I have been home for a while now, and I feel that I am FINALLY getting over my Post Tour Blues. I am starting to make more friends, enjoy my little routines and flirting with the idea of trying to start a garden. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot friggen wait to get back on the road, but I am enjoying NOT going stir crazy at the moment. I leave again soon though, and will be traveling for three months, and I am very stoked about that, but I am already dreading the Post Tour Blues that I will be sure to experience upon my return in late November.
There are many reasons why us roadies get the Post Tour Blues as I call it (or PTB). A lot of the symptoms are due to the sudden change in lifestyle. The easiest, most concise way to describe it, is that we go from 60 to zero in only a few minutes. The amount of time that it takes to walk off of the bus and into the airport terminal that will be delivering you home.
I go from being in a new city every day and being at a live, loud, adrenaline pumping rock show every night, to sitting on my mom’s couch watching her make carrot juice and hearing about the family of rabbits that are hopping around the neighborhood. Touring can be a lot of fucking fun, and everything I deal with on a daily basis is so over the top that it can sometimes make normal life feel mundane. Another factor in the cause of Post Tour Blues.
Also, you go from having a very specific, functional purpose, to no purpose at all. Each person on the tour is essential and provides a specific job that makes the entire tour function. You know exactly what is required of you and there is a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. Then you go home and you have no role and no sense of purpose, and those questions like, “what am I doing with my life?” start haunting you. I just happened to have the month off during the 2014 World Cup. I am not kidding when I tell you that I spent the entire month alone in a bar, drinking beer and watching soccer. I had a great time, but honestly, in that month, there was just no purpose to my existence.
This brings me to my next point, which is often, I tend to isolate myself post tour. I know that I probably shouldn’t, because it only enhances the blues, but I know that a lot of other touring folk do this as well. I’ve speculated on some of the reasons why this is. One I believe, is that it does become harder to relate to people who live a more stable lifestyle. Your cares, concerns and experiences, the things that you talk about, are radically different. It’s not that one way of life is superior to the other, it’s just different, and I get self-conscious sometimes about the topics of conversation that I would probably bring up. I’m sitting there discussing how I can’t remember if I accidentally drunkenly kissed the guitar tech, how a goth with metal spikes coming from his head stalked me all night, trying to get access on to the bus, and how I’m thinking about dreadlocking my hair just so that I don’t have to deal with hair maintenance on the road. The stable friend is discussing how their kid likes playing with a broken piece of a picture frame rather than their toys, how the contractor put in the wrong tile in their kitchen and how they may get an office promotion. Neither is right or wrong, just different and I know that I am the more abnormal one; the minority, so it sometimes makes me self-conscious and I just avoid that type of interaction. There are of course certain close friends that you don’t have to worry about this type of thing with, thank goodness for them.
Being alone often after tour is mostly self-induced, but not always. Your friends and family have their own lives without you because they have become accustom to you not being around. So when they don’t call you to invite you out for their traditional Saturday afternoon Bloody Mary’s at the nearby beach bar, it’s not because they don’t want you there, it’s just that they have grown into the habit of not calling because you’re often not in town. I sometimes feel very alone after a tour, which leads to PTB.
Romantic relationships are fucked. To the point where I don’t even have the emotional stamina to get into that right now. I think it’s obvious how touring puts a major strain on any type of relationship, but especially romantic ones, so hopefully you can use your imagination and forgive me for skipping over the dirty details right now. Maybe down the road… probably when I am suffering through another episode of PTB, I may be in the mood to drink a bottle of whiskey and dredge through painful memories.
When you’re on the road, it’s easy to distract yourself from the thoughts of your personal life back home being annihilate because there is constant new stimulus. Once you are back home though, you’re forced to confront all of the things that you have been putting off during your tour and it hits you in the stomach, knocking the wind out of you.
Finally being able to have some damn privacy once you get home is very nice and so you feel the compulsion to take advantage of that and get as much privacy as you can soak up. This ultimately leads to the loneliness as well. I will get to bus privacy in the 2nd report.