Happy Endings

Mt Fuji Fest-1
(me onstage in japan at the Fuji Fest)

This isn’t what you think. It’s not about a bathhouse in NYC or hookers in Singapore. It’s about the day that a tour ends. It happens to every bad on tour. At the end you’re wiped out. Crispy. Fried. Flambeed. Salty. Dirty. In a single word: sapped. You’ve given everything you can night after night and now you have nothing left. And when the final show comes up, you have this inner glow. it’s not the light at the end of the tunnel, the light is finally upon you. So a few things happen. And they do not happen during the last week, or the 2nd to last day, only on the final day have you actually slugged through it all and have your airline reservation emailed to your iPhone. The two things are:

1) You get elation about you because you’re going home to all things familiar. As humans, we desire a certain amount of things that are predictable. Touring is not predictable. It can become routine, because you are playing the same music in a different city every day, and you trace a lot of steps in the same way. So we are happy to go home to all OUR things. Our home, our toilet, our wives/girlfriends, our favorite places to eat, workout, drive. All those things run through your head.

2) A shared ‘look’ between band members. This is the real happy ending.  Craig and I did this to each other at the end of every tour. We just look at each other. We know we’re stoked it’s over and that we’ve pulled it off. We may try to hid it because you need to give a great show, every show, but it’s still there. Lurking in the body of someone who’s standing onstage and performing and has a giddy underbelly about him that knows tomorrow he’s flying home to be with his family, friends or just his pillow. That is, unless you get too drunk and miss lobby call. Then you’re screwed.

If you’re lucky enough to see a band at the end of a long tour, see if you can spot some band members giving each other the happy endings look. The longer the tour, the deeper the look will be. The deepest one I can remember was during Every Morning which was the last song of our tour with Uncle Kracker in 2000. We were trashed at the end of that one. I’ll never forget looking at Craig during the bridge at the end of the song.



4 thoughts on “Happy Endings

  1. I always wondered what that must be like. I know how I get at the end of a very long work week, but to be away from all things familiar for so long has to be daunting at times. At least with a 9-5 (or 3-11 in my case) you get to go home at the end of the day. I can’t imagine being gone for so long without the simple joy of getting in my car everyday, checking the mail, sleeping in my own bed, loving on my pet, cooking for myself, and just being around my most favorite people in the world. I really give props to bands that tour. I know it takes a special breed to do what you do, night after night, city after city. I can imagine the look of pure joy on your face knowing that in a matter of hours normal life resumes. What I’ve also often wondered is what that first week back home is like. How much do you sleep? As a parent how do you spend your down time with your family? Aside from home where is your first stop when you get back to your hometown? Favorite pizza joint, park, church? Thanks for that insight into band life. I knew there had to be some sort of “YES!” between bandmates.

    1. Debbie,
      Great questions! You are happy to be going home, and the funny thing is, after only a short time at home, you’re ready to get right back out there. For each person that time frame differs. On some long (six months?) tours I wouldn’t even unpack my toilet case because I knew I’d be flying out in about 7 days. When we were REALLY busy right in the middle of all the success we had, we literally were gone all year. We’d be home for maybe two weeks tops. That was it. But even when you were home they’d fill your days with driving around to photoshoots and interviews to set up the next tour.. I’m not complaining, it’s just that sometimes when you’re home you want to actually be home. But when it’s hot, you’ve gotta hit it hard, and we did. So it was all a lot of fun, touring so much.

      Thanks for your comments. I love them. You should get your own blog!

  2. You are too kind, Murphy. I have a blog, but I just don’t have a computer. Typing from my smart phone proves to be pretty stupid sometimes. Maybe if I stop concert hopping, I could afford a new laptop. Super stoked to be seeing the Black Keys this winter. Also seeing NIN & Soundgarden and one stop on Under the Sun. Seeing live music is such a passion of mine. I really admire what those folks do to bring it every night. So glad that in my life I got to see you on tour. You’re a gem.

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