The truck driver has inspired a fantastic run of tales over the years. When working with a freight exchange, you hear the kind of bizarre stories that are more frequently associated with fishermen among the standard tales of traffic jams, incredible journeys, and even more incredible bad driving. During my research for this article, I also learned that lorries and lorry drivers are frequently mentioned in horror stories, oftentimes in stories (and pictures) that are too graphic to discuss here. Let’s just say that the anecdotes about truckers contain a lot of truths and lies.
I’ve used three lorry tales in this case, and I found two of them to be undeniably true. The remaining one is equally exposed as a fraud. I’ll list them all, letting readers decide which is false, and then I’ll explain each one in more detail.
A) Elvis Presley was once told to “You’ll never succeed as a singer, so stick with driving trucks.”
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 the passing away of Duane Allman while operating a truck carrying peaches.
Has everyone formed an opinion yet? Okay, the solution is here. While A and B can be verified to be true, C is an urban legend.
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.” Bond claims the club’s owners forced him to make the choice, but this is according to a friend they both have. Elvis was turned down in either case and was left searching for his big opportunity.
It would happen in a matter of months. “That’s All Right (Mama)” was a big hit in Elvis was invited to finally join them by Memphis and Eddie Bond. 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 “Ninety-eight-year-old man died the following day after winning the lottery.” I did assume that the various versions of this story I’ve heard must be the same kind of embellishment as Ms. Morissette recorded even though the topics of the song are well known for not being ironic in the slightest.
It turns out to be untrue. In January 2004, an Indiana man won $73,450 in the state’s lottery and was killed by a truck just hours later. Carl Atwood, 73, the winner of the “Hoosier Millionaire Competition,” was walking around a corner on a dimly lit intersection when he was struck by the truck and later passed away in the 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 the passing away of Duane Allman while operating a truck transporting 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.
In actuality, Duane Allman was struck by a flatbed truck equipped with a lumber crane. Duane survived the collision with no obvious external wounds, but three hours later he passed away in surgery due to severe internal wounds.
Less intriguingly, the album’s name alludes to a remark Duane once made in a magazine interview. When asked how he was helping the revolution, Allman replied that “…every time I eat a peach for peace because I’m in Georgia.”
Fans of the band have also claimed that the album’s reverse cover art, which features a picture of a car hauling a huge watermelon, is a reference to another band member Berry Oakley’s similar motorcycle accident at the wheels of a fruit truck. However, this claim is untrue due to the fact that Oakley actually collided with a bus and that his passing occurred nine months after the album’s release. Therefore, any concealed message would be a false act of clairvoyance.