Why Am I Doing This?
June 12, 2022 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Touring musicians. They're dedicated. Like, REALLY dedicated. Why Am I Doing This? is 2h6m with musicians who just want to work. and are willing to put up with whatever circumstances life throws at them to keep playing their tunes. I loved watching this, maybe you will too!
posted by hippybear (4 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm still making my way through this, but it's a reminder of broken-down-van stories for sure, and makes me glad jobs and wives and kids all prevent us from playing music full-time.

Our band van came from a university auction and was never meant to be taken on the interstate. It's been tagged in NYC, and has broken down in multiple states. Most famously, we broke down on the way to a wedding gig in the mountains near Charlottesville, VA. It was an enormous wedding with multiple bands, and the only reason we made it there was because our manager got the crew for another one of those bands to bring their truck to pick up our gear. Meanwhile, a band wife or two retrieved us musicians and brought us to the wedding venue. We were hours late for loading in and missed any opportunity to have a soundcheck, but the crew helped us set up and we started on time.

Nowadays, we don't use that van much, unless the gig is very close to the studio. Our crew drives rental vans most of the time now.
posted by emelenjr at 3:39 PM on June 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

I always figured you had to have a 'different' mental state to 'marry' a group of people and spend nearly unlimited amount of time with them, so when singers mention that I believe them. I spent time in bands, can play well enough, but I was never able to 'marry' the guys in my band - just didn't like them well enough to hitch my star to them, and I had other non-music options that I liked just as much. So I played local, but never beyond that. My farthest gig was 30 miles away.

Songs about the van:
Chris Knight - To Get Back Home van broke down
Ghost Mice - Austin to El Paso possibly dying in the van driving all night

Old97s - Doreen8 people in a 7 seat van.

Jerry Jeff Walker -Life on the Road musical version of a youtube explainer about touring, and it explains the 'why':

The good news is I get to sing my songs
The bad news is they all sing along
And they're singing wrong notes
But if I stop, it won't be long
Before they're singing someone else's song
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:35 AM on June 13, 2022

Sausalito Summer Night "We blew a gasket on the Grapevine / And eighty dollars on repairs"
posted by credulous at 1:44 PM on June 13, 2022

I still do this. Several of these folks have stayed at my house when they were on tour! Yay this is rad, thanks for posting.
posted by capnsue at 9:27 PM on June 13, 2022

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