When Duff McKagan Gives You Touring Advice, You Should Listen!
Duff McKagen knows a thing or two about touring. He was part of one of the biggest rock acts of the late 20th century, Guns N Roses, and then later found success with Velvet Revolver and his "solo" project, Loaded. The guy is also a prolific writer, recently penning an autobiography, as well as a weekly column for Seattle Weekly. In his most recent column, Duff decided to make a list of the 10 things every band should know when it comes to touring.
We've written about the hardships of touring before, on many occasions. This is a credible addition to those two previous posts. If you're thinking about starting a band or are in a band and thinking about hitting the road, you should probably read this list and decide if it's right for you before making any leaps.
1. Don’t be a dick. Yes. That simple.
2. Get used to having little to no personal space for weeks at a time. A tour bus or a van, and traveling through airports together, can be small enough, but add small backstage dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, and studio control and you have the condition for someone in your band to blow their top.
3. Personal hygiene. (see #2)
4. Respect off-limits places. For example, when you draw the curtains to your bunk on the bus, no one should be allowed to f— with you. No punching in the dick, even. Each others’ girlfriends/wives/husbands/boyfriends are also off-limits.
5. Share everything. Clothes, chocolate, drugs, whatever. If it’s expendable, it is a “band” item.
6. Hug it out. Being in a band is the best place I can think of to be as up-front as possible. If you let something stew, it’ll grow into a mountain of nonsensical black mud in no time.
7. Read books and keep informed. The conversation can get old if you don’t have some good new topics to bring to the table. Gossip and c–k-talk only go so far.
8. Keep in touch with Mama Kin. Yes, definitely phone home and text as much as possible. It keeps one a bit sane, and leaves one with at least a modicum of a cornerstone.
9. Write a riff. Keep bringing fresh ideas to your band.
10. Don’t poo in the same room that someone else is eating in. Unless of course said eater gives the “poo OK.” If a “poo OK” is granted, you have a band that will NEVER break up!
Seems like some sound advice. For those interested in Duff's past columns, you can check those out here.