A very wise person I know, while speaking of life while touring, once said that days off are for laundry and pretending like you have friends. Yes, sir. He is absolutely right. As I have stated many times in the past, everyone who makes their living by being on the road is an absolute lunatic. I blame laundry for part of this. Fuck laundry. Things like laundry, brushing your teeth and changing clothes, which are simple tasks in the normal world, are a goddamn nightmare as a roadie.
Depending on what type of tour you’re on, some of the venues provide laundry machines, but if you’re at a venue, that means you’re at work, and laundry gets skipped on the priority list. So, when we have a day off, a “shower room” is booked. All this means is that we park the bus at a hotel, and use one of the rooms to take turns showering. I’d like to add to my friend’s wise words, that days off are also for pretending like you know what’s going on in the world. During my few minutes of privacy for showering, I also take advantage of a functioning television (bus tv’s seem to be non-functional half of the time. I’m not complaining however, I live at home without a tv), and flip to CNN or MSNBC (because Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow are sexy) and attempt to catch up on current events. Oh! We’re still talking about the Malaysian plane?! Fucking sweet! I haven’t missed out on much! Anyway, we also use the hotel for laundry amenities but why… I have no idea.
I don’t know why that EVERY SINGLE TIME we stroll up to a hotel and I begin laundry, that I honestly believe that this errand will only take an hour and a half. I figure 30 minutes wash and 45 to dry… plus in and out time. This formula never happens. Why I have not adjusted the formula… I don’t know. I need to take 30x+45y=forever. Basically, there is no constant in the laundry formula, only variables. Hotels that state they have laundry, could mean that they have exactly one washer and one dryer and both don’t work. We were staying in a hotel that must have had 1,500 rooms, I swear to God I’m not exaggerating. It was huge. And they had exactly one washer and one dryer. I thought the Mexican Housekeeper whom I asked where more laundry was, just didn’t understand me, so like an asshole, I kept repeating, “No, where in the entire hotel is there more laundry?” ASSUMING that each of the six buildings on the property had laundry. Nope. Well fuck me. I had to wait for some gross pre-teen traveling basketball team to get their nappy neon colored uniforms out of the wash before I could discover that the washer didn’t spin anyway. It simply filled with water, and made the sounds like it was spinning, but didn’t actually spin. Awesome.
I proceeded to rinse the clothes by hand out of a fucking garden hose that I luckily found outside, and then hang my shit to air dry on the bus windshield wipers and bay doors. (Tip for fellow roadies! Lay wet stuff next to the generator under the bus. It dries in half the time). If you pass by a tour bus that has a Deftones t-shirt, aerie underwear and levi’s decorating the outside, honk because it’s probably me and my bad luck. I’ll be the girl outside, drinking a beer that I didn’t originally want, but now feel I deserve, due to this laundry fiasco that has turned into an entire afternoon.
To add to the days off quote, “pretending like you have friends” means, call all of the amazing people in your “real life” that have been trying to get a hold of you, but you have not been able to answer because the music is always so effing loud that there is no point in attempting a conversation. Calling for casual conversation on the bus doesn’t happen either, because you’re then forcing everyone to listen to your talk. But! Calling on a day off, even though that is on the “things to do” list, it often get skipped because you had to take so much time doing bullshit like laundry, finding a nearby Wells Fargo and paying bills online. This is no excuse. You’re still an asshole because you probably could have called them on a working day when you had that free half of an hour… but you didn’t because you’re too busy going for a walk or grabbing lunch at a local place so that when someone asks you if you’ve been to fucking Paducah, KY you can say yes and not feel like it’s a lie. “Oh yeah! Paducah! I went into this coffee shop there for five minutes once. It was great!” When we get to a new city and I don’t leave the venue (which happens more often than not) I don’t feel like I have actually been to the city.
So, days off in the touring world are designated to laundry, current events, washing hair, not calling friends/family and inevitably walking around a mall because there’s nothing else nearby to do.