tour diary :: Distant Correspondent > Entry #3


So I wake up, and I do some work, and I haven’t packed yet or anything, but I’ve got all this work, so I get right to that, but of course, I’m all excited and I can hardly think but I do some work anyway. Thing is, this is the day I’m supposed to pick up the van and the crazy thing is that I don’t know what kind of van I’m getting. I’m pretty sure it’s a minivan, which sounds bad, but Goes Cube has toured so many times in a minivan, I’m totally cool with that. To be honest, I just want anything because it turns out locating a vehicle was the hardest part of this whole tour arrangement process, and until I have it in my possession, I won’t feel good about it. So I get dropped off at the place, and sure enough I get a minivan. Problem is the seats. I thought they would be removable. But instead they’re not, and the bench seat is the BACK row, not the second row where I need them to be, but I don’t really have any time for that because it’s about an hour until we have to get going, and so I have to run back upstairs and finish work and then I have to take a shower and I have to get my stuff together, and then Emily and I need to go pick up Tyler and then we need to pick up Margaret and Michael and head down to Colorado Public Radio to record our OpenAir session. So we pick up Tyler and Michael and Margaret and it turns there’s one less seat than we need because of all the gear, but we just have to deal with that, and someone—I don’t remember who—sits in the middle, between two seats, and also there’s kind of faint burning smell coming from the vents, which doesn’t last too long, but long enough for us to quickly christen the minivan as “Bernie.”

We get down to the CPR studio right in time.

The folks at CPR are total pros, and the sound is incredible. And for aboout 90 minutes, we get to relax and breathe. Also we get to play music instead of rush around and worry about the van and the logistics and the work we’re missing and all the shit we haven’t packed yet.

Then we load everything back into the van, and someone else—not sure who—grabs the non-seat in between the two back seats, and then we head over to the venue since we’re late for soundcheck, and we all hate being late for soundcheck and we hate making people wait for us, so we’re trying to get there as fast as we can, only there’s horrible traffic because, of course, it’s rush hour, so we get off the interstate, and we try for local roads, which is a little better, and we’re all laughing and excited but underneath it all, we’re also wondering what the fuck we’re going to do about the seating situation because, seriously, you can’t do a tour that stretches well over 5,000 miles and have someone sitting in a goddamn gap between two seats, but we’re not saying anything about that because it’s right before our big tour kick-off and A Tribe Called Quest comes on shuffle and Margaret and I kinda rhyme along where we can, which for me, aren’t many places, but she’s got some pretty good flow, and manages far more of “Electric Relaxation” than I can.


We pull into the Walnut Room.

The folks there are incredibly accommodating. Even though we’re late, we’re told to take our time, to not worry, to run through as many songs as we need. After the soundcheck, we go our own ways, some of us to eat pizza, others to the green room to change guitar strings. The other bands are incredibly friendly, not to mention great, and our friends and family have arrived (as well as some other folks who are simply music fans). The sound is great, and I’m pretty sure we play our entire set with dumb smiles plastered across our faces, as all of us are so happy this tour has finally arrived, and the record is finally out. After the show, we take some photos for a newspaper, and we talk to our friends. Then it’s off to home for one last night before we leave for Nebraska the next morning.

And I’m so excited to get home and sleep in except that I’m talking to my wife on the way home and it’s pretty clear that the idea that we’re going to go on this tour with someone sitting between two seats is absolutely insane and something else needs to get sorted out. Except, at this point, it’s after 1am, and we have to leave in like EIGHT FUCKING HOURS, so I decide that instead of sleeping, I’ll get home and take all the gear out and reconfigure the seating in the minivan, stowing and folding different seats as before, and goddamnit we might have to leave some gear behind if it comes down it, and I’m all set to start doing that when my wife reminds me I haven’t eaten a single thing all day, so I come inside and have a quick bite with her. The food is incredible. And in letting myself enjoy the flavor, I come to realize how exhausted I am. So it’s off to bed and I set my alarm for four hours later.

I’m asleep before I know it and I immediately dream of minivans and their seats and in my dream I am stowing seats and sliding seats and turning seats and I am packing but nothing is working and I am rescued from this anxiety dream by my alarm clock because it is already 5:23am and I need to get up and take all the gear out of the minivan, put the car topper on the roof, and figure out this problem, which by some fucking miracle, I manage to do after two and a half hours. I’ve got to leave in a half hour, but I still haven’t packed, and I could use a shower, and a cup of coffee, and I really want to spend some time with my wife and son before I leave, but the problem is that there’s never enough time. I grab some clothes nearly at random and I jump in the shower and I get out and I grab my computers because I’m going to be working on the road and I throw the last of my stuff in the van.

I come inside and I give my wife a hug and kiss and I pick up my son and I give him a kiss and tell him I love him and he’s hugging me and he’s also hugging his best friend, which is also a stuffed giraffe, that he calls “Goggy,” and I tell him “Dada is going to go on an adventure and I’m going to miss you so much,” and he says “Dada bring Goggy?” and does something he pretty much never does: offers me his best friend.

In the absence of hours to just sit and play with him, this one single moment of him offering me his stuffed giraffe is perfect.

It’s hard to leave these two people. It’s hard to book a whole tour (and deal with the inevitable band cancellations and other hurdles) and it’s hard to fit five fucking adults and all of our gear into a minivan. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. In fact, if anything, it might even make it more worth it. We think it is.

And after all this stress and anxiety, there’s this thing that happens every time you (or, I should say I) go on tour: The stress and tension just completely vanish. Before you can start wondering about the quality of shows ahead of you, you just feel this relief that you did it. You made it. There were probably a million reasons why the tour could fall apart, but it happened, anyway.

We pointed Bernie eastward, and we headed for Nebraska.

stoptime by distant correspondent

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