Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tuesday Update 07.04.06

Tuesday Update 07.04.06

2500 miles
13 days
12 shows

I finally made it back to Nashville last night around 2 AM. For those of you who don’t know, let me enlighten you...

I travel in a 1999 Saturn SW2. I bought it last summer and have put 40K miles on it in a year (fyi, the average is 15K a year). I load 3 speakers, a 6 space rack, my ridiculous pedalboard, a bag of cables, a toolbox of strings/guitar things, 2 boxes of CDs, a tip jar, posters, mailing lists/clipboards, a mic stand, 2 guitar stands, 2 speaker stands, a bag of clothes, a bag of shoes/towel/toiletries, a bag of assorted gym/running gear, 2 guitars, a laptop, a backpack, a soft-shell cooler of non-perishable foods, and a ice-chest that is my refridgerator for the tour.

Here’s a typical day:

I arise at the residence of some kind soul who has allowed me to borrow the shelter of their roof for the previos night, I load my bags and guitars in the car (never leave them in there overnight), and jet out. I eat cereal (bran flakes) out of a cup with milk (1% or 2%) that has been kept in my cooler overnight. This is breakfast as I drive to whatever YMCA happens to be between me and my next show (I look this YMCA up online the night before).

After a good workout I shower in the community showers with all the old men...don’t dwell on that...then I down a protein shake (a non-perishable source of protien is a must for a balanced tour diet) and look for a Panera Bread where I can grab lunch and a little WI-FI to locate my next show and get some work done. After a couple of hours in Panera I am usually getting odd looks and decide to hit the road.

I average between 2 and 4 hours of driving a day, and so after my morning schedule I am generally to the venue just in time to set up 2 hours before a show. I drag all of my gear in and am generally checked and ready to go in less than 45 minutes.

I grab dinner (from the venue or from my car most often) and try to chill a bit before I play. Then comes show time.

After the show, I am generally fortunate enough to find a good conversation with someone who was there for my set (this is the high point of the day...if the show goes well).

I then tear down and load out and in most cases have been blessed with a friend who has a couch or spare bed (hallalujah) that I can crash on. If they have Internet, I get online and prep for the next day and it all begins again...

Someday I’ll have to share more about the contents of my cooler...it’s like a 2 week camping trip...and I have grown to not care what people think when I am making a sandwich on the roof of my car in the Walmart parking lot...in fact I’ve grown to not care about a lot of things...underwear for one....but that’s another thing for another day....

Honestly this last tour was the roughest I’ve had. Low summer attendance and almost 2 weeks of solitude can weigh heavy on even a loner such as myself. Thanks so much to all of my friends on the road and at home that keep me going...I wish I could bring you a piece of the highlights of my trip...the cool summer breeze that bathed me as I played a late outdoor show in Louisville, July fourth with friends in Dayton, morning quiet time in a lonely Indiana cornfield, a tear in Illionois, Ted Drewes historic and famous frozen custard (with fresh peaches) right along Route 66 in St. Louis, being startled from a prayer as a red fox chased a rabbit through an old cemetery on the edge of a hayfield in Missouri, the shooting star over Oklahoma, the nectarine sunrise after driving all night into Little Rock, the full moon on my final ride back into Nashville...

There are ups and there are downs...I’m sure you’ll find them all in a future song.

Until then,



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