Last January I was at a bowling alley celebrating a friend's birthday when the offer to join a three-month tour across the US was presented to me by a Christian rap artist then known as Lyrycyst. Between my gutter balls and a leisurely conversation about what this tour would entail, I never imagined that this offer would have such a dramatic impact on my year, or life for that matter.
The Music Room think-tank, composed of Aimee, Nick and I, discussed the possibility of this opportunity to expose our folk-rock sound to Lord knows how many people across the nation. We became giddy, and the occasional strike thrown now and then only fueled our gaiety.
Not only was this an excellent opportunity for The Music Room, but it also seemed like a killer chance for me to improve as a drummer (Lyrycyst requested that I play for his set as well).
Ideas were tossed around like wrapping paper on Christmas day, enthusiastically and hopeful. We brainstormed, scrambled, and schemed to find a way to make our monthly mortgage payment, find a dog/house sitter for three months, and pay our personal expenses while out gallivanting with our instruments in hand. Oh yeah, and what to do with that two-year-old boy that Aimee and Nick had created in their unrestrained state of reproductive vigilance?
After much deliberation and counsel-seeking from old, wise people like my Dad, we decided to join the tour!(And the two-year-old would come with us (CPS frowns upon leaving a child in a dogsitter's care))
We left our home in Lincoln sometime around early March (I'm too lazy to give exact dates, and I'm sure you could care less) and began what would be dubbed the "Sounds and Lights Tour." A full, somewhat accurately chronicled description of this tour can be optically devoured at The Music Room's blog (this link conveniently brings you to the first blog entry of tour. From here, mosey on through the archives. You're welcome!).
I drank coffee at five p.m. today, which means that I've ruined myself for sleep, so I'll briefly share some thoughts on the tour. Essentially, I'll try to put everything into a nice little nutshell, but the truth is that all that occurred on tour cannot be contained in one little nutshell. You see my dilemma? No? I understand, you're being difficult.
Anyways, my grandfather passed away this year. You can read my goodbye to him here. I still get really sad when I think about him not being here. There are still so many things I wish he could have seen. His funeral gave way to our coming home for a week from tour. We were in Cincinnati, Ohio at the time.
The night before The Music Room posse was scheduled to fly home for his funeral our tour leader put an end to the tour. In passing, as he and I were talking about logistical matters and how things were going to run with us not being there, he said that he was thinking about putting a stop to the whole thing. I asked him, "are you thinking about ending the tour? Or are you saying right now that you are ending the tour?" He replied with, "I'm ending the tour."
At this moment, our tour photographer (who is now dating my little sister!) Jerome Love overheard this bit of dialogue and called everyone into the main RV "living area" for a meeting.
We talked from 11 p.m. until 5 in the morning about everything that had gone wrong: power struggles, poor leadership, who was the leader?, mis-communication, no communication, floundering, confusion, up-selling the tour, disappointment, integrity issues, and everything else that would make you want to knock yourself out with a metal hammer to the face.
After that meeting, I had personally made up my mind that I had no desire to continue on with the tour even if the tour leader had the intention of continuing. We'd been dragged around the country long enough, my Grandpa just died, and I was sick of smelling shit every time a bump in the road caused the RV sewage tank to splash around.
All in all, good things came out of that experience; just like the most refined gold has to go through a blazing fire. That tour led to a mini-tour of its own, contemptuously dubbed the "Pounds and Sights Tour" in irreverent recognition of its life-giving mother.
We continued on with a man who weasels his way into any heart that he comes in contact with, Adam Cappa.
The caffeine has worn off and I have to work tomorrow...to be continued.