I never kept a journal on tour, but I've been in an awfully pensive mood about the time I spent on the road for a few weeks now. Would anyone mind reading this and telling me what they think about this as an opener? I want to somehow catalogue my experiences, not necessarily in story-telling fashion; rather, I want to simply show how much the touring experience changed my life... just want some advice... what would you want to hear? Help me get an outline of what I'm going to write. It may never turn into a real book. It's going to mainly just be for me, but I wanted to get some feedback.
I want to Live Beneath the Dirt
I’ve been awfully lucky in this life to experience some things that few people have truly experienced or lived in any capacity. More often than not, more people than not have lived fairly “normal” lives going to school, buying a house, having kids, bills, a car, mortgage, and all of the trappings of that which comprises “normal” life. From the vantage point from which I write today, I can say the same of myself; however, I also find myself thinking of the days from 1997 to 2000 as the days that molded who I am today. I can trace almost all of my most memorable experiences back to those times, times which taught me how to live, where my place is in the world, and the things that I find most beautiful about the 6 billion other folks with whom I share space upon this planet.
Indeed, my time living on the road is not usually most comfortable being recounted around a water cooler with the other planners; but almost every ideal I hold, including my sense of who I am and what I want out of my life, stems from those three years of following … a band… around the country.
I can understand and appreciate how odd the whole premise seems to most people. For the average concert-goer, seeing their favorite band at their local large amphitheater once per year on a warm summer night would be the sort of thing that anyone would look forward to for weeks on end. I, too, these days, find myself with one concert ticket in hand two weeks before the event and think about how excited I am to go experience a show up close and personal and how thankful I am to have the day after the event off from the doldrums of being an urban planner in Indianapolis. For sure, it is a fantastic feeling for which I can understand and share in anyone’s excitement.
However, having one ticket hanging on your refrigerator for a show two weeks from the day it arrives is altogether a completely different feeling from the sheer joy of running to hug the FedEx man, who just stopped by your house to deliver tickets to twenty shows across the entire continental United States. The sheer excitement of what those tickets meant, the implication of what that oversized envelope on the coffee table meant for your life is enough to drive even the most normal person certifiably insane, especially considering the amount of fun and freedom that was contained in twenty well-designed, hologram-laden pieces of cardboard that sat dormant in front of you and all of the visitors to your house for months on end.
Lest this gets too dramatic, I feel impelled to note that not all excitement inherent in holding so many tickets around the country at one time was the kind of nervous excitement that I now take from going to Chicago for a weekend. Getting ready for a tour meant all kids of questions that had to be addressed: How much money do we need to save for the trip? How many shifts can I pick up delivering pizza to obtain those funds? What do we need to buy for the road? Do I need a new tent? What is the best way to get from Vernon, NY to Limestone, ME? Where in the hell are we going to stay in New York City during the New Year’s holiday? How do we make all of this come together? Why would I do all of this to repeatedly go see four Vermont play music night after night? Have I lost my mind?