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Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by McGlamRock, Feb 13, 2020.
got to see him many times...
I am among the biggest Joey Harris fans on the planet!
was it because he brought two amps?
Those are not my tips, it is from country dick, drummer from the beat farmers. It is a fun read, that is why i posted it.
edit sorry, i missed your former post.
Yeah, he died on stage. Quite a way to go, isn't it ?
I've found that a happiness criteria for me on tour is being able to carry all my stuff in one go. Use gear that's a tool, not a prized possession. The less the better. Molded semi hard cases work the best for me, not hard cases and not heavy reinforced gig bags.
I'm not big on the spare part. I've never had a guitar brake down, unless it was something fancy (active electronics, piezo pickups, stereo or auto shut off cables etc - I don't use any fancy stuff anymore for that reason), I use relatively fresh strings and locking tuners, never a problem in years.
I'd go one or two guitars, and one amp with a sansamp amp sim pedal on my pedalboard (IF I had to take an amp). There'll be spare amps around. Enjoy the tour, first tour is mega fun times!
Take along tools and parts you might need to handle any emergency repairs.
Also, take a small flashlight. I recently bought a pair of these flashlight gloves that have proven to be rather handy. You can find them on Amazon and Ebay but I bought mine at a local closeout/overstock store for $10.
RJ Ronquillo on youtube has some videos about touring.
Have fun, good luck.
It's fine to just take one guitar and one amp ... unless one of them breaks down.
In the 70's there were a lot of us that couldn't afford backup equipment. I had a friend who was touring in Armpit, Arkansas and his SVT stopped working. Only one small music store in the area, no repairman. He wound up having to buy some piece of junk at list price to finish the tour. Don't be that guy.
What vehicle are you traveling in? Are you hauling a trailer?
Two guitars isn’t overkill. Two combo amps is. I always carried a combo, and then a small compact head as a backup. If the combo goes down, you just unplug the speaker and jack it into your little head.
If you’re hauling a trailer, well first of all don’t. Unless it’s absolutely unavoidable. You’ll pay through the nose for tolls and parking. You’ll find at least one place you can’t park at all. And trailers are far too easily stolen, and there’s just no real way to truly secure them.
You’re much better off with a full sized van (15 passenger) and removing the rear seat for gear storage. I’ve toured extensively like that with a 4-5 piece band. All the stage gear fits easily if people are reasonable about what they’re taking on the road.
More space savings- if you haul a trailer, you gotta use hard cases for your guitars. And I’d recommend having one for your amp as well. If all the gear goes in the van with you, use gig bags, and toss em on top of the pile. Bring them into the room with you at night. No exceptions. I don’t really worry about amps. You can rent those almost anywhere in a pinch.
Bring your own pillow. Pack light. For something as short as a ten day run, I’d probably pack in a backpack the size of your average school book bag, plus maybe three nice shirts on hangars. One extra pair of shoes or boots you can stuff under your seat is all you need. I say these things because the more people you have in the vehicle, the more you’ll appreciate the space created by the ones who don’t overpack.
Touring is a game of hurry up and wait. The thing you’ll do least out of everything while on the road, is play music. You don’t need a lot of clothing, because you’ll have time to do laundry now and again.
Pack a small kit of essentials for yourself. You don’t want to be hunting for a drug store in a strange city because you didn’t pack Imodium. Once that happens, it’s usually too late. Imodium, emergen C or similar, ibuprofen, etc. You don’t need much, and hopefully don’t need it at all, but better safe than sorry.
If you’re walking in and out of the hotel every day with nothing but a small bag like that, and a couple guitars in gig bags, you’ll be glad. Not to mention, the tighter you can pack and the less crap you’re hauling, the less likely you are to lose something or have it disappear. You don’t want a ton of stuff to keep up with.
And I always tell everyone who goes on their first tour-
there are three things that will happen without fail. There has never been an indie tour run in the history of the world that does not include these three things, so if you’re not sure if you can deal with them, don’t go.
1. You will lose money on at least one gig. Could be because of tolls, could be because of parking, could be somebody gets sick or hurt and has to go to the ER and you miss the set. But you will lose money on at least one show.
2. You will have a vehicular failure. Guaranteed. Even if your truck is brand new. Could be as simple as a flat tire, could be a lost engine or tranny that could end your whole run that day. Maybe you’ll hit a deer. But something will happen to your ride.
3. There will be a fight. Might be verbal, might be physical, might be both. Could be just two guys that don’t get along, or you could all end up screaming at each other. It’s tight quarters, and tempers can run short and high. Living with your band in a van every day when you really can’t escape, is a whole lot different than seeing them a few hours a week back at home.
The thing you hope doesn’t happen (but it certainly can) is the perfect storm. The hat trick. The trifecta. Where the van breaks down, that’s the icing on the cake for one of the guys, they lose their s#!t, it starts a fight, and then it turns out the van is so broken you miss the show that night.
Bands either get a lot stronger on the road, or they burn to the ground. It will be apparent pretty quickly who is suited to doing it and who isn’t.
No matter what happens, have fun. And try not to take it too seriously. But do have a cash cushion cause that vehicle is gonna break.
Cat Woman called and she wants her gloves back...
Looking forward to the after-action report . . . with fingers crossed, given Jakedog's long experience of what can go astray.
What Jakedog said. And this.
I once did a 1st tour with an act that was on the fast track to Nashville stardom. Her 1st album was about to release, and we were fortunate to have a bus. The bus never broke down, we always got paid, but there was a fight. Everyone survived that. My rules for touring are always sleep with your feet toward the windshield, always sit to do your business in the bathroom even if it is just to pee (especially if there are women on the bus), and never sleep in a common area because everyone in the band has a Sharpie for autographs, they are bored, and your face is their canvas.
Been there, done that back in the 70's. The fight, which was shouting then turned into a shoving match, was over loading some massive Peavey PA speakers columns (812H if I remember right) into a trailer outside a venue in Maryland.
Later that tour, everyone got very sick from food poisoning when we got to Jersey. So, I'd add a #4 to your list, getting sick on the road is extra miserable, and be careful about what you eat. If everyone eats from a buffet, everyone is likely to get sick.
bring lotsa bibles!
Somebody remembers Country Dick Montana!!!
Good on ya, Maggot!