East Coast – Day 13

02022-11-08 | Photos, Touring | 6 comments

I took this photo as I walked to a Starbucks about half a mile from our hotel near BWI airport. Bought coffee for my Snow Peak cup and sat down near the entrance, where large windows let in light.

Jon soon arrived, had his cup filled and sat down. We noted that the music was much better than recent Starbucks experiences. This song actually has a chorus and a melody and singing without auto-tuning, we agreed.

A few thoughts at the end of the tour:

  • Seeing the Belew and Rundgren tourbus in front of Rams Head, where they performed a Bowie-themed show a couple of days before we played there, made me realize that I really don’t miss long tours or being on a bus. At all.
  • Traffic on east coast roads seemed horrific, but that’s probably the same everywhere.
  • I opened a Mastodon account and am currently not posting to Twitter. I like Mastodon. It has a great vibe.
  • We worked on new arrangements of Lush and La Luna at soundchecks – coming to a theater near you next year. Lush sounds really nice with the upright bass. More chamber music than pop.
  • I love this trio. So great playing with Jon and Robby!
  • It seems I only wear socks on the days that I have to stand on the nasty floor at the airport.

    1. Steve

      >Seeing the Belew and Rundgren tourbus in front of Rams Head, where they performed a Bowie-themed show a couple of days before we played there, made me realize that I really don’t miss long tours or being on a bus. At all.

      I can only imagine. I have heard this from others I know who used to tour for a significant portion of their living. Did something radical change in the past … 5-10-ish years?

      • ottmar

        It’s probably a combination of factors. As you know touring used to be the advertising and didn’t need to make money. Musicians made money with the sale of CDs. Now every tour has to make money. This is why almost every band travels with a couple of vans or perhaps one bus and a trailer full of gear. That same band probably had two busses and a truck or 18 wheeler in the Nineties… and carried sound and lights to replace or augment the venue’s equipment. We haven’t had an LD for more than a decade but we do travel with a FOH engineer because the sound is important to us. So, everything changed.
        Most importantly, I don’t like the stress I feel when a venue doesn’t provide shore power and the bus has to run a diesel generator so the food doesn’t spoil, the lights can be turned on, and the interior doesn’t become a hot house.
        Unless you are a big star a bus only makes financial sense if it replaces hotel rooms. But not every venue has showers and I have been in some where critters seem to run around freely and you don’t want to take a shower. It’s a good thing that there is a stage and the audience isn’t close enough to smell the musicians. I think there were some long tours in the nineties where things weren’t exactly fresh…
        The short tours where we drive ourselves and we have hotel rooms and showers every day are much more enjoyable. :-)

        • Steve

          Curious: did you get rid of your bus?

          • ottmar

            I never bought a bus. They were always leased. I wanted to design my own many times but figured nobody else would like how my bus would look and then it couldn’t earn money when I wasn’t touring. Of course leasing a bus every year for a few months – for nearly thirty years – might mean that buying a custom bus might have been the cheaper option…

    2. JaneParham

      My recent experience of San Francisco traffic was horrendous, and I ‘m sure most large cities have rough traffic. Los Angeles is a traffic hell hole of course. But oh, oh, oh traffic in the Washington-Baltimore vicinity is the horrendousEST! I lived there for 15 years and often cried tears of frustration while driving. Yeah for Uber!

      The Luna Negra performance in the Washington DC area at the Birchmere Music Hall (Virginia) was stupendous. Robby outdid himself in energy and all the fabulous rhythms and sounds. Jon was so warm and very expressive in his quiet way. Ottmar was in top form, technically impressive and oh so musical. The audience was huge and enthusiastic. Good going!


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