Never pick up a hitchhiker, unless it’s filmmaker John Waters, of course

Waters with a couple of members of the indie band Here We Go Magic. Photo: Michael Bloch

Would you pick up this guy by the side of the road?

Apparently last week cult filmmaker John Waters (HAIRSPRAY, CRY-BABY, CECIL B. DEMENTED) stuck out a thumb somewhere near his home in Baltimore, MD and started hitchhiking his way across the USA. If you read this and sensed “film research,” you weren’t far wrong, he claims he has plans to write a book about his anticipated adventures. (Can a movie really be out of the question?) “I have a lot of control in my life,” Waters told Jen Turner, bassist for Here We Go Magic, “and I just wanted to let go of the reins a little bit, have an adventure.”

Brooklyn indie band Here We Go Magic picked up Waters on May 16th, and he and the band members spent the next six hours journeying across Ohio. Although the musicians started off by tweeting their surprise at finding Waters standing by the side of the highway holding a cardboard sign to their initially disbelieving friends, the band soon began spinning their chance encounter with the director into media gold. By today dozens of news outlets nationwide had repeated the story of their brief encounter with the pencil-thin-moustached director.

Water’s next officially documented ride was with a middle-aged married couple from Illinois. While driving through Junction City, KS this past weekend, Laura Broviac and Michael McHaney saw a man near an exit ramp holding a sign whom they thought looked like Waters. After a quick Google news search they realized that it really was the director they had glimpsed, and so doubled-back to offer him a lift. Eight hours later after a nice chat and lunch courtesy of their rider, they parted ways with Waters in Denver, CO. It can be assumed that Waters is still on the road and and still heading west, presumably to another one of his homes in California.

Not sure exactly what he’s looking for on his odyssey, but in an August 2011 interview Waters said, “I still do hitchhike – it’s a great way to meet people, and to have sex.”

Waters with Laura Broviac and Michael McHaney of Illinois.

OHIO: Is John Waters hitchhiking his way across America?

From DCist: Band discusses 6 hours spent with Waters

KANSAS: Married Couple picks up hitchhiking  John Waters in Kansas

And from yesterday: Twitter update via @HereWeGoMagic

Waters chatting with Sarah Trimble in Kansas.


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