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Widespread Panic: Behind the Jam on the Band's Tour Bus

Watch John Bell and Co. discuss 20-plus years on the road and more

May 9, 2008 2:54 PM ET

Singer John Bell shows off his bunk, plus the books and journals he keeps nearby to pass the time on the road (and write a few songs).

What lurks in the cupboard on the Widespread Panic bus? Sardines, Truffle oil and plenty of cereal.

Widespread Panic with their bus in March 1987 — John Bell tells some tales of the old days, when he was the band's driver and mechanic.

WSP discuss what it's like to be tagged as a jam band.

Axeman Jimmy Herring joined the band last year following a couple of replacements for the group's original guitarist, Michael Houser, who died in 2002. Check out Bell discussing his new bandmate's skills and Herring obsessing over chord mathematics.

Take a tour of the back of the bus and find out who does the band's laundry.

Find out why Bell refers to the group's tour itinerary as "The Book of Lies!"

The band has never played the same set twice — hear how they plot their shows.

Bell discusses New Orleans, the city where he met his wife and, after donating money to help rebuild after the Katrina disaster, became buddies with Brad Pitt.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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