Gratuitous tour selfies
Whenever you hear of someone “going on tour” it seems like such a glamorous life. You envision bikini clad strippers doing coke off a bathroom sink as bottles of hard liquor flow, music blares over invisible speakers and rock stars lap up multitudes of blow jobs from the unending line of adoring groupies. Who wouldn’t savor that life?
The actuality of what happens is of course much less glamorous in execution with extremely long days being the norm, showers being a rarity unless you’re one of the few to actually have a working shower on your vehicle and a very limited amount of precious alone time (which many of us need to retain some semblance of sanity). Seriously though, how does anyone get anything done?! My experience on tour really raised my level of respect for the people who are the backbone of the tour – merch folks, production, vendors, caterers and endless lists of others that make that traveling circus a flawlessly executed event. The glitz and glamor may be evident to some talent, but the beauty really is in what you don’t see. It’s amazing how those who tour together become a temporary family each time – that one piece of reality each person can rely on for familiarity and comfort, which in a work environment are conditions that can make a situation unstoppable. One group of people working for a common goal, sweating together not giving a FUCK, repeating this cycle day after day. You know that 10 minutes in the morning when you want to be left alone, even the sight of your significant other is a potential annoyance? Don’t expect to get more than 1 minute of that time on a tour bus. Definitely not for the faint of heart, ultra prissy or people who NEED solidarity – tour is a group effort and without the support of your crew it can be disaster.
One thing I learned that was key: anything can go wrong at anytime. That element is both frightening and exciting all in one, there’s a certain thrill seeking element to touring that is irreplaceable. Yes, conditions can be basic at best but that chance to experience something new each day is clearly what draws so many into that vagabond situation. I’ve had many friends that tour for a living express the thrill and hatred to me but until I experienced it myself, could not fathom why they kept returning. It’s possibly one of the most uniquely challenging yet fulfilling situations I have ever been a part of. It’s full of family and friendships that help move each cog in the wheel. There’s hilarity, hypocrisy, drama, love, sex and of course the bloodline for all these things – rock n roll. Leaving this experience I walked away with immense respect for all my friends who have spent half their lives touring in order to amplify and promote their art, it may seem like glamor but viewing a lot of artists on the tour I realized what a serious sacrifice it is too. People who leave their families and stability, to gamble on a chance everyday. It’s not an easy life but it’s definitely a respectable, fulfilling one. Cheers to those who make it worth living and remember that next time you go to a touring show date, buy some merch and make it worth their while.
Strippers everywhere, as you can see