Marty Stuart's Bus Love

This appeared in The Tennessean - June 19, 1998

[Note: Accompanying this article were pictures of the interior of Marty's new bus]

Though he has been performing and touring on buses for all of his adult life, Marty Stuart's love affair with the coach began much earlier. Stuart's first opportunity to ride a bus came when his church group chartered one to take a group of children to a skating rink in Meridian, Mississippi.

"I love the smell of diesel fuel," he recalls, "so I stood there and smelled it and was overcome by the fumes. I missed the trip. I was probably 8 or 9 at the time. At night I used to lie in bed and pretend I was on a bus, and now I lie in bed and pretend I'm not."

Stuart liked Lester Flatt's bus, but he especially liked Ernest Tubb's. "Lester Flatt's bus was always functional but dark, but Ernest's bus always had a lot of cowboy character. It was like a rolling bunkhouse; there was always card games and cutting up. That bus just kind of set the atmosphere.

"Then the bus went on the market and then it was Charlie Daniels' crew bus, so I said, 'Let's take this bus and give it another chance.' We took it and toured that bus till we just ran the wheels off. It started breaking down a lot of me. The very last thing I did was shoot it twice in the floor with my 45....On behalf of everybody it had broken down on."

Marty Stuart's new bus, with a decidedly Western theme, is still rolling strong.

By Elizabeth S. Betts

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