On the Road

Location du jour: Cricket Pavilion – Phoenix, AZ

Cristo enters the production office in a loincloth of a towel, still dripping wet from a shower. He’s brushing his teeth with inevitably some organic toothpaste and its minty green foam encircles his mouth. In his other hand, he totes a purple espresso cup. The office is humming with touring crew & the daily outsiders that run the building we’ve just taken over. To a civilian, this is a sight to be seen. To those of us residing within the circle of trust, it’s just another day at the office.

Cristo is my multi-platinum singer/song writer who’s an absolute sweetheart yet has the mentality of a 12 year old and will amuse himself by pushing people’s buttons. I refuse to flinch when his mind games emerge, as it’s my way of challenging him to take it up a notch. He’s yet again, au natural, under a flimsy towel and he makes a frequent habit of displaying his “A list” assets to those who orbit around him. To the outside world, he’s a well-mannered British pop star but put him with his road crew & family and he’ll do what ever it takes to get a reaction and to make you laugh.

He stands in the middle of the madness, waiting for someone to say anything about his state of undress. A few minutes pass and everyone continues about their business, his attempt to shock us has failed. Cristo knows we all secretly watch him so he proceeds to dip his toothbrush into the espresso cup and inserts the green brown foam into his mouth then pirouettes his way out of the office……

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Flash back....

After the show, most the crew gathered in the parking lot in front of the tour buses. Those missing in action were scrounging for a towel, hoping it to be larger than the loincloths promoters usually provide. In addition to the nightly towel search, the crew vies for a shower in a smelly locker room with hot water & a lockable door. Shower options are sometimes less than savory but we make the best of it and sometimes when you can’t deal with the situation – it’s best to cut your loss and start drinking immediately after the show.

Some of the crew has converted the parking lot into a lounge; they’ve set up lawn chairs, a boom box and citronella candles. As people lounge about, some of the crew boys start to set off fireworks and here I am, stood in the car park in my pajamas, drinking an apple martini out of a plastic martini glass.

Displaying the epitome of class, pinkies up! If you’re going to drink solo cups are simply class-less and sometimes they’re the only option but that’s why I plan ahead and carry my own drink ware. Ridiculous I know yet very apropos.

Everyone’s laughing, having a good time & just at that moment a scooter whizzes by. On the scooter is one of our lovely backline monkeys, sans clothes, with a flaming bottle rocket protruding from his arse. Bursts of blue & green sparks erupt from his bottom as he circles the parking lot. Booty pyrotechnics – isn’t that how everyone relaxes after a day at the office?

Nothing shocks me now after touring with this dude. This is a man that needs to be on every tour I work on – he’s comedy relief and a really sweet man. He’ll do anything once but mostly twice and he has the best stories tell.

And there’s nothing to tell if you don’t get out there and do something.

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Lost in Thought.....

In rock & roll, is there any behavior or action that could be deemed inappropriate? And if so, what action could one possibly take to cross the line & be dismissed from a tour? How does one draw the line when it’s crossed all the time?

It appears to be ridiculously hard to get fired in this business. In the real world, most of our actions and how we accomplish our jobs – we’d all surely be fired. Complete in-competency, drug use, alcohol abuse, stealing, bribery, chronic vulgarity, sexual harassment and behaving in a fiscally irresponsible manner…….. Please understand, I do not live nor work in a cesspool of humanity but on each tour, there are mild strains of disease mentioned above. We’re all guilty of something, yet we still have jobs & continue to get hired. Very few of us could live in the real world without a harsh bite of reality sandwich. The way we operate in this business simply cannot translate into any other line of work.

A crew member punches the drummer; those who go missing and don’t show up for the gig for days on end because they fell of the wagon and went on a bender. Disappearing with groupies during the show, only to re-emerge after someone else has covered your gig & your ass from the boss. Sleeping with the guitar player’s wife, throwing a TV from the hotel window to re-live the good old days of touring…. three square drugs a day – yet so long as the job gets done (half-assed or not), all actions are obvious and somehow expected

Maybe in a real 9 to 5 job, this happens too but I suspect it wouldn’t be as fun – nor pay as well. I love my job. No, you can’t have it. When it’s time, you can bid on my gig at www.ebay.com

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