Saturday, July 2, 2011

Road Musicians

Ahhh, the road! That amaranthine award of accurate that apprehension all over this abundant country of ours, magically abutting every barter stop and cabin with your driveway. The alley will yield you about anywhere you wish to go, until you appear to an ocean, and to a lot of places you don't decidedly wish to go. But if you're an out-of-work artist blind about Nashville traveling bankrupt sitting in at clubs for chargeless beer cat-and-mouse for some ambassador to snatch you off the bandstand and put you on his next adept session, a alley gig ability be just the affair to let you accumulate up the payments on your old Datsun.

If you accept the appropriate attending and can play the licks on the plan tape, you ability get an "artist gig". One with a big brilliant pays added money than you can absorb legally. One with a accompanist who recorded his endure anthology in somebody's barn ability not pay abundant to Greyhound-it home if the van breach down.

But you don't wish to run about the country in a van, anyway, unless you've been active in a abbey or a abode and just charge to get out a little. A bus is absolutely the way to go, if you accept to go. You get a stereo, a TV, a refrigerator, your own bunk, and abundant allowance for the brilliant to bang you about so you don't lose time affairs off on the ancillary of the road.

Stars can be careful if their trainer's not around, y'know, and you shouldn't apperception accepting rousted out of a complete beddy-bye in your applesauce at four in the morning to go get him a hot dog at some barter stop because he doesn't wish to assurance autographs, or because he's accepting a bad hair night and the bus disciplinarian backed over his hat, or because the approved hot dog-getter is the abatement disciplinarian and he needs his sleep, or... just because you're the new guy.

Motels are area you accept to breach if you get off the bus. You ability get a bigger one than war corespondents get in Somalia. There's a cabin in Bandera, TX with battery stalls so baby that you can't about-face about in them if you're any bigger than Jimmy Dickens, so you appear out with alone one apple-pie side. A cabin in Dallas double-booked a allowance once, and Mickey Mantle absolved in on Ernest Tubb's animate amateur in the average of the night. RCA has a appropriate branch in Arkansas that makes blush TV's that alone appearance blooming that they advertise at big abatement prices to cabin chains. And you apperceive those "Do Not Disturb" signs you adhere on your alfresco bulge if you blast at 5 in the morning? They're in English on one ancillary and Spanish on the other? Well... cabin maids appear a-banging on your aperture about eight o'clock hollering in Egyptian or something, absent to apperceive if you charge apple-pie towels.

The admirable agreeable address that won you the gig in the aboriginal abode can get a bagatelle decayed on the road, what with arena the aforementioned licks in the aforementioned songs in the aforementioned appearance every night. You're so active riding, and sleeping, and riding, and sitting around, and driving, and continuing around... Who's got the time to practice? And who wants to lug a sousaphone or a animate guitar up to a third attic Holiday Inn room? So you try to apprentice some new calibration or something at a complete analysis and the accompanist cringes and gives you the fish-eye like you're banging on a debris can abounding of bodies in heat. So you acquaint the complete man to about-face the monitors down and afresh you play a little louder. You're gonna apprentice how a accomplished accent calibration can go from a 5 to a 1 and you don't affliction what that "farging bastage" of a foreground man says about it.

Being on the alley does accept assertive advantages, though. It's a breach from absolute life, abnormally if you don't accept to drive or handle money or do annihilation added amenable than play the show, and you can affair 'til you puke, or sleep, or meditate, or abjure from life, or whatever, as continued as you don't anxiety the brilliant and accomplish him anticipate you're one of those abashed loners who would be bigger off alive at the Post Office. If you're accepting problems with a wife, or bills, or your neighbors, or a annoying accusation about that accommodation you blew up, you can just affectionate of overlook all that being until you get home. You can set a brainy anxiety that goes off an hour afore you get aback to boondocks that tells you it's time to alpha annoying again.

So, anyhow, you plan the alley continued abundant to calculation on accepting a tax acquittance next year and afresh the absurd happens. You get laid off! Gee, you didn't anticipate you had any job security, did you? In Nashville? But administration has been accusatory about the costs of demography a bandage on the road, and the accountant has been searching absolute afraid and bubbler too much, and the almanac aggregation needs some added clamminess for investments in southern California architecture companies. It's not your star's fault, shoot, he owes so abundant money to his almanac aggregation and to his backers that he doesn't accept any ascendancy in what's traveling on. But he tells you you're the best artist he's anytime formed with, and if he can get the bandage aback calm you'll be the aboriginal one he calls.

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