My year-long maternity leave from touring is, sadly, about to come to an end. I've done a few local gigs here and there but nothing farther than 3 hours away.
When I was pregnant with my middle son, I toured into my ninth month. When he was two months old he joined us on the
tour bus. I don't know how I did it. I was a lot younger, and the band was really struggling. We didn't have another source of income for the family, and it seemed the band couldn't afford to lose our momentum.
This time around I enjoyed the luxury of a third trimester spent at home, and 7 months being a SAHM.
I can still remember our first tour; how excited I was. I took pictures of everything. Everyday was an adventure, a new city, new people. The hours spent in the van flew by. Now the van feels like a rolling tiger cage. I've often described it as being like prison; you can't leave, the other inmates are nuttos, and the food sucks.
I had a women at a show somewhere (they do all blend together, in case you were wondering) tell me how exciting it must be to go somewhere new everyday. How things would never get dull or monotonous and everyday must be a new adventure. But it must be hard for you to be on the road with all those guys, she said. Funny, but it's really quite the opposite; I love the people I work with. They're smart, funny and entertaining. They feel like family. It is the monotony that can drive you nuts. Put your things in the van, drive, take your things out of the van, unpack them, pack them back up, put them back in the van, take them out and put them into the hotel room. Get up and do it all over again. Everyday. 150 days a year. The best part about being a touring musician is performing, but that takes up about 2 hours of your day. The rest is tedium, boredom and living out of your suitcase.
It's time to buck up, I guess. My first tour in a year starts October 7th in Philadelphia. I hope this time off that I've enjoyed will help me approach touring with a new fervor. People have been noticing my lack of enthusiasm. I feel awful about that. The most important part of my job is leaving fans feeling like they had as good of a time at one of our shows as I have. It will feel good to perform again. Now if I just had some Xanax for the van...
View the Asylum Street Spankers' upcoming tourdates.
Photo circa 1997.