Attitude of Gratitude: Cool things about touring (that we sometimes forget…)

Sometimes most crew get a bit of jaded roadie syndrome, and we get grumpy and we get homesick and dammit if we hear that song once more….. Here are some of the great things I remind myself of from time to time.

You get to travel the world and get paid for it. And you end up in some wacky old places that you just wouldn’t ever visit as a tourist, and become richer for the experience, both literally and figuratively.

You generally get to do this with a bunch of like-minded people who become your mates. Sure there’ll be one or two who aren’t your cup of tea, but that’s just life and there are lots of others to hang out with! Camaraderie is one of the best things about life on the road.

Music! With a bit of luck you like the band you’re touring with, and it’s fulfilling to be part of that creative process.

You don’t have to clean the bathroom THE WHOLE TIME YOU’RE AWAY!

Or go to the supermarket.

Or cook.

Or do your own laundry…. You get the picture.

Lovely people cook lovely food for you. In fact you may need to pack your willpower if you don’t want to come home with some unwanted tour swag…. Especially when the load-out food and drink fairies visit the bus…

Get in the flow. If you’re directly involved in the show, you can’t be thinking about anything else for that couple of hours… you have to be present because if you’re not, you’re going to mess up. And we all know what that means…. Taxi!

Every day is dress-down Friday. Except when you put on normal-person clothes to go out for dinner on a day off, and everyone looks really smart and it’s all a bit weird!

You know that thing when you forget where you are? (Umm…. stage left?) Well that happens, but it’s sometimes because you haven’t looked at the day sheet beyond timings and so you genuinely don’t know! Which is kind of surreal….

Sometimes you get to stay in really swanky hotels. The rooms are usually ready pretty fast because a bunch of crew tumbling off the sleeper bus in their jammies isn’t quite the look they had in mind for the lobby.

You get to try some really weird and wonderful local cuisines on the more ‘exotic’ legs of a tour. (South-East Asia I’m looking at you.) If you’re prepared to embrace the adventure then it’s never dull!

That little rush of adrenaline before a show, and the happy sense of satisfaction after a particularly good one.

And finally….when you get home after a long tour there’s nothing like it for making you truly appreciate life’s little pleasures. Your own bed, a proper cup of tea in your favourite mug (to an English person most countries just do not get it about tea!), TV that you can understand (BBC World, I love you but you do get a bit samey!) and of course the biggie of seeing your loved ones…. these things take on a new level of joy, and that alone is worth hitting the road for!

9 thoughts on “Attitude of Gratitude: Cool things about touring (that we sometimes forget…)”

  1. Agreed. We all work hard to get where we want to be in this industry. Our bad days at the ‘office’ are still pretty good days if we think about it. 🙂

  2. You really,,,,, really appreciate your life and trade as a Tour Bus Driver, Lighting Tech, Guitar Tech, FOH Engineer,Monitor Engineer,Drum Tech, Bass n Keyboard Tech,Tour Manager, Production Asst,Merch Person, Truck Driver, Set Carpenter, Wardrobe Personnel when you take a job a on the off season and you get your check after a 40 plus hour week. And you take a look at it and say.”Thats all I get ” Damn ! Can’t wait til tour season starts up. I can’t survive off of this much money….

  3. Only one comment. If you screw the pooch bad enough to get canned, you’ll likely wind up on a Greyhound, NOT a Taxi.

    The dreaded “Greyhound Ride” was a threat ever hanging over the heads of my crews over the years.

  4. … all true. Grateful is a good thing to be. On occasion I’ve told ppl I’m the luckiest guy they know becuz I love what it is I do for a living. But it’s also true that after all these years I’m ill suited for much else lol …

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