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Your First Tour as a Band

Yay! Your band's going on tour! Just a small one, four weeks up and down the east coast, but you're finally playing somewhere that's not your hometown for a change. You're elated. Of course, you still have that nine-to-five job to worry about, but hell its music, right? You take an entire month of your precious vacation time (No Disney World or hike across for Europe for you...) and hit the road.

Your month goes something like this: 

Day 1: Get up too damn early, tearful goodbye to girlfriend ("I promise I'll call you every single day..."), put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Get to first gig. Unload van by yourself as rest of band disappears.  Fans from in town drive to see you on your inaugural show; get too rowdy, smash place up. Club owner pissed.  Band has to cover the club's losses. Asked never to play there again. No money for motel room, sleep in van. 

Day 2: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Flat tire on interstate. Spare tire in back of van under the bass rig, have to empty van out on the side of the highway to get to it. It begins to rain. Put spare tire on while drummer (your ex-girlfriend) flirts with new guitarist. Late to gig. Club owner pissed.  Play badly. (Drummer was making eyes at new guitarist on stage all night.) Get paid a total of twenty bucks.  Spend sleepless night in van with snoring lead singer while drummer and guitarist share the only hotel room. 

Day 3: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Get to gig. Play badly as singer antagonizes audience. Club owner pissed. Watch audience beat singer to a pulp while loading van by yourself as other band members have disappeared. Make twenty bucks; spend restless night in hospital while singer gets bandaged. 

Day 4: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van; eat fast food, drive, drive, drive. Get lost, can't find town the club is at. Call for directions. Club is back two hundred miles the way you just came. Drive, drive, drive. Unload van by yourself as rest of band disappears. Play last on the bill, don't get paid, sleep in van. 

Day 5: Sleep in late, put gas in the van, no time for fast food, drive. Get to gig. Club gives band a bar tab! Get drunk, play badly. Band's pay doesn't cover bar tab, club owner pissed. Too drunk to drive to motel, sleep in van.   

Day 6: Sleep in late, hangover, singer vomited all over side of the van during the night. Tie singer to front of the van, drive through car wash. Get to gig late, club owner pissed, says you'll never play there again. Sleep in van. 

Day 7: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van; eat fast food, drive, drive, drive  Realize you've been heading south for six hours instead of north, turn around. Get to town, club has closed. Sleep in van. 

Day 8: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Get to gig. Unload van by yourself as rest of band disappears. Play good show until singer exposes his privates to audience full of underage girls. Club owner pissed, asked never to play there again. Sleep in van. 

Day 9: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Get to gig. Unload van by yourself as rest of band disappears. Enthusiastic crowd, do good show, make fifty bucks (Woo hoo!) eat at Shoney's. Restless night in van while drummer and guitarist have their first big fight and break up. 

Day 10: Too tired to get up, sleep in way late. Miss gig. Club owner pissed, asked never to play there again. 

Day 11: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Get to club too early, go eat fast food. Go back to club. Realize drummer left snare behind at last gig. Drive, drive, drive. Get back to club late. Club owner pissed. Guitarist breaks guitar. Play badly. Make twenty bucks. Sleep in van. 

Day 12: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van; go to fifty pawnshops looking for replacement guitar for guitarist. Band fund buys guitarist new guitar. Drive. Get to gig, soundman refuses to turn up monitors, play badly. Sleep in van while guitarist and drummer rekindle their romance in hotel room. 

Day 13: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, drive.Get to gig. Fight with local band over who gets to play first. Play badly, don't get paid, local band swipes all your guitar stands and effect pedals.  Sleep in van. 

Day 14: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, drive.  Get to gig.  Play badly.  Club sound system dies.  Club owner insists you play instrumentals as club is packed.  You play extended version of your one instrumental and drive everyone out of club. Club owner pissed. Don't get paid. Restless night in van while drummer and guitarist have another fight and then energetically make up. 

Day 15: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, drive. Get to gig. Unload van by yourself as rest of band disappears. Soundman refuses to turn up monitors, play badly. (Haven't eaten since...?)  Get twenty bucks.  Eat at late night Taco Bell. Meet girls there who saw your show. Go home with one of the girls. HAVE SEX!  (Woo hoo!), take shower.  (Yessssssssssss!!!!) Girl's parent's come home, yell at daughter for doing this (again) and then kick you out of the house. Sleep in van.   

Day 16: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Get to gig. Singer repeatedly passes out on stage after ingesting pills given to him by fan. Play well, actually.  Singer vomits all over side of van (again). No car wash to be found, leave singer outside of van all night in the rain. Sleep in van. 

Day 17: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Water pump on van breaks. Call home to parents for money to fix. Fight with parents. Call girlfriend. She wires you money even though she's pissed you haven't called her even once. You tell her you'll do better. Miss gig, club owner pissed, says you'll never play there again. Restless night in van while drummer and guitarist have another fight and break up. 

Day 18: Get up too damn early, pick up van from service station, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Get to gig. Drummer decides to piss off guitarist by befriending the girl he's interested in. Singer in other band gets pissed when his girlfriend disappears with your drummer. Fight with other band while drummer hangs out with singer in other band's girlfriend. Club owner pissed, says you'll never play there again. Restless night in van parked outside of drummer's new friend's apartment waiting for her to say goodbye. 

Day 19: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Drummer's new friend tags along to next show. Unload van by yourself as rest of band disappears. Play badly.  (Drummer and friend were getting a little too friendly backstage before show, and now you've finally figured it out.) Make twenty bucks; sleep in van, which is now extremely cramped with drummer's new girlfriend. 

Day 20: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Go to town's free clinic to take care of irritating rash from your one sexual encounter this tour. Get to gig late.  Club owner pissed. Soundman refuses to turn up monitors, play badly. Sleep in van. 

Day 21: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, eat fast food, drive. Enter New York. Go to CBGBs for first ever high-profile gig. Unload van by yourself as rest of band disappears.  Club treats you like shit, food tastes like shit, soundman treats you like shit, other bands treat you like shit, step in dog shit on the stage. Famous Rock Star you always admired sees your show. You talk to him afterwards. He didn't like your band, treats you like shit, hooks up with your drummer and her new girlfriend. Don't get paid. Sleep in van. 

Day 22: Get up too damn early, spend ten hours trying to find drummer who disappeared last night. She shows up without her new girlfriend but with a new guy friend (who looks and smells as if he's been sleeping in a van for three weeks...) gets in fight with guitarist. Get to gig late, club owner pissed. Make twenty bucks. Sleep in van. 

Day 23: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van; eat fast food, drive, drive, drive. Get to gig. Unload van by yourself as rest of band disappears. Sound man refuses to turn up monitors, play badly. Make twenty bucks. Restless night in van while guitarist and drummer rekindle their romance over the drunk and passed out body of her new (and now former) boyfriend. 

Day 24: Guitarist and drummer's new (now ex-) boyfriend fight in parking lot. Cops arrive up and break it up. Ex-boyfriend says all is forgiven, and he'll roadie for free beer for rest of tour, as he has nothing better to do. Put gas in the van, drive. Get to gig. Play good. New roadie promises to load van while you flirt with cute gothic girl backstage. Go out to van to neck, van gone. Call cops. Van found by cops on side of road, stereo missing, tires slashed, equipment missing, new roadie also missing. Coincidence? Cute gothic girl leaves with friends. Sleep in empty van on side of road. 

Day 25: Get up too damn early, call parents for money. Fight with parents. Call girlfriend. Fight with girlfriend, but she wires you money, anyway. You promise to call her everyday. Get tires fixed.   

Day 26: Get up too damn early; go to every pawnshop in town to recover stolen gear. Miss gig, club owner pissed, sleep in van. 

Day 27: Get up too damn early, drive to gig. Play well. Flirt with other band's girlfriends backstage. Get in fight with other band. Club owner pissed, make twenty bucks, sleep in van. 

Day 28: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, drive. Get to gig. Girl who let you take shower and gave you rash shows up at gig. She says she's had her shots. Play good, make fifty bucks (Woo hoo!) but tell band it was only twenty. Pocket rest of money and get hotel room with girl. Very sleepless night.

Day 29: Get up late to pounding on the door. Open it, expecting it to be your band ready to go.  It's not: girl's parents have tracked her down. Her father punches you in the face, says he's getting a lawyer. Tearful goodbye as they shove her into a car. Can't find van. Wander around seedy part of town when you get kicked out of hotel room. Sun goes down. Band shows up. Seems they forgot all about you until it was time to unload the van at the gig. Get to gig late, club owner pissed, make twenty bucks. Sleep in van. 

Day 30: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van, drive. Last gig of the tour! Eat at Applebee's to celebrate. Unload van by yourself as rest of band has disappeared. Play badly.  Make twenty bucks. Sleep in van. 

Day 31: Get up too damn early, put gas in the van; eat fast food, drive, drive, drive, drive. Get back to town; unload van by yourself as rest of band has disappeared. Drive home. Take long hot shower. Sleep, sleep, sleep in warm bed. Wake up to pounding on door. It's your girlfriend. She's pissed that you never called her and where's the damn money she gave you to fix the van? Make up with girlfriend  (Woo hoo!) 

Next month: Band breaks up. Girlfriend break ups with you when you still haven't paid her back AND you've given her an irritating rash. Go to clinic. Band reforms with new singer. Girl who gave you irritating rash runs away from home and turns up at your door with much older boyfriend looking for a place to stay. 

Band breaks up again.

 

Copyright 1999 Roy Peak