Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Travelin’ Band

I would never make it as a rock star. The dark sexual energy I have down pat; it’s the schedule that would kill me. I just spent three days away from home – in the comfort of my in-laws’ house – and I’m completely wrecked and disoriented. Where am I? Whose bed is this? The most strenuous thing about the weekend was a football game – one I attended, not played in – and still I cut short my normal morning visit to the gym because . . . I . . . just . . . didn’t . . . have . . . the . . . energy.

That’s one of the things that I’ve always admired most about bands on the road. It’s not just the show. It’s the waking up in a strange bed in a strange town, eating strange foods on a strange schedule, and still performing at the highest level. Leave the venue at 1:00 a.m., get on a plane at 2:00, check in to a hotel at 6:00, sleep a few hours, and then do it all again. Politicians are prone to saying “nice to see you” rather than “nice to meet you” when they encounter unfamiliar faces, because they can never be sure if they’ve met the person before. This is a practice we could all take to heart. I remember working a show when I was in college, and taped to the floor by the singer’s microphone was a sign that declared in big letters: “Columbia, Missouri.” At first, I laughed that this guy doesn’t know where he is. And then it struck me that he got off a bus four hours ago, walked into a theater that looks just like last night’s theater, and is now peering through stage lights at a crowd no different than the folks in Cleveland or Cucamonga. Of course he doesn’t know where he is.

Unlike me, my kids are rock stars in waiting. After sleeping yesterday on the tour bus we like to call a Honda Odyssey, they jumped out bed this morning ready to attack the second grade and preschool gymnastics, respectively. I’ve always wondered how rock and rollers play the same songs every night with conviction, but it’s no problem for my son. After calling out for “Come On Eileen” twenty-two times over the weekend, he was back on his game in the car this morning. “Play it again, Dad,” he demanded. Every day is a new show. The kid is ready to go on tour.

1 comment:

Trip McClatchy said...

The violin song!