Tag Archives: tour bus

Post Tour Blues – Report 2 of 2

…continued from Report 1.

Finally being able to have some privacy keeps you isolated as well.  Even if you live with someone else, compared to road life, the amount of privacy you are suddenly allowed is a shock.  We tend to try to take advantage of this, which also keeps us isolated and susceptible to PTB.

One of the things that you really need to adapt to on the road is the lack of privacy, which I have discussed in the past.  Everyone knows when you poop, everyone knows what you look like in the morning, everyone knows how many times in a row you’ve worn the same shirt without washing it.  Everyone knows when you’re upset, everyone knows what your underwear looks like because you often consolidate, and do each other’s laundry.  Basically, everyone knows everything.  It’s like having 11 live-in boyfriends/girlfriends.  Yes, this can sometimes be a nightmare, but it can also sometimes be the most at home you’ll ever feel.  You and your bus-mates become a little fucked up family.  To add to this, it is a constant friggen peanut gallery.

On the road, I cannot do something as mundane as eat a saltine cracker without someone making a comment about it.  I cannot stand how everyone feels the need to ask what you’re eating every fucking time you put something in your mouth.  This isn’t a tour thing, but it’s just enhanced on tour because someone is always around.  I can be eating out of a chip bag that is the size of my torso and at least one person will say, “what you got there?”

I usually don’t respond.  I will just sit there, six inches from someone, and blatantly not respond to their inane question.  People must think I’m either nuts or just an extreme bitch, both of which I will not dispute.  If I opened my mouth I would end up saying, “Unless you went blind between now and the last time I saw you five minutes ago, I think it’s obvious that I am eating some chili lime flavored Lay’s.  Is there something so fascinating about this that propels you to ask such an annoying rhetorical question?”  Instead of saying all that, I just ignore the person.

I know that I have referred to Wal-mart run’s before, but I’m not sure that I have ever fully explained what they entail.  I think it’s obvious that it means that the bus stops at Wal-mart, but this almost always happens at 2:00 in the morning, after a show and approximately every 5-7 days.  Mostly we get groceries, but it is also your one opportunity to get everything that you need.  So, if I need to buy tampons or underwear (in the case that I haven’t been able to do laundry in years) this is my time to do all of that, so sometimes you just need some damn privacy while running this errand.

Often though, 0069 ends up sharing a cart with me and we end up rolling down the aisles on the grocery carts like they are sports equipment, and then playing bumper carts with at least one of the other crew/band members instead of being productive during this errand.  I think Jackhammer and I played a brief game of hockey using a can of pigs feet as a puck in the canned meats aisle.

2:00am Wal-mart run!  This is us NOT being productive.

2:00am Wal-mart run! This is us NOT being productive.

We really did need groceries and thermal shirts, but somehow this is what we left with.

We really did need groceries and thermal shirts, but somehow this is what we left with.

During one particular Wal-mart run, I explored the $5 CD bin.  I collect CD’s so of course I’m going to check out the selection just in case I come across a gem.  And I did!  A Chevelle album I didn’t have.  Score.  So I was walking through Wal-mart, and the only thing in my hand was a CD, while everyone else from the bus had shopping carts full of cereal and canned pineapple.  Every single one of them that I happened to walk past, made a comment about the CD and how it was strange that I was buying one.  Neat.  Thanks for your input, the last five guys said the same exact thing.

Then I go to order a Diet Coke at the McDonalds that is inside of the Walmart, because I love supporting our capitalistic society run by big corporations and corn byproducts.  If I am not already annoyed because of this, and the pure fact of being inside of a Walmart which goes against my entire lifestyle of trying to live low impact, I hear “oh god.  What did you do to yourself?”

Me: What?

Bus-mate: You got McDonald’s?!

What I’d really like to do here is simply ignore this question and not say anything at all.  Like I said, I do this often, so they are all relatively used to it.  Well, as used to being blatantly ignored as you can get, but in this case, there was nothing else around to distract him, so I had to answer or else be further antagonized.

Me: I just got a Diet Coke.

And even if I had ordered some french fries or whatever, I don’t need to hear your opinion on the subject.  It seems to be a surprise to you, but I have managed to get through my entire life so far, without your incessant commentary.

Then, I get back on the bus and have to hear from the English Hooligan about how bad Diet Coke is bad for me.  I already have grown to accept the fact that I am going to get Lupus due to aspartame poisoning, so let me just grow disease ridden in peace!  He feels the need to comment on my Diet Coke intake every single time I have one, even though he has a milkshake or two every single day, and chicken wings and a cheeseburger every other day, but somehow, “that’s different.”  He’s rolling his eyes and shaking his head right now.

Girls get it worse I think.  The attention that I get as a female on the road is one of the best and one of the worst parts about being a chick roadie.  The down side is that like I’ve already said, everything I do is commented on, but with an added cascade of sexist undertones.  “So, you’re hanging out with {insert name of musician or crew member of another band here}.”

Uh, yeah… and you were just smoking a joint and shooting the shit with him two hours ago, so please spare me of your passive sexist remarks.

Every time I use a hand-truck, which is everyday, SOMEONE makes a comment about it.  It’s usually one of the locals and it’s usually something like, “Don’t they have one of the guys to help you with that?”

Do I help the sound engineer with patching?  Do I hang lights for the LD?  No.  So why would any of them help me cart around t-shirts?  It’s what I’m paid for.  This may come as a surprise to people, but I do get paid for my work.  I cannot tell you how often I have been asked if I get paid and every time it is hugely insulting.  Many people assume that I’m essentially a glorified groupie.  So let’s set the record straight, this is how i make most of my living, yes I get paid fairly well, no I am not someone’s girlfriend and yes I travel on the bus; they don’t strap me onto the roof like cargo.

At the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, the first thing that the PM said to me was, “Whose girlfriend are you?”  I looked him in the eye, and just turned and walked away.  He went on to get what he deserved, which was a lot of ridicule from a drunken, Norwegian guitar player who laughed in his face and asked him upon meeting him, “Why do you keep grabbing at your crotch?” among other hilarious observations about this guy’s existence.  Beware of the drunken musicians my darling venue staff, because they don’t give a fuck.

Now I am home, and as nice as the privacy and lack of a constant peanut gallery is, I do miss my roadie families.  Every time I’m home, it takes a while to adjust and I don’t know what to do with all of the privacy.  When I walk into an empty house, I think that I should do something “forbidden” just to take advantage of being alone.  Like eat a bowl of ice cream for breakfast while naked with Ace of Base on full volume and dance on the couches and tabletops.  Or at least call a hot boy to make-out with.  Then I remember that I’m crazy, so I just make a salad instead and read the newspaper and yell at it when Dick Cheney is quoted or when Rick Scott tries to pretend like he is not a subhuman who has profited billions off of sick people.

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The Rules of Touring

1. Use common sense.

2. Be considerate.

3. Don’t complain.

That’s it. Those are the only true rules of touring. I started writing a book, and though I have never thought about listing tour rules, it began to organically happen while drafting one of the chapters. I had fun with it, and made a whole list of specific rules such as, keep the damn doors shut to bunk alley until everyone is awake, you inconsiderate bastard! But after going over my list, and after something Monterey said, I realized that it was redundant and everything came down to use common sense, be considerate and don’t complain. Simple as that.

A person who sucks at being a busmate will always suck at being a busmate no matter how many tours they go on because these “rules” aren’t learned, they’re just called, not being an asshole. I’m sorry, I know there are a lot of sweet people out there who are lacking in common sense, but you’re still an asshole, even if you have the best intentions. I absolutely have my daft moments, the English hooligan can attest to that after sitting with me in a freezing room for two hours trying to fix a string of paperwork the time when I forgot that 175 is not the same as 150. But! I have enough common sense to know that if I’m living on a bus with ten other people and one mini fridge, than I shouldn’t buy a gallon of milk.

Complaining is toxic. Just don’t do it. Next time you want to bitch about the venue’s catering or how there are no cups on the bus, remind yourself that you get to travel around the world for a living, so shut the fuck up and do your job.

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The Adventures of Touring – Special Edition: Noisey Made Me Sound like a Groupie, but I Feel Cool Anyway

This is how much I love VICE… I have the app. I barely understand what phone applications are, so if I have an app, it’s because I really use it. Along with VICE, I have BBC News, the dictionary, USPS, google translate, atVenu and fucking Solitaire. Dorky apps. On the bus during long drives while a lot of the guys are on some game application that gives me a headache just by looking at it over their shoulder, I am the annoying one announcing things like, “the word of the day is solipsistic,” or “VICE found a guy who claims that he only has 100 boners left.”

For those of you who need some VICE in your life, Noisey is basically the music section of the magazine, and I got mentioned in one of the articles. Well…. kind of. Indirectly. Very indirectly. I was misquoted, and made to sound like someone’s one night stand, but you know what, I’ll take it. He was nice enough to keep me nameless, but I am here to take full credit because like we all know, I am perfectly comfortable with exploiting myself.

This particular tour holds a very special place in my heart, so I didn’t think that I’d be able to write about it for a while. I fell in love with this band and crew, and the band and crew of the entire three band tour package. When that happens, it’s sometimes difficult to take a step back and explain it all in a way that the non-touring world will understand. However, due to being mentioned in a Noisey article… I will tell this single tale for now. I’m sure there will be more later.

On the last day of the tour, a Noisey columnist came onto the bus to interview the lead singer of the band that I was working for. They discovered a note that I had taped to the television so that everyone would see it which read, “Hi boys- I lost my jeans somewhere on this bus. Please let me know if you find them amongst all of your stuff. Thanks! -Caitlin”

I suppose to someone who has never lived on a tour bus, that may sound strange. However, when there are twelve people living on one bus, shit gets misplaced. If you’re a good busmate and understand bus etiquette, you only bring the necessities onto the bus and leave your fucking carry-on in the bay (the storage space underneath the bus). Regardless, with twelve people, that still means at least 36 pairs of socks and underwear, 24 shoes, five million chargers and approximately three trailer keys. When you add the consumption of three bottles of liquor, two cases of beer and copious amounts of drugs every night, shit disappears. T-dog, my favorite bus driver, would regularly find my underwear in the bus vents and I have found men’s pj pants in my bunk who belong to boy’s who had definitely never been in my bunk.

My note was interpreted by Noisey in the article as saying something more like, “I left my jeans on the bus last night. Let me know if you find them.” I appreciate the artistic license he took because that makes it sound a lot more rock n’ roll, like a hot little metal chick with last night’s make-up smeared around her eyes wearing sexy fish-nets and I-just-got-laid-hair put the friendly letter up, instead of the boring merch girl.

Before you start thinking that this is going to be a fun mystery thriller which ends full circle with the jeans providing some profound moral to the story… it’s not. It’s just a story that is characterized with a shit load of bums and the jeans really have nothing to do with what went down. Lost pants is just a hilarious representation of the drunken debauchery that took place.

The night before, one of the guys, who I will call the Trojan, and I stayed up until sunrise drinking gallons of vodka while he educated me on Metallica. We sat there and listened to a whole album from beginning to end, which is something I appreciated because so few people do that anymore, and his enthusiasm was kind of a turn on.

The following day was a day off. When we all woke looking like a crew of utter death, the Trojan turned to me, still in his boxers and said, “Caitlin! Are we drinking?” You can’t say no to a Trojan…

Jack Daniels for breakfast in my Niagra Falls mug. It’s going to be a fucked up day.

The guys went to a bar early afternoon, but I had to break from the pack and do something normal to kind of recenter my life for a moment. After multiple days of staying up all night and drinking, you start to lose your sense of time and space. So, I went to a museum, looked at fossils and learned some shit.

Later, we all went to a steakhouse that had at least 500 taxidermy animals on the wall (not exaggerating) and we ate some of their insides. It was delicious. We were rolling 12 people deep, so we needed two van taxi cabs everywhere we went, which was a pain in the ass. I enjoy minimal responsibility, which is why I will never TM, but somehow I became in charge of calling the cabs, so when they didn’t arrive for a while, for some asinine reason, I got held responsible. To fend off the harassment, I started doing a tap dance on the sidewalk to lighten my mood, and when that didn’t work, I resorted to throwing a can of soda into the street. Rebel.

While waiting outside of the restaurant for my whole life, a happy bum approached us and OF COURSE, the Trojan started chatting him up while most of us attempted to not make eye contact. In the Trojan’s defense, I think he was the only one who was drunk. The exchange between a black metal Trojan and a skinny homeless man who looked like he could have been Sammy Davis Jr. became such a spectacle, that it was like watching a theatrical improv show on crack. At one point, the Trojan and the bum started dancing together on the sidewalk. At another point, the bum said something to me, to which I responded in perfect English, “I don’t speak English.”

Later, the bum said something about Jesus, to which the Trojan said, “I deep throat Jesus everyday, that little bitch.” At least we know how to keep things controversial.

We were in Denver, and if you have never been to Denver, it’s essentially where people go to do nothing. In other words, weed is legal there, so that’s where all of the hardcore stoners migrate. I can only tolerate so much Grateful Dead. Speaking of the Grateful Dead, I saw this on the wall of the bar that we ended up going to, and I couldn’t believe the perfection.

IMG_1543

That is possibly the most god awful published photograph that has ever existed. The guys in the back… holy fuck.

The boys were playing pool, and I was drinking my weight in whiskey while people watching and deciding that the girl who was dancing with the teal fringed mid-drift had escaped from a Mormon family and was currently experimenting in lesbianism. I often play that game where you look at a stranger and make up a full back-story for them. It can be a fun bar game.

After losing numerous pool matches to a guy wearing cargo shorts and a fishing cap, the Trojan was over it and we decided to head back to the bus and just… see what happened. And oh, shit happened.

We crossed paths with a girl at a bus stop. She asked us for money, providing some story about how she needed to get to the next town over because of her dying mother. I could be completely off, but it was something absurd like that. She was good, so if you have never lived in a city, you might have believed her, but because I know that anyone panhandling is fucking lying, I knew better. Still, we spoke with her for a moment, encouraged her and I gave her my knife that I keep in my shoe (because she was whining about not feeling safe) and we went on our way. Regardless of our awareness that this girl was completely full of shit, after denying her and walking five meters, the Trojan and I turned and looked at each other and both said simultaneously, “I like her.” Damnit.

It felt like the idiotic thing to do, so naturally, we went back. We’re so vain; we liked her because she was pretty and articulate and just not your average beggar. At all. She did not look like she was on the streets. Put her in some heels and a skin-tight dress, and she could have gotten by as a high class escort. Come to think of it, I should have suggested that to her. Anyway, we went back and told her that we can’t help her with her child who has been kidnapped (or whatever the story was that kept changing), but we can buy her a drink. So the three of us went into the place that was immediately next to us, which of course ended up being a gay bar. Long story short, she’s out of her god damn mind, and kept trying to hit on flamboyant gay men and complaining that the bar didn’t have olives in the cocktail tray that she was using like a buffet counter. The Trojan and I thrive on this type of awkwardness, so we were eating this girl up. This got us all kicked out however.

At the time, it seemed ridiculous that we were being expelled from the place, because I have seen much much much more obnoxious behavior at a bar, but I got the feeling that she is probably a regular there and she is probably not welcomed at the establishment anymore for past reasons. We said our goodbyes, she cried because she’s mental, and the Trojan and I went on our way.

About 100 paces later, we run into Michael Mud. Another bum panhandling, and despite the Trojan claiming to hate people, he is incredibly friendly. I like people (…in the grand scheme of things… unless you chew with your mouth open), and the Trojan and I were kind of partners in crime during this tour, but had he not been there, none of the events of the night would have taken place. So due to his nature, we of course start chatting it up with the three toothed beggar who we would later learn to be, Michael Mud.

The Trojan and Michael got deep. They were having a serious moment and I know my place, so I kind of stepped back and just observed this take place. They were bonding on a musicians’ level. Michael had an acoustic guitar on his back, so we asked him to play something. He kept declining because the guitar only had three strings, and I think he felt embarrassed playing in front of the Trojan, who is a guitarist. The Trojan almost literally kicked Michael Mud in the ass, demanding him to play and like I said… you can’t say no to a Trojan.

So Michael started playing, and it was really something. I wish I could remember details. Damn alcohol. But I can remember the feeling, and it just had so much heart. I could have sat there at that dirty bench all night listening to him play. He kind of started playing the blues. True blues. When you strum some minor chords and fill in measures with improved, lyricals of misery. We learned a lot about his outlook on life in about thirty seconds because of a song sang on the side of the street at 1:30am with a $30 acoustic guitar that was missing half of its’ strings.

Some more words were exchanged, and later Michael Mud started giving us his sob story. Something I really like about the Trojan is that he doesn’t give a fuck. He does and says what he wants and he doesn’t have sympathy for people because he can see that we are all the same. When Michael Mud responded to something that he said with, “well that’s easy to say when you’re in a successful band….”

This sparked a fire in the Trojan. To which, I don’t blame him. He has worked fucking hard to get to where he is and he still has to work bullshit jobs that he doesn’t like in order to maintain his status. So what I remember the Trojan saying back was basically, “Fuck that. Life is shit for all of us. The world is a cunt, but you have this guitar, so just keep doing what you want to do with it.” Michael Mud started to tear up a little bit, and that’s when I knew we had made a slight difference. Even if it was just in that night. And he made a slight mark in our path too. I’ll never forget that man, or watching him and the Trojan smash each others hearts with cold iron stakes.

We told him to come to the show the next day and we’d put him on the list. He didn’t have a phone or anything to take down information with, so I wrote the address of the venue in sharpie on his guitar, and also my phone number in case he had any trouble. We both walked away knowing that there was a slim chance that this man on the streets would actually arrive. Despite this, the next day I arranged to have Michael Mud on the list. To my surprise, he called me the following morning. He basically wanted to make sure that we weren’t just being drunk retards last night, and that we still wanted him to come. Of course! I was so happy!

He never showed though. I still wonder what happened.

Somewhere in Denver there is a really special bum named Michael Mud, with the address to Summit Music Hall written in sharpie on his now, six string guitar. The Trojan gave him some of his guitar strings before we parted ways so that he would have a complete instrument. I gave up my sick knife to the first beggar, and the Trojan gave up his guitar strings to the second. In a weird way, that’s everything we had to offer.

The Trojan and I made our way back to the bus, and who the hell knows what happened after that. But somewhere between the walk back and the truck stop the next morning, I lost my jeans. I have no idea how because I was wearing them! That’s it. That’s the story of how I came to be indirectly mentioned in a Noisey article. I never found those damn jeans. I’m sure that they just ended up on the floor of the bus, tossed out of my bunk, and then haphazardly shoved into another bunk but… whatever. I’ll trade a pair of Levi’s for a night like that any time.

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The Adventures of Touring: A Temporary Home

When one makes a living by traveling, most things in your life feel temporary. I use the word temporary with neither positive nor negative implications. I feel that it is an objective way to describe the lifestyle. The pros and cons of this temporary lifestyle is where the matter of opinions lie. One man’s pro is another man’s con.

When I wake up in the morning, I wake up in a bed/bunk that is temporarily my own, in a town that I will mostly likely be at for less than 24 hours. I then eat breakfast, using plastic silverware and paper plates. We then load-in to a venue that will be my temporary refuge. Everyone is different with how they utilize the venues. I tend to mostly stay off of the bus once we have loaded in, but I would say that I am the minority. Most of the crew I’ve worked with tends to hang out on the bus during down time, and the artists’ almost always do. That’s how it has worked out in my experience, however this could just be a coincidence. I generally leave the green-room for the others, (unless we’re playing at a Knitting Factory, because they tend to have sweet green-rooms) and I will find some corner on the dank, moldy floor to read or pay my bills or call back home or do whatever I need to do during my down time.

I then set up a temporary store (I sell merch, for those of you who don’t know) and then I eat one of my single serving meals. The narrator from Fight Club had it exactly right. When you travel, you lead a single-serving life. It’s close to impossible to cook on the bus, so all of my meals come from single serving packages. Whether it’s a bag of beef jerky, or a packet of instant oatmeal, it’s almost always a pre-portioned meal, which for some reason, feels temporary. In movies, when a scene is trying to convey that a character is in a temporary living situation, they always put them in an apartment with a TV (pre-portioned) dinner.

We meet the “locals,” which is what we call the venue staff/stage-hands, and you make a temporary, working relationship with them. Often enough you meet someone who is really cool, someone who you know you would be tight with if proximity were not an issue, but at the end of the day, after load-out, all you can do is give this person a fist pound and hope that AT BEST, you may see him/her again if you find yourself back at that same venue with a different tour.

When everything changes on a day-to-day basis, the constants are very important. I like to have a mug, that is mine and only mine, on the bus. It’s the only kitchen utensil that I have that is not a throw-away. I’ve noticed that everyone seems to have their one item. For some people it’s a glass bowl, others a knife… for me, it’s a mug. Right now, I’m using a “Union Square Montgomery, Alabama” mug, and it’s my constant. I need that mug.

Me and my mug.

Me and my mug.

Places can act as a constant.  Every time I go to the El Corazon in Seattle, I know that it’s going to get hot as hell in there, I know exactly where they keep their hand-truck, I know the security guy with the braided pig-tails will be there to tell me not to go walking around by myself at night, I know the bearded dude will be there to flirt with and to try to help me carry stuff even though I repeatedly tell him that I’m good… and I know that the coffee shop nearby will have plenty of scattered magazines and other reading material about if I forget to bring my book.

The most important constant on tour is the people who you temporarily grow to depend on.  When I’m on the road with the English hooligan, he acts as one of my constants. I know that I can sit near him, and not have to fucking talk.  I get in funks on occasion (more frequently than I care to admit), and during these times, I instinctively want to be alone.  However, if I am able to talk myself into being near another human, it does usually help.  I seem to be able to keep hold of my mind a little bit better if there is someone else in the room.  The thing is, I don’t want to talk or feel any type of conversational pressure during these momentary crazy spells.  The hooligan is great because he doesn’t ask questions. I can literally crawl underneath his desk (the spot that acts as his temporary working space for the day) and simply say, “I just need to lay here for a minute,” and he’ll let me be.  Well, he’ll shake his head at my eccentricity, and say, “Riiiight,” but he won’t ask me what’s wrong, and he won’t treat me differently and I feel 100% comfortable in silence with him.  That’s an important constant. When my day-to-day can be such an unpredictable mess, it’s good to know that I can sit by my English hooligan and not have to say anything while I silently work on emotional suppression.  I’d like to think that I can provide the same type of sanctuary for him.  There have been a couple of times while out on the road with the hooligan, when I knew that something was upsetting him, but I didn’t ask questions.  I figured if he wanted to say something he would.  I just tried to not be as big of a pain in the ass on those days, and even went as far as to offer to tape up the day sheets for him backstage.  I think I may have even brought ice onto the bus one of those days so that he didn’t have to… damn I’m sweet.

The huge amount of people who you meet on tour is without dispute, a major pro to the lifestyle. However, it is not without its’ con counterpart. I am constantly meeting the best people, and you become very close, very quickly to these people. So after a couple of months (however long the tour is), of cultivating amazing relationships, when it is all said and done, it’s just temporary. You inevitably have to hug the people goodbye and hope that paths will cross again.

Home starts to feel temporary too, but more in the way that a recycled bag feels temporary.  It’s a perpetual state of repetition, rather than single-serving.  You probably see the same friends and hang out with the same people you did before you left, but it’s not like picking up where you left off because that insinuates forward motion; progression in the relationships.  No, you begin where you began the last time.  Maybe during your time at home, you become closer with someone whether it’s romantically or platonically, but then inevitably, you leave.  Things continue in this forward motion for the other person, but “home time” stops for you when you’re away.  You come back and things and people have changed; your environment has changed, but you haven’t changed with it.  Home feels like a temporary hideout that recycles the same month of your life over and over again.

You visit the coffee shop you go to every morning when you’re home, and the barista recognizes you, and he asks how your “trip” was (a question that I hate because I wasn’t on a trip I was fucking working you twat… but that’s just me being a touchy snob), and you have the same conversation you had the last time you came back.  You tell him it was great, and you tell him some little anecdote about some night in some place and he tells you about how grad school is going.  You may see him a few times a week for the next few weeks that you’re home, and every visit, you feel a tiny bit closer to that barista who has the freckled arms and easily blushes, but then you leave again.  When you come back, you start again at one; that same superficial conversation about how your trip was and how school is for him.

Romantic relationships, fucking forget it.  They work in the same way as your relationship with the barista.  Maybe you start something really good, and you become close, make progress… but then you leave and when you come back the cycle starts over again at one.  Your “room,” at home, if you’re lucky enough to have a room back home to call your bedroom, begins to look and feel like a temporary living space.  My stuff is always half packed because if I’m only home for a short amount of time, so unpacking seems pointless.

I get home, and I see my hundreds of CD’s that I just leave packed up in boxes, and I think, I should buy a really nice stereo system, but a stereo is permanent.  So instead, I just put my temporary headphones on (I don’t get really nice headphones because they either break or get lost on the road) and I listen to some music that will temporarily enhance my mood, often times recommended to me by some boy who temporarily made me happy and I temporarily think about how I’m going to utilize my recycled day.

I’d like to conclude this by stating that temporarily, I enjoy my temporary life.  I do not mean to imply that this is a negative way to exist. The boy with the white hair recently pointed out that If I stopped touring, I would go stir-crazy after a couple of months.  He’s right.  I’m so fortunate to be doing what I do, but like everything in life, there are things that I love about it and things that really get to me, and sometimes, underneath the adventures and the stacked boxes of t-shirts in the trailer, this temporary life gets lonely.

 

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 15

I am currently home, just got done with another tour, and got a call from my good friend who was on this last run with me.  He immediately skipped the small talk (something I deeply appreciate in people. When a conversation begins with, “Hey! How are you? I am immediately uninterested) and began with, “so…. I have this girl over who is saying that she is possessed by a demon that she acquired in my house so she can’t leave, what should I do?”  First of all, WHAT?  Second of all, if she was possessed by a demon in your home, wouldn’t she want to leave?  That’s too rational however for the types of girls that he fraternizes with.

Now, let me give you some insight on my friend, who we will call 0069. No, I did not just make that pseudonym up. Him and I are so mature that we gave each other code names when we decided that playing spy at our age would be fun. If you’d like to donate some spy equipment, rearview glasses and walkie talkies would be greatly appreciated. I’ll forward you my address. Anyway, 0069 is one of my road family members along with the rest of the band and crew that I love working for the most. To describe 0069 as an “instigator” would be a severe understatement. I believe that he makes it his goal in life to be the number one most offensive and vulgar person in the world. With that being said, I have nothing but love for him.

It takes a lot to offend me.  I am offended by any form of prejudice, the word faggot, Bill O’Reilly and crocs.  That’s about it. Oh, and by couple’s who sit on the same side of the booth together at a restaurant when it’s only the two of them.  Point is, I can get down with the boys and be grossly inappropriate and degrading.  I regularly participate in rating girls on a scale from 1-10 with the guys, making jokes about cerebral palsy, laughing at dick and poop jokes and encouraging one-night-stands for the single dudes on the tour even when there most certainly will be an STD and/or a fat girl involved.  It gets dirty on tour and 0069 thrives on the filth. There have been only two times in my touring life, in which I was offended.  Offended might not be the right word, but there have been two occasions when the behavior taking place in front of me was so foul, that I had to walk away because I felt a.) slightly sick to my stomach and b.) too uncomfortable being associated with that level of abasement.  Of course, both times was when 0069 was in full effect.

The first instance was the first time that I was present for one of 0069’s “night calls.” Whatever you are thinking, that is exactly what it is times ten. A night call is when 0069 calls a girl and pretends to have phone sex with her while all of us are listening. Simply putting his phone on speaker phone would not be over the top enough, so he plugs his phone into the bus stereo system, so that we can hear these classy ladies orgasm in surround sound.  At first it was funny, and we were all sitting in the front lounge trying not to burst out in uncontrollable laughter as the guitar player started making that fast suction cup noise with his hands right up against the phone, making it sound like 0069 was jerking off… or fucking a duck (which is what I thought it sounded like).  I will admit, it was pretty damn entertaining, but once her groans and intense breathing started getting wildly intimate, as a fellow-female, I did start to feel bad for the girl who was currently being humiliated.  I had to walk off of the bus because even though this chick has to be a fucking idiot, I did feel like I shouldn’t be associated with that level of degradation.

The second instance was after I made a bet with Gus, wagering that J. Jackhammer (the guitar tech) could get action one night when we were at some terrible DJ dance party thing.  Obviously, that is not our typical scene, but I won’t get into why we were there because it’s not an interesting story.  Jackhammer got that nickname while we were all at dinner one night, and I was annoyed with the guys and disappointed that I had not yet seen a bear or a moose since being in Canada.

Wolfgang asked me, “Sex is enjoyable.  So why don’t all girls put out?”  To which I said, “Because it’s not always enjoyable.  A lot of the time guys are just jackhammering you.”  J. then said something which I’m sure was asinine, but that’s our language, and whatever it was that he said, Wolfgang called him, “The Jackhammer” and the nickname stuck.  Back to the night of the dance party, and Gus said that there was absolutely no way Jackhammer was going to get laid before bus call which was 2:00am and it was currently 1:30. I had faith. Let’s get real, guys on tour have an advantage because all they need to do is find a girl wearing a skirt and who is at least mildly drunk and say, “do you want to check out the tour bus?” Done. Panty dropper.

The entourage of us, which included some of my crew and the guys in one of the support bands who all look like H&M models, hit the dance floor and after performing my legit dance moves, I got in wing-girl gear to win this bet.  I had no time to waste, and literally pushed Jackhammer into this girl who looked promising and then she giggled. Bingo. I kind of did a fist pump/raise the roof move around them, to encourage dancing, and then Jackhammer took it from there.  I knew he’d have game.  I got distracted for a while by the H&M models and R-dizzle who was being high and hilarious, and twenty minutes later we all realize that Jackhammer is still dancing with the tween.  It looked like I was going to win the bet!  I won’t continue with the tedious details, the only important thing is that 0069 sabotaged my bet. However, I still believe that I won because in my world, fingering a girl on a dirty dance floor still constitutes as getting action.

0069 had to one up Jackhammer (or grotesquely up everyone) by bringing “beauty number’s one, two and three” onto our bus. I am positive that at no point did 0069 know one of their names. Of course, they were called, “beauties” upon their entrance, but of course after their departure, they were referred to by all of us as bitches one, two and three. It was like Dr. Suess gone Charlies Bukowski. Due to a brilliant coincidence, paired with 0069 always taking it to the extreme, Bitch #2 was the same girl who Jackhammer was with minutes before. Jackhammer hid, and the three bitches were in the front lounge with 0069 and playing what I can only call, “let’s make-out!”

0069 made-out with the largest girl of the three, (which of course the boys later described as a whale, though in her defense I would describe her more as a walrus), for no reason other than it was extremely offensive and vulgar, while the other two girls just sat there and watched. So awkward!  Me and R-dizzle, watched from the vent in the door. I was literally on my hands and knees, peeking through the vent, giggling and spying on 0069 and Bitches 1,2 and 3 like I was a character from Gossip Girl. I had a moment of clarity upon realizing that I was the only person who was stone cold sober, so why am I trying to hide? They probably won’t notice or care if I just blatantly watch instead of hiding in my own “house.”  So I just walked out into the front lounge and started filming the whole charade which turned out to be my cinematic masterpiece.  I majored in film in college, and created a lot of works, but I would credit this as my magnum opus. I feel I really encompassed the crudity of the moment. While I was getting good material, I had to leave.  It was foul and again, I didn’t want to be associated with this level of female humiliation even though these girls were gross and not exactly deserving of my moral conscience.

While I have absolutely gotten down on some gnarly behavior, it doesn’t even come close to what 0069 does when he is in full effect. Just feed him some whiskey “down his neck” (as the English-men would put it) and you’ll almost always have a story to tell the next morning. Due to this blog, people who don’t really know me, think that I am always a party. No. Most of the time on the road I am reading or counting t-shirts or trying not to bother everyone with the loud noises caused by me chomping on carrots and hummus. 0069 is the party, I’m just the collateral damage.

While he pisses me off sometimes, and while we haven’t known each other very long at all, I’d say that we are close. We just have an unspoken understanding and we like each others flaws. So, 0069 calls and asks my advice on what to do about this possessed girl, which I respond with, “put arsenic in her drink.”

He said, “unfortunately the corner store is all out of arsenic, wooden spoons, thick rope and stove foot spa combos.”

Me: “Hmmm, if you lived here in Florida you could just shoot her and get away with it due to the stand your ground law.”
He then went on to send me a picture of her to which I said, “she looks like she has TB.”

OF COURSE, (because it’s 0069), he said back, “Tight Box? Yes.”

Brilliant.

 

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 14

I am sitting in a dirty hotel room, on stained bed sheets, my teeth not brushed, my hair unwashed and on top of my head like a gypsy whore, crumbs stuck underneath my fingernails, a bloody knuckle, smeared eyeshadow and wearing an over-sized, wrinkly band t-shirt.  I have not done anything to change this situation because the last twelve hours were dirty, so I want to stew in the filth of last night so that I can properly account for the events that took place.  If I shower away the grime, I’ll shower away the grimy details.  There’s something about being shower fresh that makes last night’s memories seem cleaner.  No, I want the dirty truth.

Last night was roadie Friday, which just means that it is the night before a day off while on tour.  The day started as normal.  We did a show at The Gramercy Theatre in New York City.  Great venue, sold out show, and I got my New York bagel and cream cheese that I had been eagerly anticipating.  Coffee, found a book store, annoyed my tour manager, set up merch, sold merch.  Normal day except that it was the last show that the two other bands on the tour package would be playing with us.  These days are always a bummer because you almost always become friends with everyone, so the day the tour package breaks up is always characterized with heavy drinking, heavy hugging and hopes that paths will cross again.  One of the drummer’s and I started a cute, flirty tour courtship.  He was the only member of his band who had a beard, so OF COURSE he was the one I ended up getting the closest with.  My curse of the bearded boys.  Him and I would pass notes to each other during the show (because it’s always so loud, it’s difficult to talk), and try to steal a few minutes here and there throughout the day to have a real conversation and maybe take a hit from his pipe.  The point is, that it always feel like you are saying goodbye all too soon in this industry.

Back to the last twelve hours.  Things started going downhill when the lead singer of one of the bands hit on me.  Hard.  It wasn’t cute or flattering, it was demeaning, uncomfortable and dirty.  Him and I had got along great, and found ourselves in deep conversation on occasion, despite everyone telling me that he generally keeps to himself and doesn’t talk to anyone.  When we did speak, it’s always during the day, and I never saw him after the shows.  So last night, I made a point to find him to give him a hug and say goodbye before he went on stage because I knew I wouldn’t see him after.  He suggested that we exchange numbers.  Okay.  I’m fine with that.  He’s a cool guy and maybe we can work together again in the future, or at least send each other funny pictures of people we see at Walmart every once in a while.  I am so hopelessly naive because he then got weird.  He started speaking really low and saying things like, “I’m not going to pretend that I’m not attracted to you, and that I wouldn’t tear your shit up.”  I’m nice, and I don’t like embarrassing people or rejecting them, so I just tried to change the intent by making a joke about it and then saying I had to get back to merch.  That didn’t work, because he then grabbed me by the back of my hair and pulled it HARD, (the way you would to someone in bed) and brought my face into his chest so that his mouth was touching my ear and said, “I know you like that.  Don’t act like you don’t want it.” Um actually bro… no, I don’t want it.  He then went on to say that the next time he sees me he is going to “punish that shit,” as if I don’t have a choice in the matter.  The notion that I may not be into him didn’t even seem to be a thought in his mind.  Lead singer syndrome.  So that was shitty and was a bad last impression, and what started the grime of the night.

The second disaster happened a few hours later when the guitar player of the band I work for went Italian mafia on our driver.  It was epic and I was secretly hoping for blood to be spilled.  Very long story short, our driver pulled a little bitch, diva hissy fit and literally, huffed and puffed and slammed one of the inside bus doors, breaking the jam and essentially turning it into a swinging door.  If that wasn’t already bad enough, he continues slamming it over and over again, looking like a fucking idiot.  He failed at failing.  We were all just staring, open-mouthed trying to decide if we should laugh or yell or help or look the other way.

The guitar player stands up and is calm at first and says with his Italian accent, “what’s the problem, man?”  The driver explained, but that made it even worse because he was completely in the wrong.  Apparently, our guitar player had these same exact thoughts times a million because he lost his goddamn mind on our driver.  He was an inch away from his face, and screaming at the top of his lungs.  He then goes on to smash things and break things as well, yelling, “I’m mad now also because you disturbed me and my guest CAN I GO AND BREAK THE FUCKING BUS TOO YOU FUCKING BITCH?!!”  The “guest” was our guitar player’s flavor of the night, and I felt bad that she had to awkwardly sit through this ugly affair.  This went on for a good twenty minutes and spilled out onto the New York streets.  Our guitar player threatened to slit the driver’s throat if he ever disrespected him like that again, and the driver, just crumbled as he was being shoved and yelled at.  I felt like I was watching The Godfather.

The English Hooligan (our Tour Manager) came back to deal with the situation because what a TM really is, is an adult babysitter.  I regularly whine in a little girl voice at him.  Just two days ago he gave me a pair of his own socks because I was bitching that my feet were cold and my socks kept falling off of my ankle.  This took place only hours after I was claiming to be low maintenance.  Bus call was at 2:00am but obviously, we were not going anywhere at 2:00am as it was already 1:50am and there was a chance that our driver was going to be murdered in the next ten minutes. The English Hooligan basically ordered everyone to go to the pub and drink until 4:00am.  He had some problem solving to do, and was trying to make everyone happy again, so he handed me a 100 dollar bill and told me to buy everyone a round.  Word.  Between us crew, the band and their guests, we were an entourage of 14 people and we took over that bar until we managed to stumble back out onto the New York streets at 4:00 in the morning broken and better for it.

That would have been enough for one night for any sane person, but me, the Hooligan, 0069 and the Jackhammer are not sane.  We went on to have what we call, “a punk rock party.”  This title came to be LONG before I started working with the band.  I believe it got its’ name because the tour manager is from Liverpool and is a true punk rock hooligan at heart, and this side of him tends to come out when he’s drinking.  When we hear “London Calling” come on the bus stereo, everyone knows to run because a punk rock party is about to occur.  I didn’t run, and neither did 0069 or the Jackhammer, so we basically had a four man mosh pit at 5:00 in the morning while the bus was in route.  Twirling ninja kicks were involved and somehow I feel like I crowd surfed a couple of times with only four people.
This is what it looks like after a roadie Friday…

Hung over.

Hung over in a hotel.

I had fun during this punk rock party, and managed to get through it with only one cut and mild bruising.  However, things took a bad turn when Joe got a hold of my phone.  He knows my password to unlock my phone because I was stupid enough to tell it to him some other night, thinking a.) he won’t remember after this one time, b.) I don’t give a shit if he goes through my phone and c.) we are good friends and although he is out of his mind and known for playing practical jokes, I don’t think he would ever do anything with my phone that crossed the line.  I was wrong.

In the past, he has stolen my phone and done ridiculous things like pretended to be me while texting some boy, and then take a picture of his own ass, and sending it… that kind of thing.  Even though I have to do damage control after, it’s still a little bit funny and I usually don’t care.  This time though, he crossed the line.  The bearded drummer boy, who I mentioned earlier, and I were texting.  I made the mistake of telling 0069 that I kind of like this guy.  This is not something any of them are used to hearing.  They’re accustom to me having mild crushes on boys, but they know I’m an asshole and I usually just do it for my own personal entertainment because it makes the days slightly more amusing.  I typically find some shallow reason not to like someone after a few nights of flirting with a guy will say, “I don’t like him anymore because he pronounces library, libary,” or some reason equally as inane, and the Hooligan will roll his eyes, 0069 will exploit it, R-dizzle will say, “he seems like a nice guy,” (R-dizz is always the voice of reason) and Wolfgang will start singing show tunes.  So when I didn’t do that right away with this boy, I think it took 0069 off guard and he didn’t like it.  Like I’ve said before, I don’t do tour romances and Joe knows this.

He took my phone and started texting bearded drummer boy, pretending to be me, and he wrote some awful script.  After an inappropriate comment about “swallowing,” he then went on to text, “Listen, it was really nice to know you for a moment.  I don’t do tour hookups or after tour hookups.  Have a nice one.”  It went on.  When I saw this the next morning I was really upset, mostly because I was imagining poor drummer boy, who was nothing but nice to me, being humiliating by 0069.  If Joe hadn’t already crossed the line that night, he then crossed so far over that the line was not even in sight anymore…

Post punk rock party, while the four of us were just sitting now, beat up and drunk, Joe decided to bring up a lot of personal stuff that he is very well aware of that I don’t want to talk about because I have told him this on more than one occasion.  It annoys him that there are things he doesn’t know about me, so the interrogation ensued.  After Johnny and Joe made it to their bunks, the emotional onslaught that 0069 had blindsided me with caused me to have a crazy Caitlin spell, with the English Hooligan holding my shoulder telling me that, “everything’s all right, chuck.”  Chuck is a name he sometimes calls me.  Like I mentioned, he’s English, so he’s always using foreign words that I can only guess their meaning.  I assume that chuck is the equivalent to “sweetie” or something like that, but for all I know, chuck could be the equivalent to raging cunt.  Sometimes when I really can’t understand him I yell, “stop speaking British!”  This always pisses him off which always makes me giggle with delight.  One of my favorite things is listening to him and Wolfgang, our LD and also an English chap, go back and forth.  I call this, “British banter.”

I got myself together, patted Gus on the shoulder with a “thank you,” and passed the fuck out.  I woke up four hours later and walked out to the front, being welcomed by the morning light and the pure calamity of the front lounge.  It looked like five Cookie Monster’s on crack had come through during the night.  There was not one thing in the proper place, couch cushions were on the floor, coffee grinds spilled everywhere, and there was at least three bags worth of chips crushed up on the ground and everything was broken.  Tight.  Back to bed.

Now here we are, twelve hours later, and doing absolutely nothing except for dying in a hotel room.  Fucking roadie Friday’s.

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 12

I’m sitting in the jump seat of the bus, admiring as the soapy water cascades down the giant windows, and enjoying that deep, rumbling sound of a pressure hose against the exterior body, and contemplating if I should go with a coffee, soda or Vitamin Water to ease the hang over.  Let me tell you about the events leading to this, the tour bus getting washed.

We were having a drink on the bus, after playing Rock on the Range music festival.  We were all done working, Guns N Roses was the headliner, so we decided to go catch the show.  We got to the stage, and I was standing next to Dan, one of the members of Nothing More, which is one of my new favorite bands, and the members are some of my new favorite people.  We listened to two songs, and then both looked at each other and were like, why are we watching Guns N Roses again?  Good conversation over a mug of whiskey (because mugs are the only glassware we have on the bus) sounds much better than listening to obnoxious, no longer relevant, shit music.  So Dan and I turned right around and got down on some Jack Daniel’s, which we both agree is the worst call whiskey, but when it’s free, you don’t complain.

Good times rolled on, and Joe and I (one of the other crew members) hopped a barbed-wire fence into a salt barn.  I love Joe.  He’s been beaten and worn, but he has the heart of a lion.  He’s always up for an adventure, and we all know that I’m always up for a potentially hazardous excursion, so you’ll often find him and I doing something thrilling and mildly illegal together.  Last night’s Cait and Joe adventure was investigating what was inside this huge barn-like structure that was just outside of our bus.  We used his denim jacket to blanket the barbed-wire (thank you Levi’s for still making quality denim that will withstand even barbed-wire) and made our way into the dark structure.  Inside was slightly eerie, and we discovered mounds of what we think was salt.  I took it in, because that will probably be the only time in my life that I will have mountains of salt towering above me.  It was oddly beautiful.

Back on the bus, and we are joined by Maus, the bass player of Lacuna Coil, the band I’m working for right now.  I love Maus too.  He’s a party.  The three of us are probably the biggest “drinkers” on the bus, (in our defense, the other’s don’t drink much at all) so when you put the three of us together with no chaperons… I haven’t decided yet if this is a brilliant idea or vastly unwise.

We go on to be terrible people, and turn people watching into a sport.  Who can spot the strangest looking girl (which is everyone at a music festival) and then debate on whether or not  they would still fuck them.  I would agree or disagree, pointing out these poor girls’ attributes or flaws.  Hashtag going to hell.  A couple more birthday shots later (it was Joe’s birthday) and pants start dropping.  Next thing, threesome.  Just kidding.  That wouldn’t be rock and roll.  It’s rock and roll for the boys to climb up onto the counter while you’re in the bathroom, pull down their pants, and tuck their dick and balls so that when you walk out, you’re greeted with the horrendous sight of full ass, and gross, manipulated genitals inches from your face.  Then I’m pretty sure a lot of windmilling while literally galloping up and down the front lounge of the bus took place.  Last night I learned what windmilling is.  If you’re unfamiliar with the term, I would tell you to look it up yourself, but since the Urban Dictionary has such a hilarious definition, I will take pleasure in relaying the meaning to you.

windmilling- the act of spinning one’s penis around in the fashion of a windmill, usually with the intent of hitting someone in the face. Sometimes done while urinating.
“Mr. Bean was windmilling the school children.”

Enough said.

So I’m eating oreo’s, trying not to get assaulted while watching Maus and Joe windmill up and down the bus.  I will say, I was laughing my ass off because then a name calling game between the three of us seemed to develop, which was basically, who could come up with the grossest insult.  “Discharge licking, dirty foreskin face” I’m sure was thrown out there at one point.  We’re yelling this out while chasing each other, climbing on things in the bus… if you were to see a video of us, with no audio playing, I’m positive we would look like a bunch of cavemen during mating season.  And this is tour life.  Way less sex and glamor than people think, and much more of…. this.  Whatever you’d like to call it.

Then Trent, our bus driver, wakes up, and the poor guy is immediately greeted with penises in his face, and Maus biting his nipple.  Of course urine needs to become part of this story.  Trent is about to start driving, and Maus sticks his dick out of the window and pees all over the outside of the bus.  Let me point out, that we DO have a toilet on the bus.

And here we are.  These were the events leading to why we’re now at a truck wash, getting Maus urine cleaned off the Jefferson (the name of our bus), and Maus has now risen from the grave, and is currently puking in the bathroom.  Fuck yes.

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Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 10

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.

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Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 8

Back on the road, with a metal band this time.  Although it’s not exactly my kind of music, I am in love with them because they are just such good people.  We are the headliner’s, but there are three other bands on the tour package.  The second band on the bill, is a metal band from NYC.  After load out the other night, I was chatting with them outside of the buses, and they invited me onto their bus to smoke.  Mind you, I very rarely smoke weed, but I figured why not?  I can’t even remember the last time I did, and it would be a fun bonding session.  On to the back lounge.  If you’ve ever been on a tour bus, you know that the back lounge is a tiny little maybe 6×6 room.  There were seven of us crammed in there passing around joint after joint.  They also had some sort of other smoking contraption which they passed it to me and I was like, “I don’t even know what to do with that thing…” so I stuck with the joint.  I only took two hits because like I said, I don‘t smoke often so two and I am golden.  Well, being in that hot box… two and I was retarded.

Some sort of banter took place, where the word “fag” was thrown in.  I hate that word, so I may have literally cringed.  The lead singer (who is the one who invited me to this session) went along to say, “I’m just kidding… we’re LGBT friendly here.  He (pointing to the sound guy) is transgender and I’m post-op.”  WHAT?!  Now, let’s rewind and let me try to paint you a picture.  These are metal dudes.  Haven’t showered in days, silver rings on every finger, PBR drinking, buy coke from groupies, has a different girl everyday, DUDES.  So here I am, HIGH AS FUCK, trying to figure out if these two guys used to be girls.  They are all being fun high people, laughing… carrying on, and I am just trying to not to lose my goddamn mind.  I could not keep up with their conversation at all.   So now, along with attempting to not freak out and pretend to know what the fuck they’re all talking about, I’m also looking for clues.  I was checking for adam’s apples’, feminine hands, breasts, looking at their crotches, etc.  Like a total asshole, I was just sitting there staring, trying to decide if he was just kidding, or if they were actually born females.  Then, the most masculine looking guy of them all, starts putting his head on the [supposed] transgender’s shoulder.  Now I’m really confused.  That’s cool if some gay romance is taking place, but hold on, if he was transgender, he’d be straight!  He would be into girl’s!  Yet he was letting this guy rest his head cutely on his shoulder.  Maybe it was just simple band commradere?  Maybe they’ve just spent so much time in close quarters together that a head on the shoulder is not a big deal.  Maybe?  Maybe they were just retarded high too?  But regardless, they are all incredibly hospitable and cool cool people.  Bus call approached, and I walked back to my bus.

My tour manager began giving me shit about hanging out with the “support band,” saying rubbish like, “You were concerned about appearing to be a lot lizard* last night, and yet you’re going back to the other band’s bus.”  I played into it at first because I thought he was kidding, so I went with the joke saying, “Yeah… I took all of them at once.”  After a minute or so, I realized that he was fucking serious.  He was actually irritated at me for hanging out with the other band!  I felt like saying, “would this even be an issue if I was a boy?” but, I was so high, that I was worried I was being paranoid.  Instead of standing up for myself, and calling him out for being a dick (which would be normal Caitlin behavior), I awkwardly said NOTHING and went into my bunk.  I decided to asses the situation in the morning when I was of sober state of mind.  Morning arrived, and I decided that 1.) My TM was in fact annoyed, but I was definitely blowing it out of proportion in my high mind that night.  2.) I could not have been more off in my absurd suspicions about the metal dudes once having vaginas.  Now that I know them even better than I did that night, I laugh out loud at the thought of me actually taking that notion seriously for an entire evening.  3.) I suck at being high.

*lot lizard- noun.  Truck stop whore.  Literally.

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