Tailpipe Tour

01
May

photo (7) Web

OPENING UP HIS STASH

Tony Goodstash shares the good stuff with the rest of the country on the Tailpipe Tour — his seventh annual cross-country glass-blowing tour.

Tony Goodstash swears he almost died once on his annual Tailpipe Tour.

“I think it would kill some people,” he says. “I definitely understand why music groups break up after going on tour.”

If you’ve ever talked to Goodstash for any length of time, you’d take his word for it. He’s intense. He’s a character. He’s a storyteller. He’s the kind of pied piper that a big idea like his Tilepipe Tour needs.

The tour, now prepping for year No. 7, is Goodstash pulling a huge trailer across the country, stopping at various smoke shops and tattoo shops, hosting live glass-blowing demos. He hands out goodie bags of products and has an all-around party everywhere he goes. It’s part “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” part “The Hangover” and part a traveling salesman who throws kick-ass parties.

“The tour is doing what it’s supposed to do be doing,” Goodstash says. “It’s letting the public see us blow glass in a situation that’s not going to get raided or busted. What the fans get is a great experience they can’t get anywhere else. In 2007, I’d dare you to find many live glass-blowing experiences. Now? They’re having it everywhere. I love it. I’m definitely not saying I did the first one. But basically, the fans get to see the glass blowers doing something real. When you see the work done live, it gives it more credibility.”

This year, The Tailpipe Tour will have Goodstash on the road for July and August, starting in California, heading north through Oregon, crossing the country all the way to Ohio, going south to hit Virginia and New Orleans, then heading back west to his SoCal home. Last year the tour was 9,400 miles long, no small feat for any man.

But Tony Goodstash isn’t a normal man. Beyond the Tailpipe Tour, he runs Goodstash Glass, he’s the visionary behind HelloGlass.net and he’s in the process of opening his own glass-blowing school, the Oasis Star Ranch. Simply put, he’s not the kind of guy who has an “off button.”

“I can work all day, drive all night, then work the next day,” Goodstash says. “If you give me something to do, then let’s do it.”

That’s actually how the Tailpipe Tour started. A buddy of his told him he didn’t think someone could do a coast-to-coast glass-blowing trek in the same way that musicians tour. Goodstash heard a challenge and set out to kick that challenge’s butt.

The tour has grown and evolved and been the muse for plenty of stories — like when one of the vehicles got totaled on the very first tour (it’s still the worst thing that’s happened, he says).

Here are a few interesting factoids about the Tailpipe Tour and how it works:

  • Until this year, Goodstash’s Ford F-550 truck had been the main vehicle on every tour. He bought the truck, which he named Atlas, with 35,000 miles on it. Now it has 150,000. That’s what six nationwide tours will do a truck.
  • This year, he’s driving an RV with a 32-foot trailer attached that can hold 12,000 pounds. Combined, that’s about 60 feet long. The trailer contains a chase car, a 2012 Ford Focus Titanium edition that’s wrapped in tour sponsors such as Magnum Detox and ERB Magazine. The trailer also has materials for the live glass shows, products and more. It’s all worth a half-million dollars, Goodstash says.
  • The tour runs on sponsorships. So different products from the smoking industry sponsor the Tailpipe Tour and Goodstash drives around the country with their logos on his trailer. He gives their products in the hands of 250 smoke shop owners. Some of the sponsors include Detoxify, Captain Kratom and Bling/420 glass cleaner. Beyond the smoking industry, Red Bull and Advanced Nutrients are sponsors too. Sponsorships are limited to one company per product type (i.e. one detox, one kratom brand). He says: “The advertising value is more than worth it. I’d rather be on that vehicle than on the cover of ‘High Times.’ It goes a lot more places.”
  • If you’re wondering, he spends $7,000-$9,000 on gas alone during the tour.
  • In each city, Goodstash blows glass and leans on his friends in the local markets to come and show what they can do. The glass that’s blown is usually sold on the spot. It’s a right-before-your-eyes look at how pipes are made.

“It promotes glass blowing in a positive light,” Goodstash says. “I’d love to see how my car is made, but I’m not going to Detroit. I don’t know when pipe makers will make it on to A & E, so until we do …” then the Tailpipe Tour is the next best thing to a reality TV show.

Next year, Goodstash says he’s retiring his chase car and getting something new. He won’t say what exactly, but teases: “The vehicle will be quite pimp. In the smoking industry there are probably 10 people who can afford the vehicle that will be the next tour vehicle.”

Looking ever further into the future, Goodstash sees the Tailpipe Tour as the recruiting vehicle for his Oasis Star Ranch, which opens in December 2014. The school sits on almost 80 acres in the Southern California’s San Bernardino Country near the Mojave Desert. The school will take 20 students with five or six staff members to teach them. The whole point is to learn how to be a glass blower for the smoke shop industry. No artsy stuff here.

“We’re guaranteeing anybody who passes the one-year course a job, either with us or someone else in the industry,” Goodstash says.

That’s down the road, but for now, the road Goodstash is getting ready for is the Tailpipe Tour.

“As this industry grows and gets more and more mainstream by the year,” Goodstash says. “We hope the Tailpipe Tour is seen as the largest visual advertising public spectacle the smoke industry has — with a great reputation.

“I want to see the tour keep getting bigger, but I also don’t want to see it sell out. I don’t want to see Doritos on the side of my trailer.”

TAILPIPE TOUR INFO
(310) 374-0299
www.skatesurfsmoke.com

A sampling of dates:
July 1: San Diego
July 5-6: San Francisco and San Jose.
July 10: Portland
July 21: Chicago
July 27: Richmond
Aug. 4-5: New Orleans
Aug. 9: Houston
Aug. 11: Austin
Aug. 16-17: Albuquerque.

 


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