Staring Down The Path
North American Tour Journal
November 10, 2011
It is 9:52 pm, Central time, and we are on the Prevost II tour bus travelling through the Bayou in Mississippi. We are planning on stopping in Lafayette, Louisiana tonight before we start back up in the morning and head to Austin where our first show is scheduled at The Elysium on 11/11/11. We have been through two truck stops so far in Alabama, which were quite interesting. As I’m writing, I can hear the bus traveling over the rough patches on the shoulder of the road, which is causing a bit more anxiety than normal. Keep straight, man. Our bus driver, Sam, looks like one of the members of ZZ Top. The beard, the clothes and the attitude are priceless. He has been great so far at discussing the entire trip with me and he has done his best to calm my anxiety level, even going as far as sharing his own idiosyncrasies. Sam is a smoker, along with half of the ten band members on the bus, and has allowed us to sit in the front seat and open the window one at a time. It has been a great policy so smoke isn’t all over the cabin of the bus. According to Sam, he has spent the last thirty of his fifty-five years on a bus, either in a band or driving it.
John just asked the bus driver if he has ever lit his beard on fire. Only he would ask such a question. It did, however, give us a great laugh. I just changed the channel on the bus satellite. I had to get the military channel off. The World War I series on television was not helping me relax at all. Steve “Foxy” Foxcroft, our bass player, is across from me and has been great so far at helping me put this experience in perspective. He is kind and funny and has been awesome at letting me vent to him. (John is back up next to the driver, his new best friend.) John Lever, our drummer, is to the left of me, studying up on old coins which is his other passion. John is a machine. He is solid, quiet and very pleasant. His thick English accent is both hard to decipher and calming at the same time. The nine other guys on the bus are pros. They have nerves of steel and can settle right in to the worst of circumstances. The bus is jumping around the road like a plane that is experiencing mild turbulence. It feels like we are in the cabin of a small yacht going over bumps in the ocean. I considered jumping out before the bus made it out of my neighborhood. As of late, I’ve been more accustomed to resorts and back massages, not tight spaces with eleven mature men. This was a self- inflicted punishment on myself. However, it is something I have wanted to do with this band for some time and couldn’t manage it prior to today. Why I needed to do it is the golden question. Leaving my family today was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I considered smuggling one of the dogs aboard earlier, but decided against it.
I’m not sure if I will get any sleep over the next month. I can feel every bump and turn and our bunks are less than two feet high. It feels like you are in a rumbling coffin, basically.
The good news. In less than twenty-four hours, we will take the stage for the first time in America as Black Swan Lane. Hoping my strep throat has disappeared by then 🙂
Love & Light,
B S L