The life of a transient
musician is not one of sex, drugs and rock & roll.
It's not glamorous, no matter how hard musicians try to make it so, and people not in the industry want to believe it is.
If you want to experience the life style of the average English reggae troubadour read on.
These incidences have actually happen to members of bands I have been part of or tour managed.
They are being presented as points, but with a sense of humour to cushion the blow.
The words in italics are either spoken words or thoughts.
I have not named anyone to protect the guilty.
1. You've pack a bag
with all the changes of clothes that you will need for normal
everyday wear, and a selection of outfits to wear for every gig
of the tour.
But the bag can only be a large holdall or small suitcase because space in the tour bus is a problem!
2. Toiletries and medicines
are included because it will be neigh on impossible to get the
right brand of soap and cocoa butter on the ferry or at the airport.
You know that in some far flung foreign land going into a chemist and asking for:
'Baldwin's Patented Belly Medicine'
will yield nothing but odd looks from the girl behind the counter and the whole of the chemist shop will be in hysterics as you mime and gesture to the chemist as to what is wrong with you.
The chemist will thinks that you are a madman and is more than likely to call the local police.
You know this because you are seasoned musical soldier.
Have you ever seen a reggae musician tam in hand with locks flashing, spinning, gyrating with the odd uttered phase of:
"You know the ting deh man?"
"It come pan TV."
"It's a white medicine in a blue battle."
"Weh it name again?"
"From you is a chemist, you know it man !"
in explanation of what
is required; I have.
3. You've packed your instrument and accessories needed to play your instrument.
4. You arrange to pay
your rent or mortgage when you return.
If the landlord or building society won't wear that, you've tried to blag the money from the tour manager or from family and friends,so that when you return from touring you've got somewhere to live.
5. You try to put off all your creditors requests for money until you return (not an easy task).
6. You explain to your kids that they will not be seeing you for the next few weeks in between their tears.
7. You ignore the icy glare from your other half as they mumble homilies like;
"Why can't I/we come on tour with you?"
"Is your other woman/man meeting you out there then?"
to call because me and the girls/boys are going out clubbing every
and the kids (if you have any) are going to my mum's!"
"I have not had a break for years. You go away all the time!"
that I will be sleeping with you when come back.
Not until you have had a check-up!"
"Is that woman/man (rep from the record label) going on tour with you lot"?
"If you are
in such a famous band, how come you've never been on MTV?"
etc , etc, etc, etc.
Ask any touring musician
for further questions/slurs mumbled by their other halves.
Also other halves have a habit of inspecting the clothes that you are taking, especially the underwear.
They memorise every blemish and mark, so that when you come back from touring they can check to see if any additions have been made, and if there are, then the Spanish Inquisition will begin.
8. You wait for the
promised lift by your friend /or the mini cab, to the pick-up
Only to find that your friend has forgotten and has gone out.
You only discover this when you phone up to find out where he is and why he has not arrived yet?
You phone the mini cab office to find out that Sabu / Sammy / Alf or Reg, the driver that was dispatched to your house has mistakenly gone to a similar road / street name on the other side of London and is outside some strangers house blowing his horn.