First night sleeping on a tour bus

I am just waking up in the greenish pre-dawn light of rural Indiana before sunrise.  We aren’t very far outside of Indianapolis.

The tour bus is a nice one according to all of the touring veterans on the bus.  I wouldn’t know, it all seems nice to me, compared to the many vans of my touring history.  Last night I fell asleep watching Lewis Black on the small flat-screen TV that folds down over my bunk.

Sleeping is done troop-ship style, with 12 bunks, six to a side in the middle of the bus.  When sleeping on a tour bus, I learned last night, one sleeps with one’s feet towards the direction of travel.  This is in case there’s an accident, you get broken ankles instead of a broken neck.   There is a lounge in the rear of the bus and one ahead of the sleeping compartment.  Both have televisions and DVD players.  The bus has wi-fi that goes out on a cellphone network, which means limited bandwidth, but thank god there’s connectivity.

Everyone on the bus has a laptop.  Mars and I are both traveling with ProTools MBoxes.  We spread out in the rear lounge last night to make click tracks for me to use at the first couple of shows, until I settle into some working tempos.  Mars has the patience of a saint when it comes to doing stuff on the computer.  We struggled mightily to get click tracks that were only going to one side of a stereo signal.  For some reason, when we were bouncing the tracks, we had a little tiny bit of click on the other channel as well.  This won’t do for a live show.

Here’s a bit of Bus Touring 101:  When touring on a bus, the band drives overnight and gets two rooms in the morning.   One room is so that the bus driver can get some sleep, since he’s the Most Important Man after the gig.  The other room is so that the band can troop through and shower and have a place to sit down for a moment, but it’s sort of assumed that the band will spend most of its time on or around the bus, or wandering town.  With wi-fi and a coffeepot on the bus, there’s not much reason for me to leave except to play the drums.

Still a bit apprehensive about the gig tonight.  I have some reviewing to do so that I really know my parts and also to make sure that I have a nice, solid click to play along with.  I can’t wait until I have settled into my comfort zone with this gig.

5 Comments

  1. Jon

    Thanks for the blog updates they have been interesting to follow. I am headed up to see the Furs at Naperville near Chicago. My wife, 3 year old sold and 1 year old daughter are driving from Oklahoma, about 12 hour drive. We are hooking up with my brother, his wife and SEVEN kids who are driving from Iowa. We all love the Furs and since you are playing at a festival and kids are free we dwcided to go. So that makes 9 kids and 4 adults who will making the trip. The kids are excited because they want to try and meet you guys so if you see a ton of kids it most likely will be us. I told them not to get to excited because it is not easy trying to meet band members.

    Good luck to you with playing with the Furs. Looking forward to reading your update about the show last night.

  2. Jon

    Sorry about a second post but any chance of a list of the songs you guys are playing? Any chance of a Love Spit Love song being played?

  3. good morning indiana. i went to high school in the nortwest (Lake Central – St. John).
    The good vibes of “i’m pulling for you” have been sent out on that “well wishes from my people” frequency. Much like the frequency dogs hear. I’m sure you’ll get it. You speak dog. Peace…

  4. Jon-
    I sincerely hope you enjoy the show! We’re all very much looking forward to it.

    I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity. It’s been kind of intense, all this learning of songs for this tour, but we’re closer to perfect every show.

    See you in Naperville!

  5. anodyne

    i luuuuuuuved hearing about the bus and the touring procedure. i’d love to see some pix of the inside.
    by the way, lewis black’s bit about the candy corn makes me fall off my chair!

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