Blog Archive

blog search

« Belgium/Switzerland(again)/France + Survival with Aikido - Part Eleven | Main | Milan/Verona, Italy -- Part Nine »
Sunday
Feb222015

Three (stupidly long) Days Off + The Story of the Bus - Part Ten

Brian's bunk with TG

Feb 22, 2015 1st day off

This is the first of three days off. Not something that anyone would ever plan during a tour. And not one that this group can afford. Also, not all days off are equal. These three rank among the rank.

We began with 15 hour drive, then 24 hours in a German truck stop. We spent over 8 hours in the truck stop's McDonalds. Our standards are so low now, we loved it here. Cheap food and free wifi. Though, clearly we are hitting the wall. While trying to have simple, regular conversations you could see our brain cells retreating and swirling down the drain. Thoughts and, even, words that we were able to access just a few days ago have slipped away to the unreachable realms.

 

 

 

This would a good time to tell the story of the Bus. This bus isn't particularly special. Though tour buses in general have a small, but critical, list of rules:

  1. No crapping on the bus

  2. No pissing standing up

  3. When in your bunk you always sleep with your feet forward

  4. If you leave the bus, put something on the driver's seat so he knows not to drive off without you

 

Rule number one puts into place the true commodities of touring. Listed by degree of importance:

  1. Toilet for crapping. (Preference is that it has a seat. But in Italy we trade awesome food for no seat.)

  2. Wi-fi

  3. Food

We are constantly monitoring these elements and adjusting our stops and all of our movements based on these three.

Obviously, pissing standing up while the bus is careening through the small roads of Europe makes wet feet for everyone else. I suspect some of my buddies weren't always following this dictum. 

Sleeping with your feet forward insures, if we have a wreck, that you don't slam your head into the wall. The bunk is damn small. 6' 4” and I am 6' 1”. So I have only three inches of wiggle room. Over the course of the last two weeks I think I have perfected the variations of sleeping postures:

  1. The Corpse. Face up, hands to the side. Don't move for anything. Contemplate your death. Which will never happen. You will be here forever.

  2. The Flopping Gnome. Face fully left or right. Curl up into a ball. As tight as the sides of the bunk will allow. Every 15 minutes (or ever roundabout the bus spins by) spastically leap to facing the other side. Repeat until sound check the next day.

  3. The Epileptic Weasel. Lay very still on your back. The let out a small scream as you jerk your knees upwards, banging the bunk above you as hard as possible. Laugh hysterically. Fall back to sleep. Repeat. Bonus points if the sleeper above you spasms in response.

  4. The Twisted Gazelle. It took me a good week to perfect this one. It won't work for the vertically challenged. You need long legs. While laying on the back, bend up one knee to the ceiling of the coffin. If needed to get the proper height, place same knee's foot on top of other leg. Wedge knee against ceiling tight enough to hold you in place while the bus tosses everyone else back and forth.

  5. The Asbestos Blast. Lay face down. Breathe in the wonders of your bus pillow.

  6. The Ziplock Bag. Works in any position, though the bunk curtains must be tightly closed. Wait for the heating to suck all the air our of the bus. Then wait for the CO2 in the bunk to build up to toxic levels. Exhale and wait a little longer. Them when you can bear it no longer, throw open the curtain and inhale the wonders of the bus. Bonus points if Brian or Graham have just cropped dusted in front of your bunk.

  7. The Snorkestra Rehearsals. Not an actual position, but a good break from the work involved in keeping yourself asleep. Or if your Ambien runs out. Open the curtains and let your ears feast upon the wonders of our side project: The Security Project Snorkestra. If a special improv takes place grab your phone and record it for future releases.

 

The first rehearsal of the Snorkestra was incredible. It was our first night on the bus and I woke up in what felt like a cozy nest surrounded by warm, protective walruses. Gently swaying with the ocean waves. Low rumbles of breathing and the occasional bellow. But then a high pitched whine burst through and I came to a fully awake state. Oh, damn...I'm on a bus with a bunch of tired old geezers inhaling dust and the fumes of each other. Nothing left to do but make a recording.

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 23, 2015 2nd day off – more Bus Action

 

We spent the evening listening through a whole show. The one from Rome. Since the Berhinger mixing system lets us record 32 channels of audio we have perfect multi-tracks of the show. So we hooked up my laptop to the dreadful sound system in the back of the bus and worked our way through the whole show. This took about four hours.

This was not an easy experience, and might have led to a full dissolution of the band. But, not only are we seasoned-enough pros, we really love each other. And we really want to fine tune everything and makes this performance as special as it can be. So, we dealt with our personal mistakes in front of everyone and discussed improvements. Quite sobering.

 

Feb 24, 2015 3rd day off

 

Some of us cracked and checked into a hotel tonight. This was my first hotel since I left home.

My own room. All alone. I began with a shower – first in 3 days. Then a nap. Then a bath. Then a shower. Then a nap.

 

next diary entry

- - -

previous tour diaries

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (7)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Amazing Bus!!! WoW!! wonderful i love it and also like your story
  • Response
    Touring is the most exciting adventure in the life. There are many things those should be considered for a better life style. There are many ways to learn more ways to improve the quality of the life and quality of touring experiences.many Factors should be considered in order to improve the ...
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: nima
    you have a shared memory
  • Response
    Response: Vidmate Download
    good If you are the one who is truly looking for some excellent app to enjoy motion pictures then Vidmate is certainly for you. In this article I am sharing nice.
  • Response
    Response: Calendar 2017

Reader Comments (2)

Oh man. The glamorous touring life. We used to camp a lot on tour, which was a beautiful way to see the country. However, not especially fun to roll into a campground at 2 AM and begin to set up tents. And I really learned to say a prayer of thanks for indoor plumbing; yes, the internet and space travel are neato, but I think toilets and showers are damned near miraculous. Hope you gents have a great run of shows. Looking forward to hearing the project in Seattle. Right? Seattle! Right? :)

March 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Hendow

Snorkestra rocks dude!

March 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLansing

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>