singer"

While auditioning for a lead-singer position in a Memphis band, Eddie Bond, 21, informed the 19 year old truck driver, Elvis Presley that he should "stick to driving a truck, because you'll never make it as a singer." This is the account of a mutual friend, while Bond himself claims the club's owners forced him to make the decision. Either way, Elvis was rejected and left looking for his big break.

It would come in just a few short months. "That's All Right (Mama)" was a big hit in Memphis, and Eddie Bond issued an invitation for Elvis to join them after all. Understandably, Elvis decided to turn him down - but not to "stick to driving a truck."

A man was run over by a truck within hours of winning a lottery

When I first heard this one, I immediately thought of the Alanis Morissette song, "Ironic", which begins with the lines "An old man turned ninety-eight, he won the lottery and died the next day." While the subjects of the song are well documented as not being ironic in the slightest, I did assume that the various incarnations of this story I've heard must be the same kind of embellishment as Ms Morissette recorded.

Not true, as it turns out. In January 2004, an Indiana man won $73,450 on an Indiana lottery, and was run over by a truck within hours of winning it big. Wearing dark clothing the winner of a 'Hoosier Millionaire competition', Carl Atwood, 73, was walking round a corner on a poorly lit intersection when he was struck by the truck, later dying in hospital. On the show, which was televised, Atwood had expressed his surprise at winning and stated his plans to "purchase a very nice car."

The Allman Brothers album "Eat a Peach" is a hidden reference to Duane Allman's death at the wheels of a lorry carrying peaches.

While it's true that Duane Allman died in a collision with a lorry in Georgia (a state associated with peaches) months before the release of the "Eat a Peach", and it's also true that the album art does show a truck with a giant peach on board labelled "Allman Brothers", the album is not a direct reference to the death of the talented young guitarist.

The truth is the lorry that Duane Allman collided with was a flatbed truck with a lumber crane. Suffering no externally visible injuries, Duane held onto life immediately following the crash before dying in surgery with massive internal injuries three hours later.

The album's title is less interestingly a reference to a comment Duane once made in a magazine interview. When asked how he was helping the revolution, Allman replied that "...every time I'm in Georgia, I eat a peach for peace."

Fans of the band have also suggested that the album's reverse cover art - an image of a vehicle carrying a giant watermelon - was a reference to fellow band member Berry Oakley's similar motorcycle accident at the wheels of fruit lorry is also revealed as falsehood, first by the fact that he collided with a bus, and secondly that his death was 9 months after the release of the album. Any hidden message would therefore be an inaccurate feat of clairvoyance.
About the Author
Luke Humble is the Website manager for The Transport Exchange Group. Haulage Exchange - a freight exchange for the 7.5 tonne and over market - is one of the UK's fastest growing exchanges.
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