googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The Rules For Working Bands On The Road

The Rules For Working Bands On The Road

    The popular perception of the American Rock & Roller is a hard living, hard drinking, hard loving hedonist. The term “hard working” seldom applies but hard work is required and inherent in the term work are certain rules. It’s a business that brags that there are no rules and they might be invisible to those outside looking in but to be a true professional you need at least a code. Here are some basic Road Rules by which to live;

1. Don’t Load Your Equipment In The Car In Advance. You may be tempted to load your guitar and gig bag into the car the night before having to leave early to catch a flight to your gig but don’t do it. Besides the risk of theft and dropping temperatures on delicate instruments waking up early, for you, to find your old lady already left for the early aerobics class at the gym with your gear in the car can cause stress you just don’t need when trying to catch a flight.

2. Take Responsibility For EVERYONE. You should be prepared and if possible carry two guitars to your gig along with extra stings, cords and picks but still carry a set of bass strings, an extra strap and even a set of drum sticks in your gig bag. Sure, they’re not your responsibility but the success of your band is your responsibility so even carry an extra microphone if there is room.

3. Don’t Loan Out Your Gear. At one of our gigs the band that opened for us had forgotten to bring  their kick drum pedal and asked our drummer to loan them his. After their set the drummer casually mentioned to our drummer that his pedal seemed a little loose so he tightened it for him. Our drummer thanked him for being so considerate and then broke the pedal during our first song since he had the tension set for the way he played. I once loaned out a guitar to a friend for a gig and got it back with a short in the wiring. It is highly unlikely he could have done anything to have caused the short but he was annoyed with me for loaning him a faulty instrument and I was annoyed with him for breaking my guitar.

4. Party AFTER The Show, Not Before. Some people like to loosen up their nerves by having a drink before the show but drugs and alcohol mess with your sense of time. You may think you’re playing great but if you’re the only one in the band or in the hall that thinks that you might what to think twice about having that drink. Timing is very important to performing music not to mention your short term memory which allows you to know where you are in the song.

5. Be Considerate And Control Your Bodily Functions. Rock and rollers are by their nature somewhat immature but being stuck in a van for a fourteen hour ride to a gig or a six hour air flight will kill the humor of your basic fart joke real fast.

6. What Happens On The Road Stays On The Road. Once on a trip to a show in Idaho we passed through Wells, Nevada. We stopped off for a drink at Donna’s Roadhouse, a well known, legal bordello. I had never been in such a commercial and professional house of ill repute before and bought some souvenirs such as shot glasses and small wall calendars. We only had a drink and moved on and I didn’t think much about talking about it when we got home but apparently the stop over was not something the other guys in the band wanted to have as public knowledge. Oops.

7. Don’t Treat Your Band Mates As Roadies. Being the lead singer does not mean your job is to chat up the Honeys in the hall while your band mates carry in and set up all the heavy equipment by themselves. Nothing helps to develop a “him and us” dynamic faster and breaks up a band quicker.

8. Do NOT Be Late. Some people are chronically late for everything and anything. I try to identify these selfish bastards as quickly as possible and make sure they’re told a half hour earlier meeting time than the rest of the band. I’ll only wait for you if we’re on our way to the gig. If you’re late for the trip home you’re on your own.

9. Tune Up Before The Show. Don’t wait until you’re on stage and the singer is in the middle of introducing a song before you start tuning up. At least use a tuner that mutes the instrument so you’re not making noise over part of your show and be ready to play when the rest of the band wants to start.

10. If You Need To Share A Hotel Room Then Be Prepared To Share. Economics sometimes dictate that band members need to double up on the overnight accommodations. This is standard practice and being a “good hang” is important in a team effort such as a rock and roll band. Sometimes your roommate may have some sort of refreshment or visiting companionship and it is rude not to offer to share with you so be sure to return the favor at some later date or at least pay half the hourly rate.

1 comment:

  1. I would say #6 is most important, BY FAR!